Altima, Passat Beat Camry in Tougher Crash Test

The 2013 Nissan Altima began production in Smyrna earlier this year, 20 years after the first Altima rolled off the line. Photo courtesy Nissan

The 2013 Nissan Altima began production in Smyrna earlier this year, 20 years after the first Altima rolled off the line. Photo courtesy Nissan

The Tennessee-made Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat have both received the highest crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Not appearing on the closely-watched list is the top-selling Toyota Camry, which performed poorly in a new part of the test.

The “small overlap front crash” is meant to show how a car would hold up if it hit a tree or telephone pole, but not squarely in the middle of the bumper.

Nissan’s director of product safety Bob Yakushi says this kind of crash has been a focus for the company’s design team.

“The all-new Altima, it was engineered specifically for this type of offset crash since this was a new mode IIHS was looking at.”

Nissan believes its Altima, which is assembled in Smyrna, now gains a competitive edge on the Camry. So does VW, which makes the Passat in Chattanooga. Both automakers have stated goals to take down the Camry as the best-selling sedan in the country.


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