2022 Nissan Sentra

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2022 Nissan Sentra Review: Even More Attractive

It's relatively brave to launch a humble sedan in a crossover-obsessed world, and yet Nissan went ahead and did it anyway. In a world where most manufacturers are slowly suffocating the most traditional body styles, the Nissan Sentra doubles down to be one of the most striking and most comfortable sedans in this segment. And it has a starting price of less than $20,000.

Despite being released as a 2020 car, the Sentra has received regular updates since then. More importantly, the fundamentals are right - the Sentra is refined, it's packed with some safety features that you won't find on far more expensive cars, and it is one of the more attractive compact sedans. Partially because of its low price, you'll find a more premium interior in the Mazda 3 and the new Honda Civic is a lot more enjoyable to drive, but the Sentra is a smart purchase for those on a tight budget.

Read in this review:

2022 Nissan Sentra Sedan Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 Nissan Sentra Sedan?

Now entering its third model year since a complete redesign, the Nissan Sentra gains one new package and one new trim. The SR Midnight Edition introduces black 18-inch wheels and black exterior trim; it's otherwise based on last year's SR trim. For the SV trim, customers can now specify the All-Weather Package which comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote engine start.

Pros and Cons

  • Low starting price
  • Frugal powertrain
  • It's refined
  • Nissan's Safety Shield is standard on all models
  • Handsome exterior
  • It's not quick
  • Warranty not as good as rivals
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • No turbocharged engine available
  • It still has a whiff of that rental car image

Best Deals on 2022 Nissan Sentra

2022 Nissan Sentra Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,810
SV
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,870
SR Midnight Edition
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,100
SR
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,400

Sentra Exterior

To fully understand what a giant leap forward the eighth-generation Nissan Sentra is, you need to look at the seventh-generation. It was rather nondescript. You only bought it for one reason: the Nissan dealership was the closest car shop to your home, and you couldn't be bothered to go any further. You drove it into the ground and then got another one.

The latest model is something completely different. It has an angular, elegant front fascia, a swoopy side profile, and a rear end that's basic but somehow also manages to be attractive. It's not the kind of car you buy because you live within walking distance of Nissan. It's a handsome car that you'd drive across town for.

We like the V-motion grille, daytime running lights, floating roof, and the available thin reflector LED headlights on the SR. This is the only model to get LED daytime running lights and LED fog lights. The S makes do with 16-inch steel wheels with covers but the SV gets 16-inch alloys and the top-spec SR comes with 18-inch alloys. Lower body side sill extensions and a rear spoiler are further SR additions, but both it and the SV can be had with a power sliding glass moonroof. Finally, the new SR Midnight Edition has black 18-inch wheels and a blacked-out exterior with a dark grille, spoiler, and rear diffuser.

2022 Nissan Sentra Front Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Side View Nissan
See All 2022 Nissan Sentra Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Sentra is classified as a compact sedan but its dimensions are those of a rather large car. It has a total length of 182.7 inches and a 106.6-inch wheelbase. It has a width of 71.5 inches and is 56.9 inches tall (57 inches for the SR). Nissan should be applauded for keeping the weight as low as possible. The base model weighs in at 3,036 pounds, while the top-spec SR weighs 3,084 lbs.

  • Length 182.7 in
  • Wheelbase 106.8 in
  • Height 57.0 in
  • Max Width 71.5 in
  • Front Width 62.4 in
  • Rear Width 62.4 in
  • Curb Weight 3,084.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

Nissan has a lovely color palette for the Sentra, but the exciting colors are only unlocked higher up the range. The base S model has four no-cost options available, including Super Black, Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, and Fresh Powder. The SV adds several more color options, including Rosewood Metallic, Electric Blue Metallic, Aspen White TriCoat, and Scarlet Ember Tintcoat. The first two are no-cost options, but the last two cost an additional $395. The SR has the best color options. In addition to most of the colors mentioned above, it has a few two-tone options. The Electric Blue Metallic/Super Black and Gun Metallic/Super Black options cost $250, while the Monarch Orange/Super Black and Aspen White TriCoat/Super Black options cost $645. With the SR's optional Midnight Edition Package, the color palette is limited to Super Black, Gun Metallic/Super Black, and Aspen White TriCoat/Super Black.

  • Electric Blue Metallic
  • Rosewood Metallic
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Fresh Powder
  • Aspen White Tricoat
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat
  • Gun Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Scarlet Ember Tintcoat
  • Gun Metallic/Super Black
  • Aspen White/Super Black
  • Monarch Orange/Super Black
  • Electric Blue/Super Black
  • Black Obsidian
See all 21 colors

Sentra Performance

The Sentra is only sporty in appearance. Instead of fitting a small capacity turbocharged engine, Nissan went the old-school route with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-pot supplying just 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. To be honest, it fits the relaxed nature of the car. It has enough power to get around town, but it struggles a bit on the highway when fully loaded with passengers. During the week, when you're driving alone, you won't feel it as much, but add the family over the weekend, and you'll feel the strain. Nissan hasn't supplied any performance or top speed figures, probably because they're weak, but mostly because they don't matter. The Sentra is frugal rather than furious. Independent test results have shown the 0 to 60 mph sprint takes somewhere in the nine- to ten-second region. That's by no means fast, but it's a little quicker than the previous-generation base model was.

2022 Nissan Sentra Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Wheel CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

A naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine powers the Nissan Sentra. It has outputs of 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission option is Nissan's Xtronic CVT transmission, and it sends power to the front wheels only. Driving enthusiasts won't be thrilled, but Nissan's CVT is one of the better ones out there. The engine has also been tuned for low-down torque, and it has a linear power band, both of which work perfectly with a CVT transmission. It removes most of that droning noise and the feeling of a clutch slipping, as has traditionally been the case with CVT gearboxes. There is a sport mode for a bit more zest, but it's still nowhere near brisk. The engine and gearbox work together nicely. It feels a lot like a traditional automatic, which is the highest praise you can give a CVT.

  • Engine
    2.0L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The previous-generation Sentra was a dud, so Nissan started from scratch on a whole new platform. As part of the process, Nissan added independent rear suspension in a segment where most of its rivals are equipped with a torsion beam setup. The latter may be cheaper, but by including an independent design, Nissan has moved the Sentra to the front of the line when it comes to handling.

The electric power steering is sharper but not as quick as the Honda Civic. For what is essentially a family sedan, Nissan added some exciting tech to improve handling. It has a system called Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside wheel to make the car turn in sharper. That's usually the kind of system you find in sporty vehicles, and it bodes well for the inevitable performance model.

The suspension is tuned for comfort more than anything else, and it feels amazing on the smooth highway. The SR's 18-inch alloys look fantastic, but they have a negative impact on the Sentra's otherwise refined ride quality.

Sentra Gas Mileage

To get good mileage figures, most manufacturers rely on turbocharging. Nissan's EPA figures prove that there are other ways to decrease consumption. The Sentra has a few tricks up its sleeve. It has a CVT gearbox, a relatively low curb weight, and an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.27 Cd. The result is an EPA estimate of 29/39/33 mpg city/highway/combined. The SR model is only marginally less frugal, with estimates of 28/37/32 mpg. The 12.4-gallon tank grants it a maximum range of 409 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 28/37 mpg
* 2022 Nissan Sentra SR Midnight Edition CVT

Sentra Interior

The Sentra's interior is a lovely place to spend time. It looks and feels good, even though there is some cheap plastic here and there. The interior looks like it was designed to be elegant, rather than merely slapping the features wherever they'd fit. The beautiful, centrally mounted triple air vents are a good example. There's no need for air vents to look that good, but it goes a long way towards making the cabin feel special. The standard features include a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, auto-locking doors, remote keyless entry with push-button start, and manual air conditioning. The SV adds intelligent cruise control while dual-zone climate control and remote start are also standard on the SR.

2022 Nissan Sentra Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Gear Shifter CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Climate Control CarBuzz
See All 2022 Nissan Sentra Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Sentra has a cavernous interior. The only niggle - and we're reaching to find something wrong - is the low roofline. Even so, the Sentra's headroom is 38.9 inches in the front and 36.7 inches in the rear. The optional moonroof lowers front headroom to 37.5 inches in front. Legroom for the front passengers is 44 inches, while passengers in the back get 34.7 inches. The hip room is 53.5 inches in the front and 53.3 inches in the rear. You'll have no problem fitting three adults in the back. Nissan's Zero Gravity seats are a unique selling point. They are supremely comfortable and easily the best seats you'll find in this category.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 44.0 in
  • Front Head Room 38.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.7 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The Sentra has numerous materials and inserts that elevate it above its rental car roots. It feels solidly screwed together and adequately refined considering how much it costs. As standard, the Sentra comes with cloth seats, but you get a higher quality cloth once you upgrade to SV and SR specification. One optional box worth ticking is the premium quilted leather, available in the SV. The SR comes standard with sporty Charcoal cloth seats with orange stitching, as well as satin-chrome accents. Prima-Tex leatherette, also in Charcoal, is an optional extra in the SR trim, but it requires the addition of the $2,470 Premium Package. The S has a urethane-trimmed steering wheel but the upper two trims have a nicer leather steering wheel.

Sentra Trunk and Cargo Space

As trunk space is one of the main selling points in this segment, it's nice to see Nissan claiming 14.3 cubic feet. It's not the largest, but nor is it the smallest. By comparison, the new Honda Civic has a 14.8-cubic-foot trunk.

The Sentra's space is still large enough to swallow five carry-on bags, so it should have no problem with the school run or grocery shopping. The trunk opens wide, and it has a low liftover, making loading and unloading easy. It can also transport the occasional oversized item, thanks to 60/40-split rear seats that fold down nicely.

The cabin has storage spaces in the front armrest, glove compartment, and a small indent in front of the shifter. SV and SR models have standard seatback pockets and a rear armrest with two cupholders.

2022 Nissan Sentra Front Seats CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2022 Nissan Sentra Trunk Space CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    14.3 ft³

Sentra Infotainment and Features

Features

On the outside, the Sentra is equipped with high-beam assist headlights, and from SV trim upwards, you can add a moonroof. Inside, all models get cruise control, power windows, and keyless entry with a push-button start. The entry-level S has manual air conditioning with an in-cabin microfilter, upgraded to dual-zone automatic climate control in the SV and SR. You gain access to more optional extras from the SV upwards, such as power-adjustable and heated seats. The SV also gets standard intelligent cruise control and remote engine start. At the same time, the SR trim allows you to opt for a surround-view camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Sentra doesn't skimp on the safety kit, either. As standard across the range, you get Nissan's Safety Shield 360 package, consisting of front and rear emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Infotainment

The base S model is equipped with a seven-inch color touchscreen display mounted above the triple air vents. Previously, the base model did not have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, but it is now included. The other interior upgrade includes NissanConnect Services with a Wi-Fi hotspot, available in SR trim. The SV and SR get a bigger eight-inch touchscreen interface with full smartphone integration. Standard infotainment features across the range include Bluetooth streaming, a USB port, an aux input, and a hands-free text messaging assistant. The base car comes with four speakers, while the SV and SR have six speakers. If sound quality matters to you, an eight-speaker Bose sound system is available on the SR model.

The system is easy to operate, but glare can be a problem. You can turn up the brightness, but the screen can occasionally be nearly unreadable. Navigation is not available, but with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being standard, it's not a problem.

Sentra Problems and Reliability

The 2022 Nissan Sentra received 86 out of a possible 100 points in the J.D. Power Survey. It received a great rating in the quality and reliability, resale, and dealership experience categories. It scored 94 out of 100 in the driving experience category, which is notable for a car at this price point.

For the 2020 and 2021 Sentras, there was one recall for tie rods that may be bent. Otherwise, there are no other issues to report and the 2022 model is recall-free at the time of writing. A new Nissan Sentra includes a basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Nissan Sentra Safety Ratings

Now that it has been on sale for well over a year, both the IIHS and NHTSA have had the opportunity to do safety reviews of the Nissan Sentra. The IIHS was impressed with the Sentra, giving it a Top Safety Pick award for 2022, while the NHTSA gave it five out of five stars. However, the Top Safety Pick award only applies to Sentras equipped withLED projector headlights.

There is no doubt you're getting a safe car with these excellent ratings for the Nissan Sentra. But, that's what happens when you make a comprehensive safety system like Nissan's Safety Shield 360 standard across the entire range, and not just on high-end models.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

Nissan deserves praise for making its Safety Shield 360 driver assistance package standard across the whole range. This package includes automatic front and rear braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring, intelligent driver assist, and lane departure assist. Nissan also covers the basics with ABS, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, and traction control. The Sentra has a total of ten airbags, including dual front knee bags. This kind of safety kit is often only optional on cars costing much more than the Sentra.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Nissan Sentra a good car?

The previous Nissan Sentra was a forgettable car. If you had to run through a list of options available in that segment, there's a good chance that it would not be included. Nissan knew the new Sentra needed to pack a more powerful punch with this model. Not only is it competing against some serious rivals, but it also faces tough competition from the crossover crowd in the USA.

Nissan overcompensated with the all-new model. Not only does it make the list, but it's somewhere near the top. It looks good, it drives well, the interior is modern and comfortable, and the standard safety specification is more than generous. The engine and gearbox won't satisfy a driving enthusiast, but the power is perfectly adequate, and the fuel economy is impressive.

The unique selling point is safety. Some rivals costing much more than the Sentra still expect you to pay extra for some of the features included with the standard Safety Shield 360.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Nissan Sentra?

Nissan's pricing strategy is quite aggressive on two fronts. First, there's the base model with all of the driver assistance safety kit, retailing for just $19,610 MSRP. Secondly, it doesn't cost a lot to upgrade from one specification level to the next one in line. The Sentra SV is just $1,060 more than the S at $20,670. Upgrading to the SR-spec Nissan Sentra will cost an extra $1,530, retailing at $22,200. Finally, the new SR Midnight Edition costs $22,895. The base price of the Nissan Sentra excludes the $1,025 charge for destination and delivery in the US.

2022 Nissan Sentra Models

There are four Nissan Sentra models for 2022: S, SV, SR, and the new SR Midnight Edition. All three are powered by the same 2.0-liter four-pot, mated to a CVT transmission. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels.

The base S model is equipped with halogen headlights with intelligent auto and high beam assist. On the inside, it has cloth seats, a seven-inch touchscreen display with full smartphone integration, a four-speaker sound system, speed-sensitive volume control, Bluetooth streaming, a single USB port, and an aux input. The base model is also equipped with the full Safety Shield 360 driver assistance package. This comprises automatic front and rear braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring, intelligent driver assist, and lane departure assist.

SV models are equipped with nice 16-inch alloy wheels in place of the base model's steel items. The SV's interior is nicer thanks to higher quality cloth, a passenger seatback pocket, optional leather seats, and optional dual-zone climate control. It also has a bigger eight-inch color touchscreen with a six-speaker sound system, as well as an additional USB port, intelligent cruise control, and can be equipped with remote engine start.

The SR looks the sporty part thanks to a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, a dark chrome V-motion grille, and side mirrors with black caps. This model also comes with LED daytime running lights and LED fog lights. Interior-wise, the gets sporty cloth seats with contrast orange stitching. An eight-speaker Bose sound system is available as an optional extra in the SR.

Based on the SR, the SR Midnight Edition adds black 18-inch wheels and various black trimmings to the exterior like the V-motion grille, rear spoiler and diffuser, and exterior badging.

See All 2022 Nissan Sentra Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

This year, Nissan has added a new package to the Sentra lineup. The first is the SV All-Weather Package at $590 for the SV which adds dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote engine start.

The SV's $1,860 Premium Package adds a decent helping of elegance, as it includes quilted leather seats, heated front seats, a power moonroof, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar. The Premium Package for the SR trim goes for $2,470. Instead of leather seats, it comes with Prima-Tex seats with orange stitching, heated front seats and steering wheel, thin projector LED headlights, a power moonroof, an intelligent surround-view monitor, and an eight-speaker Bose premium sound system, to name just a few.

πŸš—What Nissan Sentra Model Should I Buy?

The same 2.0-liter engine powers all four models, so performance doesn't change at all. All three have the same cavernous interior and a spacious trunk, too, and every model comes with the impressive list of safety features as standard.

If budget is a concern, go for the entry-level S. It ticks all the right boxes for personal and family transport. If you can stretch the budget a bit, go for the SV and add the optional Premium Package. Unfortunately, the upgraded Bose sound system is only available in the SR.

Still, the SV's Premium Package adds those sumptuous quilted leather seats with heating for the front passengers, a power moonroof, and a six-way power adjustment for the driver's seat. It's a lot of car for not much money.

2022 Nissan Sentra Comparisons

Nissan Versa Sedan CarBuzz
Nissan Altima CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Sentra149 hp28/37 mpg$19,810
Nissan Versa Sedan 122 hp32/40 mpg$15,380
Nissan Altima 188 hp28/39 mpg$24,900

2022 Nissan Sentra vs Nissan Versa Sedan

The Nissan Versa is also quite new and is a cheaper alternative to the Sentra. It's only available with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine developing 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, but Nissan gives you the option between a five-speed manual and CVT transmission.

The new Versa has gone through the same meticulous update as the Sentra, and it also has a nice interior, though not as nice as the Sentra. The more traditional boxy shape does give it more headroom, though, and it has a slightly larger trunk. That's worth keeping in mind if these things are at the top of your must-have list.

In terms of performance, the Versa isn't as effortless as the Sentra. You have to work it more to make the same sort of progress. A top-spec Versa retails for $18,590, which is just $1,020 less than the entry-level Sentra. Given the Sentra's looks, safety specification, and the new addition of full smartphone integration, we'd still be happy to pay the extra grand.

See Nissan Versa Sedan Review

2022 Nissan Sentra vs Nissan Altima

The Sentra's other main rival also comes from under the same roof; that's how few sedans are left on the market. The Altima is slightly bigger in every direction and offers even more passenger and cargo space. It also has a more powerful 2.5-liter four-pot engine as standard, or a turbocharged four-pot with 236 hp and 267 lb-ft, if you're willing to pay extra. The difference in power is definitely noticeable and worth the money. The Altima is also equipped with Nissan's Safety Shield 360 as standard across the range, but there's a $5,000 difference in base-model price. Between the two, we'd choose a Sentra SV or SR and add the Premium Package. This gives you everything you could need in a compact four-door sedan.

See Nissan Altima Review

Nissan Sentra Popular Comparisons

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