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2021 Toyota Camry vs. Altima Comparison

Having been around since the 80s, the Toyota Camry has continued to adapt to the growing sedan market over the years. From updating its exterior to improving safety features, and most recently, adding the 2021 Camry XSE Hybrid to the lineup, the Toyota Camry is proving style doesn't have to be sacrificed in the name of efficiency. While Toyota has made additions to the Camry lineup, Nissan will no longer be offering the 2.0-liter variable-compression-turbo engine on the Altima Platinum for 2021.

Both of these sedans start under $25,000, however, the Camry LE offers more bang for your buck with more standard features like Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) and ToyotaCare.

Plus, when you compare starting grades, you get more performance power in the Camry LE with a standard 203 horsepower engine vs. the Altima S’s 188 horsepower. You also get to stretch out the miles with the Camry's hybrid options that will save you money at the pump.

You don't have to give up performance and style for the practicality a sedan provides. The 2021 Camry TRD has track-tuned styling that improves high-speed stability when putting its 301 HP V6 engine to use. Plus, the standard 19-in TRD matte-black wheels & TRD cat-back exhaust, Active Cornering Assist (ACA), and more allow you to utilize every ounce of performance.

Below we’re going to see how the Toyota Camry stacks up against the Nissan Altima in the categories of safety, performance, and technology.

Published Date: 02/17/2021

2021 Camry using sensors to park

Safety

  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) comes standard on all 2021 Camry models.
  • Some of the Altima's safety features, like Traffic Sign Recognition, are not standard on their base model.
  • Both the 2021 Camry and Altima were awarded 5-Star Overall Safety Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Navigate the streets with confidence in the Camry and Altima knowing that both cars come stacked with drive-assistive safety features.

Standard Safety Features

The Camry comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+). This active suite of safety features includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

The Nissan Altima has a lot of comparable safety features. The Altima S FWD has Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Assist. Plus you get ProPILOT Assist which combines Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies. However, Traffic Sign Recognition is only available on the Altima SL and Platinum models.

The attention to safety in both of these sedans hasn't gone unnoticed. The 2021 Camry and Altima earned 5-Star Overall Safety Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When evaluated by the IIHS, the 2021 Camry and 2021 Altima both received 2020 Top Safety Pick+ designations with no caveats.

2021 Camry splashing through a puddle

Performance

  • Only the Camry has hybrid models available.
  • All Camrys come with ToyotaCare, a factory-scheduled maintenance plan.
  • Camry has an available V6 engine that has more horsepower than any Altima.

The 2021 Toyota Camry is embedded with confidence-inspiring performance features like a hybrid engine and Toyota Racing Development technology to please both commuters and track speedsters.

Dominate Your Drive

While both the Camry LE and Altima S have an EPA-estimated 28/39/32 (city/highway/combined), the Camry has an option that the Altima doesn't: a hybrid engine. For outstanding fuel economy ratings, the Camry LE Hybrid has an EPA-estimated 51/53/52 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

Another feature the Camry LE has that the base model Altima S doesn't is available AWD. You can get Intelligent AWD starting on the Altima SV.

When it comes to sport and horsepower, the Camry has plenty. The base model LE has a 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder engine that produces 203 horsepower. The Camry LE Hybrid doesn't lack in power either with a 208 combined net system horsepower. Comparatively, the Altima S also has a 2.5-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine but can only muster 188 horsepower. The 2021 Altima's sporty SR VC-Turbo™ model has 248 horsepower. Toyota drivers wanting more power than any Altima can go with the available V6 engine in the Camry TRD, XLE V6, and XSE V6 which has 301 horsepower.

For a driving experience that's extra special, the 2021 Toyota Camry TRD has a 3.5 L V6 engine for your need for speed. It has a whopping 301 horsepower, increased-thickness underbody bracing, TRD track-tuned front and rear coil springs, large 12.9-in. front brakes, and red-painted front and rear calipers to help you look and feel the part. Plus, you can feel the difference that comes with the standard 19-in. TRD wheels that reduce unsprung mass for improved turn-in and TRD body kit with pedestal spoiler, side skirts w/ red pinstriping, & rear diffuser to improve high-speed stability.

With a car that's as fun to drive as the Camry TRD it's a good thing that all Camry models come standard with ToyotaCare to help keep your vehicle in peak shape. ToyotaCare is a factory-scheduled maintenance plan that lasts for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, plus 24/7 Roadside Assistance for 2 years/unlimited miles. Nissan has a maintenance program but what it costs, coverage, and length depends on the plan you buy. Their roadside assistance lasts for 36 months or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first) from the initial new vehicle delivery date.

interior of 2021 camry

Interior

  • The Camry XLE and XSE have convenience feature upgrades like a 10-in. Color Head-Up Display. That feature is not available on the Altima S, SV, or SR.
  • The Camry comes with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, plus SiriusXM®. The base model Nissan does not.
  • The Camry XLE has Qi Wireless Smartphone Charging standard which the Nissan Altima does not mention.

When you want it all without having to spend it all, the Camry has loads of standard convenience features.

Connectivity and Comfort

The Camry LE has many audio features to make your drive more enjoyable. Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, plus SiriusXM® with a 3-month All Access trial subscription come standard. Plus, the Camry has an available 9-in. touchscreen display on the Camry LE and SE variants, while it comes standard on the XLE and XSE variants. The Nissan Altima has Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility, plus SiriusXM® Radio, but not on the base model Altima S. You'd have to get the SV or higher for the same media features. The Altima also misses out on Amazon Alexa entirely and only has up to an 8-in. infotainment display.

Plus, the Camry SE offers available equipment upgrades that are not available on the Altima S, SV, or SR. For example, you can add dual-zone automatic climate control, Qi-wireless compatible charging, HomeLink® universal transceiver, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and the Smart Key System with an optional package. The Altima comes standard with Nissan Intelligent Key® with a Push Button Ignition. However, for Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, and an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror you'll have to choose the Altima Platinum. The Nissan specs page doesn't mention a wireless charging add on.

For added luxury, the Camry XLE and XSE have standard leather-trimmed front seats, multi-stage heated front seats, and a leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel. You can also choose to add the available ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel with an optional package. Leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel are standard on the Altima SL.

Two people unpacking the 2021 Camry

Conclusion: Camry vs. Altima

  • The Camry Hybrid offers great EPA-estimated ratings, while the Altima does not have a hybrid engine available.
  • Music lovers will enjoy Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility on the base model Camry. The base model Altima lacks those features.
  • The Camry also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+), which is just the cherry on top.

Although the Altima has attractive features, the 2021 Toyota Camry gives you more horsepower, more standard connectivity options, and better EPA-estimated MPG ratings with its available hybrid engine.

The Camry has also showed up with its robust suite of active safety features bundled into Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+).The Nissan has a lot of comparable safety features but you'll have to spend more to get Traffic Sign Recognition.

If you're wanting tunes for your ride the Camry can't be beat. It has standard Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility on the base model LE, while you'd need to get the Altima SV or higher for the same features.

It's no wonder the Camry has been one of the most successful and longest standing members of the sedan market. With its standard comfort and safety features, plus the impressive TRD trim option, there's a Camry for every driver. Some are so wowed that they can't believe it's a Camry. Others are proud to own a car with such a striking design that they want to drive their car so they'll be seen. Mostly people enjoy the driving experience that's been enhanced by in-car technology that integrates with their lives. The Camry has been around for a good number of years, but this isn't the sedate Camry drivers are used to. For these reasons and more we find this Camry a real winner.