2019 Nissan Sentra

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2019 Nissan Sentra Review

The Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan, but don't let its smaller size fool you; it's surprisingly spacious on the inside. With a reputation for reliability, an award for safety from the IIHS in 2018, and a competitive price tag starting at $17,790, this little car is still selling well. But that's where the Sentra's strength peaks, and it's all downhill from there. Although well-designed, the Sentra is simply not as stylish as its competitors. Coupled with its slightly dated infotainment and driver safety features, this sedan just doesn't stand out. With the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission producing a measly 124 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, the Sentra struggles to deliver comparable performance to rivals like the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 5 /10
  • Performance 5 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 6 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 6 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 6 /10
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2019 Nissan Sentra Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Sentra?

Being the seventh generation of the original Sentra introduced in 2013, the 2019 model is getting a bit dated. It needs a complete overhaul to properly compete with its competitors. Luckily, one is planned for 2020. For now, the Sentra adds a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display to all models, while the NissanConnect infotainment system has been added to the SR and SL trims. The new Special Edition package for the SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as driver safety and luxury features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available on all but the base S trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Spacious interior
  • Very large trunk
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all but the base trim
  • Turbocharged engine available on upper trim levels
  • Comfortable driving experience around town
  • Slow acceleration and passing power
  • Poorer driving experience than most rivals
  • Style is a bit dated, both inside and out
  • Lacks modern infotainment and safety systems
  • Upper trims are expensive for the relative improvement in features
  • Dull and uninspiring

Best Deals on 2019 Nissan Sentra

2019 Nissan Sentra Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$17,990
SV
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,290
SR
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,790
SR Turbo
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,770
SL
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,220
See All 2019 Nissan Sentra Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Nissan Sentra provides the minimum requirements for town driving, but that's about all. Its acceleration is OK, its brakes are OK, and its handling is… you guessed it, OK. It will get you from A to B, but don't expect to have a lot of fun getting there. On the other hand, it won't be unpleasant either.

The Sentra handles adequately at both low and high speeds, although feedback from the steering is limited and the weaker 1.8-liter engine runs loud when pressed. Class-leading competitors perform significantly better. Although the compact sedan is a bit on the soft side, it handles body roll quite well. It does handle windy conditions worse than rivals though. The SR Turbo handles better thanks to stiffer springs, but even they can't match top contenders in the segment.

The brakes are equally middling. While the pedal functions just fine, it can feel soft and unresponsive. The suspension also follows the trend of mediocrity, handling minor abrasions well but failing to stop larger ones from jarring the cabin. While the Sentra is a quiet and comfortable sedan when driven with care at regular speeds, so are all its competitors. And they allow for a bit more adventurous driving without sacrificing these qualities.

Think of the Sentra as an appliance, an A-to-B commuter with a job to do, much like a tumble dryer, but at least the tumble dryer leaves something feeling warm and fuzzy when it's done.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Nissan Sentra A Good car?

The Nissan Sentra certainly has some good selling points. It has excellent cargo capacity, which complements its appeal as a reliable day-to-day vehicle. It is also spacious inside, comfortably seating four people of almost any size. But these high points are undermined by almost every other aspect of the vehicle. Although the cabin is spacious, the seats are not overly comfortable, which is only made worse by the car's performance.

It handles well at average speeds, but go any faster and the ride becomes choppy. The tires and engine produce an unwelcome amount of noise that the cabin fails to deaden. The suspension also can't handle more than minor abrasions without jarring the cabin.

The majority of rivals, such as the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, have better all-round performance that doesn't compromise on comfort. They also offer more than the bare minimum of safety and infotainment features that come with the Sentra. All this they manage to do this while looking better, inside and out, with stylish modern designs that the older Sentra lacks.

The low starting price of the Sentra may make it seem like a good buy, but when you consider that you need to go up a few trim levels just to start competing with the performance and features that rivals offer, the cost starts looking a lot less appealing.

Check out other Nissan Sentra Styles

2019 Nissan Sentra Comparisons

Nissan Altima Nissan
Nissan Versa Sedan Nissan

2019 Nissan Sentra vs Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima has been an unremarkable model for many years, not managing to stand out from its competitors. However, it has been fully redesigned for 2019, with sleeker lines and a suite of modern driver-assistance features. Like the Sentra, the Altima offers a choice between two engines. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine produces an impressive 248 hp and 280 lb-ft, allowing the midsize vehicle to offer a lively driving experience. The addition of four-wheel drive also gives it better handling than the Sentra. The spacious interior and quality materials set it a step above the Sentra. While the $24,000 starting price tag is quite a bit higher than the base Sentra, the Altima makes good use of the investment with state-of-the-art tech, a larger eight-inch infotainment display, four USB ports, and smartphone integration as standard. Overall, the Altima is a better buy than the Sentra when you compare it to the SV or SR, which have similar prices but far fewer features.

See Nissan Altima Review

2019 Nissan Sentra vs Nissan Versa Sedan

Being a subcompact, the Nissan Versa has a lower price than the Sentra. Even so, the starting price tag of $12,460 makes it one of the cheapest options in the segment. You might not get much in the way of features for this price, with no smartphone integration and only minimal safety and comfort features, but if all you're looking for is an economical vehicle, it's a great choice. Although not designed with quality materials, the cabin's interior is spacious and the large trunk complements it. You can opt to upgrade to the Versa SV, but you won't be doing yourself any favors as fuel economy is all it has going for it at this price level. The Sentra has more features and more modern design for the same price, and while the base engine on the Versa is stronger than the Sentra's, the latter's turbocharged engine flips the tables. If you need a reliable car in a hurry and don't care about all the little add-ons, the Versa is a good pick.

See Nissan Versa Sedan Review

2019 Nissan Sentra vs Toyota Corolla Sedan

The Toyota Corolla falls into the same class as the Sentra and has a similar price tag, at $18,700. The Corolla is a bit dated for the segment, but the Sentra hasn't been making many improvements either. Neither car is particularly fun to drive, but the Sentra has the optional turbocharged engine that offers a bit more power. The Corolla has a more spacious cabin and very comfortable seats, while the Sentra has a larger trunk and better fuel economy. Even though the Toyota has a better infotainment setup, it only offers smartphone integration on its much higher trim levels. It's a case of picking the best of an incredibly insipid pair of cars, and if you're going to buy an appliance, it may as well be the Corolla.

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