Jones Ford Casa Grande Compares 2005 Ford Taurus VS 2005 Nissan Altima Near Casa Grande, AZ

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2005 Ford Taurus

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VS

2005 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

Both the Taurus and the Altima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, available front seat side-impact airbags, head airbags and four wheel antilock brakes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH front offset crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Taurus Sedan (which the IIHS chose as “A Best Pick”) is safer than the Altima:

Taurus

Altima

Overall Evaluation

Best Pick

GOOD

Structure

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Front Headrests

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Chest compression

28 mm

28 mm

Tibia index

.43/.67

1/.69

(This test is not comparable to the NHTSA NCAP 35 MPH front crash test.)

The Ford Taurus has a better injury history. The Taurus was involved in injury causing accidents at a rate 35% lower per vehicle registered than the Altima, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The Taurus’ bumpers sustained $1521 less damage than the Altima in an IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 5 MPH bumper test.

Warranty Comparison

The Taurus comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Nissan doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Altima.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Taurus’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the Taurus SEL 3.0 Duratec V6 is faster than the Nissan Altima 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Taurus

Altima

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Taurus uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Altima 3.5SE/3.5SL requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Taurus with optional antilock brakes stops shorter than the Altima with antilock brakes:

Taurus

Altima

60 to 0 MPH

139 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Taurus’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Taurus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Altima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Taurus SE Sedan handles at .79 G’s, while the Altima 3.5SE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The Taurus SE Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 1.2 MPH faster than the Altima 3.5SE (60.4 vs. 59.2 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Ford Taurus amounts to more than styling. The Taurus has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the Altima (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Taurus get better fuel mileage.

As tested by AutoWeek while at idle, the interior of the Taurus Sedan is quieter than the Altima 3.5SE (43 vs. 44 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Taurus Sedan is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Altima is rated a Mid-size.

The Taurus Station Wagon offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Altima can only carry 5. The Taurus Sedan has standard seating for 6.

The Taurus Sedan has 1.4 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 1.2 inches more rear hip room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Altima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Taurus Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Altima (17 vs. 15.6 cubic feet).

The Taurus has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Altima (38.8 vs. 15.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Taurus easier. The Taurus’ trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Altima’s liftover is 27.6 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Taurus and the Altima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Taurus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Altima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Altima’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Taurus’ standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Taurus SEL offers an optional automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Altima 2.5 Base doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

To improve comfort and visibility, the Taurus offers optional secondary sun visors that block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Altima doesn’t offer any similar feature.

Both the Taurus and the Altima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Taurus w/bucket seats has included rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Altima doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Taurus owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Taurus will cost $45 to $980 less than the Altima over a five year period.

The Taurus is less expensive to operate than the Altima because of its lower insurance rate. Typical repairs cost less on the Taurus than the Altima, including $127 less for a starter, $97 less for fuel injection, $19 less for front struts, $97 less for a timing belt/chain and $120 less for a power steering pump.

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