Honestly, Nissan did a great job with the Altima.
From the given specs, MPG difference is actually +9/+13(city/hwy) for the Altima. Lately Nissan has been given praise for making their car's interior more Infinity-ish, which is a good thing. Also, Nissan has a pretty good track record as far as reliability goes.
As far as "drive", the Altima is going to be similar to the Accord so if you haven't ran into issues with the Accord up there; I don't think the Altima will cause any issues.
I don't know what your requirements are but I'd personally choose the Altima. I'd go for the Legacy if you absolutely need it(climbing hills/mountains in incliment weather, rough/slippery terrain, and/or need more "passing"/climbing power). For those needs, the Outback is probably more justifiable which may explain the difference in sales figure between the Outback and the Legacy(2-3x more Outback sales than Legacy's).
Last edited by K2e2vin; 11-24-2012 at 07:09 AM..