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Nissan vs Toyota: Is there a clear winner

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Two of the popular Japanese automakers in the auto industry, both Nissan and Toyota have made their marks in the automobile market. Both of them offer a huge selection of cars in their lineup, offering a car for almost every budget and need. Oftentimes, people get caught up while choosing as to which brand to go for. Both Japanese stalwarts offer cars ranging from compact daily drivers to pick-up trucks, all the way up to high-performance sports car as well.

  1. to be honest, this rivalry isn’t new, JDM fans will know that ever since the days of 300ZX and Supra, Toyota and Nissan have had beef. to date, these manufacturers are amongst the best-selling brands here in the States, outclassing even the home-grown giants in some segments. Be it the 2021 Nissan Altima or the 2021 Toyota Camry, or the Tacoma and the Frontier, both manufacturers have been in a race to one-up each other and dominate the respective segments. this rivalry isn’t limited to just mass-market segments, both conglomerates have their luxury divisions too (Lexus and INFINITI), fighting out each other in the competitive luxury segments.

While we do respect the friendly banters and healthy competition, we have to be honest with our job, and today, we will analyze two of the biggest Japanese automotive giants. While Toyota has an upper hand in the luxury space, Nissan’s NISMO tuned cars completely trump the Toyota’s, more so when Toyota is reluctant to bring in its GR products here.

Since buying a car is a huge investment, in this article, we will be trying to simplify the decision-making process by looking at the current offerings from both the brands and see as to which brand offers the best bang for your buck in each segment.

  1. Subcompact cars: Toyota

 

Starting off with the compact category, both the companies offer some decent options on the affordable side of the car spectrum. If your budget is around $15,000 to $19,000, we have the option between the Toyota Yaris and the Versa from Nissan. Although both of them have their own pros and cons, and many of them will depend on your personal preference. If spacious and good quality interiors, storage space and practicality, and good real-world fuel economy are your priorities, then the Nissan Versa is arguably the better choice. But if you want something which is fun to drive, and comfortable on all sorts of roads, then the Toyota Yaris is the better option. Although both the cars are pretty slow, even for their segment, the Yaris still does a decent job in the power delivery. On top of that, the Versa’s laggy touchscreen interface somewhat ruins the overall experience of an otherwise easy to use infotainment system. Hence, the overall pick is the Toyota Yaris.

 

  1. Compact Cars: Toyota

 

With a budget ranging from $19,000 to $26,000, you can either have the Toyota Corolla, or the Nissan Sentra. Although both the cars are pretty evenly matched, the Toyota Corolla takes the edge in the driving front with better driving dynamics than the Nissan Sentra. The Corolla also offers a better interior, along with more economical engines as well. The Nissan Sentra although offers a number of advanced safety features as standard, it is a bit disappointing in terms of the interior, and the infotainment system is not as engaging to use as most of its competitors. The performance from the engine and transmission in the Nissan Sentra is a bit of a disappointment as well. So the overall pick to the Toyota Corolla.

 

  1. Midsize Cars: Toyota

Representing Toyota, we have the Toyota Camry. And representing Nissan, we have the Nissan Altima, both of them ranging from around $24,000 to $35,000. Both these are very closely matched, but the Toyota Camry takes the overall victory due to the fact that it is more engaging and fun to drive out of the two. The Nissan Altima although provides a comfortable interior and a smooth ride, it is not as sporty as the Camry. Where the Toyota Camry has the edge in terms of the overall interior build quality and comfort, the Nissan Altima redeems itself in the tech features front. But the overall value for money proposition is better for the Toyota Camry, making it the better option in the midsize cars segment.

  1. Fullsize cars: Toyota

This is a pretty important segment, and both the companies have their own solid offerings. Taking the responsibility for Toyota is the Toyota Avalon, and the Nissan Maxima is the one representing Toyota in this segment. The Maxima used to be more popular than the Avalon among the consumers, but the Avalon made some huge increments in the popularity front, and that for some good reasons too. It has arguably a better interior along with a better overall infotainment system as well. It is also the more practical among the two, and it is the clear winner in terms of fuel economy as well. The Maxima is a bit dull to drive as well. Although it has a decently powerful engine, but it is not as engaging to drive as the Toyota Avalon. Hence the overall pick goes to the Toyota Avalon at the end of the day.

  1. Hybrid and electric vehicles: Toyota

This is the segment where there is little to no competition among the two automakers. Where the Toyota Prius made Toyota popular in the world with regards to eco-friendly mobility, the Japanese automaker stepped up the game even more with a huge selection of hybrid variants across the segment, starting from the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, to the Toyota Toyota Camry Hybrid, all the way up to the Toyota Avalon Hybrid as well. If you want an SUV, you can get it in hybrid as well. You have the choice among the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and the Toyota Venza as well. You get a hybrid for every budget and segment, which is pretty neat, to be honest.

Nissan on the other hand has only the Nissan Leaf on offer, which is although a decent car for its segment, the single-car cannot match the wide range of offerings from Toyota. That being said, Nissan is getting ready to launch a new car called the Nissan Ariya, which will be competing in the electric compact crossover SUV segment. But till then, Toyota is the clear winner in terms of hybrid and electric vehicles.

  1. Minivans: Toyota

 

Since Nissan does not offer minivans anymore, Toyota is the default winner here with the Toyota Sienna being the only choice. Although Nissan still sells the full-size NV passenger van in the market, they discontinued their business in the minivan segment back in 2017. That being said, the Toyota Sienna is a popular choice in the minivan market nonetheless. People like its competent engine, refined ride quality, and the available all-wheel system as well.

 

  1. Subcompact SUV: Nissan

Competing in the subcompact SUV segment, we have the popular Kicks from Nissan and the C-HR from Toyota. Although both are very closely matched just like most of the other comparisons, there are few things that make the Nissan Kicks the better choice, but by a slight margin nonetheless. In terms of driving dynamics and comfort, the Toyota CH-R is arguably the better choice. But the amount of available tech and luxury features in the Nissan Kicks, especially for its price, on top of being significantly more economical than the Toyota C-HR in the real world, makes it the logical pick among the two for most people.

 

  1. Compact SUV: Toyota

Competing in the compact SUV segment, we have the popular Rogue from Nissan and the RAV4 from Toyota. Among the two, the overall value for money SUV is the Toyota RAV4. It has marginally better driving dynamics than the Nissan Rogue, but it has a significant edge in terms of interior build quality and the quality of materials used. It has better tech features on top of being more practical, and significantly more economical than the Nissan Rogue. If we compare both the cars head to head, the Toyota RAV4 is the logical choice here.

 

  1. Midsize SUV: Toyota

A very hot segment in the market right now; representing Toyota, we have the Highlander, and from Nissan, we have the Murano. Out of the two, the Toyota is the better one to drive by a significant margin, has a better interior with better tech and better practicality as well. The Highlander is significantly more economical in the real world than the Nissan Murano which makes it the logical choice among the two. The Nissan Murano does have an intuitive infotainment system that is easy to use, but that’s about it. It does not provide any other good enough reason to get the pick over the Toyota Highlander.

  1. Full-size SUV: Nissan

In the full-size SUV segment, we have the Toyota Sequoia, and the Armada from Nissan. Although both the very closely matched competitors, the Nissan Armada has some tricks up its sleeves that make it the better choice between the two. The Armada has a strong engine with good power delivery, high-quality interior with comfortable seats. Both the SUVs have a dated infotainment system, but the Toyota Sequoia loses some point due to its overall dated tech features. Toyota loses even more points with regards to fuel economy, and low towing capacity compared to its competitors.

  1. Compact pickup trucks: Toyota

Competing in this category, we have the Tacoma from Toyota and the Frontier from Nissan. The Toyota Tacoma is the clear winner here, and that too by a significant margin. It is the better one in terms of driving dynamics. It has a significant edge over the Nissan Frontier in terms of available tech features and driving aids, has a better quality interior, and arguably better off-road as well. Moreover, you have the TRD off-road models for the Toyota Tacoma for an enhanced off-roading experience. Moreover, the disappointing towing and hauling capability of the Nissan Frontier does not add up to the whole point of this segment as well.

  1. Full-size pickup trucks: Nissan

Competing in this category, we have the Tundra from Toyota and the Titan from Nissan. In this category, the Nissan Titan has an edge over the Toyota Tundra. The Titan is the more comfortable one between the two, has a better-built interior, and the amount of available tech features and diving aids is significantly better than the Toyota as well. It is also more economical than the Toyota Tundra which makes it the logical choice between the two.

  1. Sportscars: Nissan

Although people might think that Toyota is the logical choice between the two when it comes to sports cars, due to the fact that we have the affordable Toyota 86, on top of the legendary Toyota Supra itself, but the fact that we have the legendary Godzilla itself, the Nissan GT-R, the GT-R itself is enough to make Nissan the clear winner in this category with its blistering performance which is right in the supercar territory for a fraction of the price. Yes, the price of GT-R has gone significantly up in recent years, but it still provides one of the best bang for your buck in terms of performance. That being said, if you want an affordable sports car from Nissan, you have the 350Z and the 370Z, both of which are seriously fun to drive as well.

Verdict:

The verdict is actually pretty clear by itself. Almost 90% of the available categories in the market are dominated by Toyota, and there is a common trend in it as well, and the trend is a bit surprising, to be honest. Although Nissan has the expertise to develop some of the fastest and fun to drive cars in the market, which is clearly represented by the Nissan GT-R, the 350Z, and the 370Z as well; most of the consumer cars that are more engaging and fun to drive are from Toyota. It is not that the consumer cars from Nissan are dull to drive, but it is that they don’t match the level of dynamism provided by the cars from Toyota. Moreover, Toyota has a significant edge when it comes to eco-friendly mobility with its wide selection of available hybrid variants of their regular car in every budget and range.

Two of the popular Japanese automakers in the auto industry, both Nissan and Toyota have made their marks in the automobile market. Both of them offer a huge selection of cars in their lineup, offering a car for almost every budget and need. Oftentimes, people get caught up while choosing as to which brand to go for. Both Japanese stalwarts offer cars ranging from compact daily drivers to pick-up trucks, all the way up to high-performance sports car as well.

  1. to be honest, this rivalry isn’t new, JDM fans will know that ever since the days of 300ZX and Supra, Toyota and Nissan have had beef. to date, these manufacturers are amongst the best-selling brands here in the States, outclassing even the home-grown giants in some segments. Be it the 2021 Nissan Altima or the 2021 Toyota Camry, or the Tacoma and the Frontier, both manufacturers have been in a race to one-up each other and dominate the respective segments. this rivalry isn’t limited to just mass-market segments, both conglomerates have their luxury divisions too (Lexus and INFINITI), fighting out each other in the competitive luxury segments.

While we do respect the friendly banters and healthy competition, we have to be honest with our job, and today, we will analyze two of the biggest Japanese automotive giants. While Toyota has an upper hand in the luxury space, Nissan’s NISMO tuned cars completely trump the Toyota’s, more so when Toyota is reluctant to bring in its GR products here.

Since buying a car is a huge investment, in this article, we will be trying to simplify the decision-making process by looking at the current offerings from both the brands and see as to which brand offers the best bang for your buck in each segment.

  1. Subcompact cars: Toyota

 

Starting off with the compact category, both the companies offer some decent options on the affordable side of the car spectrum. If your budget is around $15,000 to $19,000, we have the option between the Toyota Yaris and the Versa from Nissan. Although both of them have their own pros and cons, and many of them will depend on your personal preference. If spacious and good quality interiors, storage space and practicality, and good real-world fuel economy are your priorities, then the Nissan Versa is arguably the better choice. But if you want something which is fun to drive, and comfortable on all sorts of roads, then the Toyota Yaris is the better option. Although both the cars are pretty slow, even for their segment, the Yaris still does a decent job in the power delivery. On top of that, the Versa’s laggy touchscreen interface somewhat ruins the overall experience of an otherwise easy to use infotainment system. Hence, the overall pick is the Toyota Yaris.

 

  1. Compact Cars: Toyota

 

With a budget ranging from $19,000 to $26,000, you can either have the Toyota Corolla, or the Nissan Sentra. Although both the cars are pretty evenly matched, the Toyota Corolla takes the edge in the driving front with better driving dynamics than the Nissan Sentra. The Corolla also offers a better interior, along with more economical engines as well. The Nissan Sentra although offers a number of advanced safety features as standard, it is a bit disappointing in terms of the interior, and the infotainment system is not as engaging to use as most of its competitors. The performance from the engine and transmission in the Nissan Sentra is a bit of a disappointment as well. So the overall pick to the Toyota Corolla.

 

  1. Midsize Cars: Toyota

Representing Toyota, we have the Toyota Camry. And representing Nissan, we have the Nissan Altima, both of them ranging from around $24,000 to $35,000. Both these are very closely matched, but the Toyota Camry takes the overall victory due to the fact that it is more engaging and fun to drive out of the two. The Nissan Altima although provides a comfortable interior and a smooth ride, it is not as sporty as the Camry. Where the Toyota Camry has the edge in terms of the overall interior build quality and comfort, the Nissan Altima redeems itself in the tech features front. But the overall value for money proposition is better for the Toyota Camry, making it the better option in the midsize cars segment.

  1. Fullsize cars: Toyota

This is a pretty important segment, and both the companies have their own solid offerings. Taking the responsibility for Toyota is the Toyota Avalon, and the Nissan Maxima is the one representing Toyota in this segment. The Maxima used to be more popular than the Avalon among the consumers, but the Avalon made some huge increments in the popularity front, and that for some good reasons too. It has arguably a better interior along with a better overall infotainment system as well. It is also the more practical among the two, and it is the clear winner in terms of fuel economy as well. The Maxima is a bit dull to drive as well. Although it has a decently powerful engine, but it is not as engaging to drive as the Toyota Avalon. Hence the overall pick goes to the Toyota Avalon at the end of the day.

  1. Hybrid and electric vehicles: Toyota

This is the segment where there is little to no competition among the two automakers. Where the Toyota Prius made Toyota popular in the world with regards to eco-friendly mobility, the Japanese automaker stepped up the game even more with a huge selection of hybrid variants across the segment, starting from the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, to the Toyota Toyota Camry Hybrid, all the way up to the Toyota Avalon Hybrid as well. If you want an SUV, you can get it in hybrid as well. You have the choice among the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and the Toyota Venza as well. You get a hybrid for every budget and segment, which is pretty neat, to be honest.

Nissan on the other hand has only the Nissan Leaf on offer, which is although a decent car for its segment, the single-car cannot match the wide range of offerings from Toyota. That being said, Nissan is getting ready to launch a new car called the Nissan Ariya, which will be competing in the electric compact crossover SUV segment. But till then, Toyota is the clear winner in terms of hybrid and electric vehicles.

  1. Minivans: Toyota

 

Since Nissan does not offer minivans anymore, Toyota is the default winner here with the Toyota Sienna being the only choice. Although Nissan still sells the full-size NV passenger van in the market, they discontinued their business in the minivan segment back in 2017. That being said, the Toyota Sienna is a popular choice in the minivan market nonetheless. People like its competent engine, refined ride quality, and the available all-wheel system as well.

 

  1. Subcompact SUV: Nissan

Competing in the subcompact SUV segment, we have the popular Kicks from Nissan and the C-HR from Toyota. Although both are very closely matched just like most of the other comparisons, there are few things that make the Nissan Kicks the better choice, but by a slight margin nonetheless. In terms of driving dynamics and comfort, the Toyota CH-R is arguably the better choice. But the amount of available tech and luxury features in the Nissan Kicks, especially for its price, on top of being significantly more economical than the Toyota C-HR in the real world, makes it the logical pick among the two for most people.

 

  1. Compact SUV: Toyota

Competing in the compact SUV segment, we have the popular Rogue from Nissan and the RAV4 from Toyota. Among the two, the overall value for money SUV is the Toyota RAV4. It has marginally better driving dynamics than the Nissan Rogue, but it has a significant edge in terms of interior build quality and the quality of materials used. It has better tech features on top of being more practical, and significantly more economical than the Nissan Rogue. If we compare both the cars head to head, the Toyota RAV4 is the logical choice here.

 

  1. Midsize SUV: Toyota

A very hot segment in the market right now; representing Toyota, we have the Highlander, and from Nissan, we have the Murano. Out of the two, the Toyota is the better one to drive by a significant margin, has a better interior with better tech and better practicality as well. The Highlander is significantly more economical in the real world than the Nissan Murano which makes it the logical choice among the two. The Nissan Murano does have an intuitive infotainment system that is easy to use, but that’s about it. It does not provide any other good enough reason to get the pick over the Toyota Highlander.

  1. Full-size SUV: Nissan

In the full-size SUV segment, we have the Toyota Sequoia, and the Armada from Nissan. Although both the very closely matched competitors, the Nissan Armada has some tricks up its sleeves that make it the better choice between the two. The Armada has a strong engine with good power delivery, high-quality interior with comfortable seats. Both the SUVs have a dated infotainment system, but the Toyota Sequoia loses some point due to its overall dated tech features. Toyota loses even more points with regards to fuel economy, and low towing capacity compared to its competitors.

  1. Compact pickup trucks: Toyota

Competing in this category, we have the Tacoma from Toyota and the Frontier from Nissan. The Toyota Tacoma is the clear winner here, and that too by a significant margin. It is the better one in terms of driving dynamics. It has a significant edge over the Nissan Frontier in terms of available tech features and driving aids, has a better quality interior, and arguably better off-road as well. Moreover, you have the TRD off-road models for the Toyota Tacoma for an enhanced off-roading experience. Moreover, the disappointing towing and hauling capability of the Nissan Frontier does not add up to the whole point of this segment as well.

  1. Full-size pickup trucks: Nissan

Competing in this category, we have the Tundra from Toyota and the Titan from Nissan. In this category, the Nissan Titan has an edge over the Toyota Tundra. The Titan is the more comfortable one between the two, has a better-built interior, and the amount of available tech features and diving aids is significantly better than the Toyota as well. It is also more economical than the Toyota Tundra which makes it the logical choice between the two.

  1. Sportscars: Nissan

Although people might think that Toyota is the logical choice between the two when it comes to sports cars, due to the fact that we have the affordable Toyota 86, on top of the legendary Toyota Supra itself, but the fact that we have the legendary Godzilla itself, the Nissan GT-R, the GT-R itself is enough to make Nissan the clear winner in this category with its blistering performance which is right in the supercar territory for a fraction of the price. Yes, the price of GT-R has gone significantly up in recent years, but it still provides one of the best bang for your buck in terms of performance. That being said, if you want an affordable sports car from Nissan, you have the 350Z and the 370Z, both of which are seriously fun to drive as well.

Verdict:

The verdict is actually pretty clear by itself. Almost 90% of the available categories in the market are dominated by Toyota, and there is a common trend in it as well, and the trend is a bit surprising, to be honest. Although Nissan has the expertise to develop some of the fastest and fun to drive cars in the market, which is clearly represented by the Nissan GT-R, the 350Z, and the 370Z as well; most of the consumer cars that are more engaging and fun to drive are from Toyota. It is not that the consumer cars from Nissan are dull to drive, but it is that they don’t match the level of dynamism provided by the cars from Toyota. Moreover, Toyota has a significant edge when it comes to eco-friendly mobility with its wide selection of available hybrid variants of their regular car in every budget and range.

 



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