Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.02 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Malibu Hybrid has larger tires than the Altima (225/55R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Malibu Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Malibu Hybrid has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Altima S.


As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Malibu Hybrid is quieter than the Altima Platinum:



At idle

38 dB

40 dB


75 dB

79 dB

Passenger Space

The Malibu Hybrid has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Altima (102.9 vs. 100.8).

The Malibu Hybrid has .3 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.


The Malibu Hybrid has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Altima has no towing capacity.


The Malibu Hybrid’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Altima does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Malibu Hybrid and the Altima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Malibu Hybrid 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 Malibu Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Altima’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Altima SV/SL/Platinum’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

Consumer Reports rated the Malibu Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Altima’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Malibu Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan charges extra for heated mirrors on the Altima.

The Malibu Hybrid has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Altima SV/SL/Platinum.

Both the Malibu Hybrid and the Altima offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Malibu Hybrid has standard 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

Insurance will cost less for the Malibu Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Malibu Hybrid will cost $270 to $1910 less than the Altima over a five-year period.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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