A stylish and roomy compact sedan.
From commuting and running errands to taking road trips, the Nissan Sentra is a spacious compact sedan that provides a comfortable ride. With the Sentra's adult-friendly legroom, taller passengers won't mind sitting in the rear row. Eighth-generation models (2020-2021) also include a standard 60/40 split back seat to transport larger cargo, from luggage to snowboards. For a small sedan, the Nissan Sentra packs a big punch.
Here's what you'll learn in this 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra review:
5 Reasons to Buy
1. Exceptional Interior Space
The five-passenger Nissan Sentra may be a compact car, but its interior is surprisingly roomy. 2018-2019 models feature 37.4 inches of rear-seat legroom, which is plenty of stretch-out space for adults or taller teens. All 2020-2021 models also include a 60/40 split rear seat that can fold to fit long items, like skis or golf clubs. Cargo capacity in the Sentra is equally generous, with 14.3 cubic feet of volume in 2020-2021 models and 15.1 cubic feet in 2018-2019 models. You'll love the versatility of this compact car.
2. Range of Trim Options
The Nissan Sentra offers a range of trim levels that span from practical to premium to sporty. 2018-2019 models are available in four trims (S, SV, SR, and SL), with features like Bluetooth® connectivity on the base trim, push-button ignition and a leather-wrapped steering wheel on SV and higher trims, and 17-inch alloy wheels on the SR and SL. There are also SR Turbo and NISMO® versions of the 2018-2019 Sentra, which boast sport-tuned suspension and turbocharged four-cylinder engine options. Nissan streamlined 2020-2021 trims to include the S, SV, and SR. The base model is equipped with a blind-spot monitoring system and a seven-inch touchscreen, while the sporty SR includes a surround-view monitor and flashy 18-inch wheels.
3. Attractive Styling
Both the interior and exterior styling of the Nissan Sentra are eye-catching. Aggressive lines and gentle curves on the 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra's body combine in perfect harmony, resulting in an attractive design. The sedan's interior is impressive as well, including piano black trim on the SV and SL and sport interior trim on the SR and SR Turbo. The 2020-2021 Sentra also offers tan quilted leather upholstery as part of the SV Premium Package, which imparts a high-end aesthetic.
4. Comfortable Ride
A strong suit of the Nissan Sentra is its exceptional ride comfort. 2018-2021 models feel composed whether driving through the city or on the highway. You'll glide over road imperfections, bumps, and ruts in the Sentra, enjoying a nicely cushioned on-road experience. The cabin is quiet as well, with minimal road noise. Plus, the seats are plush and comfortable for longer trips.
5. Plentiful Tech
The Nissan Sentra is a compact car, but it's big on technology. All 2018-2021 models come standard with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming connectivity, plus USB charging for devices. Information is displayed on a seven-inch touchscreen monitor in the 2019-2021 Sentra S; SV and higher trims have an eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility are standard on 2019-2020 SV and higher trims and on all 2021 models. Eighth generation Sentras (2020 and newer) add extra standard features, including blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency front and rear braking.
The Nissan Sentra has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra with FWD, 1.8L engine, and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined.1
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra with FWD, 1.8L engine, and manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined.1
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra with FWD, 1.6L engine, and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined.1
The 2018 Nissan Sentra with FWD, 1.6L engine, and manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.1
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra NISMO with FWD, 1.6L engine, and manual or automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg combined.1
The 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra with FWD, 2.0L engine, and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined.1
The 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra SR with FWD, 2.0L engine, and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined.1
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra comes standard with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine.
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo and NISMO models include a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine.
The 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra uses a 2.0L four-cylinder engine.
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra has 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
The 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra has 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
The 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra comes standard with five-passenger seating.
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming connectivity
Seven-inch touchscreen display (2019-2021)
Lane departure warning (2020-2021)
2018-2019 Nissan Sentra
S: Includes 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, halogen headlights, dual power outside mirrors, six-way manual driver's seat, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.
SV: Adds 16-inch alloy wheels, push-button ignition, premium cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic emergency braking, and more.
SR: Adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED low-beam projector headlights with LED accents, chrome exhaust finisher, dual power heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, cloth-upholstered sport seats, and more.
SR Turbo: Adds Xtronic CVT® with manual shift mode, tuned suspension and steering, power sliding glass moonroof, center room LED dim light, sport interior trim, and more.
SL: Adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, six-way power driver's seat with two-way power lumbar, leather upholstery, Bose® premium sound system with eight speakers, and more.
NISMO: Adds NISMO-tuned suspension, 18-inch NISMO alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, NISMO aerodynamic body kit, NISMO front sport seats, and more.
2020-2021 Nissan Sentra
S: Includes 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, air conditioning, cruise control, seven-inch touchscreen display, cloth upholstery, and more.
SV: Adds 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic temperature control, intelligent cruise control, premium cloth upholstery, eight-inch touchscreen display, and more.
SL: Adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED signature daytime running lights, chrome exhaust finisher, rear spoiler, sport cloth upholstery with contrast stitching, and more.
Deep Blue Pearl
Electric Blue (2020-2021)
Two-tone Aspen White and Super Black (2020-2021)
Two-tone Electric Blue and Super Black (2021)
Two-tone Gun Metallic and Super Black (2020-2021)
Two-tone Monarch and Super Black (2020-2021)
Black/Red (2018-2019 NISMO models)
The 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra is a compact car with seating for five passengers. All 2020-2021 models feature a 60/40 split rear seat to help you pack long items, like skis. Cargo capacity in the Sentra is generous, with 14.3 cubic feet of volume in 2020-2021 models and 15.1 cubic feet in 2018-2019 models. Cloth upholstery comes standard on 2018-2021 Sentra models, but leather upholstery is included in the 2018-2019 SL and is available in the 2020-2021 SL.
Child Seat Details
The 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra offers seating for five and features two exposed lower latch anchors on the outboard rear seats and three easy-to-use top tether anchors on the rear shelf. This model can fit two car seats in the second row, including LATCH car seats, infant car seats, rear-facing convertible car seats, forward-facing convertible car seats, and booster car seats.
The 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra measures 182.1 inches long by 69.3 inches wide by 58.9 inches high.
The 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra measures 182.7 inches long by 71.5 inches wide by 56.9 inches high.
RepairPal gave the Nissan Sentra an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as above average.2
Cost: RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Nissan Sentra is $491, compared to an average of $526 for compact cars and $652 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.
Frequency: According to RepairPal, Nissan Sentra owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.2 times per year, compared to an average of 0.3 times for compact cars and 0.4 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.
Severity: RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 12% for the Nissan Sentra, compared to an average of 11% for compact cars and 12% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.
RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010-2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.
The Nissan Sentra received an overall 4/5 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.
Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.
Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.
When new, the 2018-2021 Nissan Sentra included 3-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) basic coverage and 5-year/60,000-mile (whichever occurs first) powertrain coverage. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. See Warranty Information Booklet for complete details. The balance of this warranty may apply on some vehicles.
The eight-generation 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra features a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque that can go from zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new). Seventh-generation 2018-2019 models come standard with a 124-hp 1.8L four-cylinder engine or an available 188-hp turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder. When equipped with the turbo 1.6L and manual transmission, the 2018 Sentra achieves a zero-to-60 mph time of 7 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new). The model with the highest estimated EPA figures is the 2020-2021 Sentra with FWD, 2.0L engine, and automatic transmission—it gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined.1
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2018 Nissan Sentra's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 279 grams per mile (1.8L and automatic transmission models).
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2019 Nissan Sentra's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 278 grams per mile (1.8L and manual transmission models).
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2018 Nissan Sentra's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 318 grams per mile (1.6L and manual transmission models).
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 307 grams per mile (1.6L and automatic transmission models).
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra NISMO's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 330 grams per mile.
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2020-2021 Nissan Sentra's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 268 grams per mile.
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2020 Nissan Sentra SR's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 280 grams per mile (automatic transmission models).
According to EPA estimates, the FWD 2021 Nissan Sentra SR's tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 283 grams per mile (automatic transmission models).
These estimates are based on a brand-new model. Visit fueleconomy.gov for more details.
2013-2019 Nissan Sentra (Seventh Generation)
Introduced in 2013, the seventh-generation Sentra was built using Nissan's V platform and featured a redesigned interior and exterior for a modern look. Seventh-generation trims include S, SV, and SR, with the SR Turbo and NISMO joining the lineup in 2017. The 2013-2019 Sentra comes standard with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine, while the SR Turbo and NISMO use a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder. In 2014, the Sentra's steering and suspension systems were retuned for a smoother ride and stronger handling. 2015 models added new exterior colors, and the 2016 Sentra got a facelift to resemble the Nissan Maxima and Altima.
2020-Present Nissan Sentra (Eighth Generation)
The eighth-generation Nissan Sentra was unveiled in 2020 with a new base engine featuring more power. 2020 and newer models are anchored by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. The compact car also received a sleeker exterior design and a classier cabin, with a larger eight-inch touchscreen display on SV and higher trims. The eighth-generation Sentra boasts more advanced driver aids, including standard forward and rear collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
See below for average CarMax prices for various model years of the Nissan Sentra.3
2013 - Average prices less than $11,5003
2014 - Average prices less than $11,5003
2015 - Average prices less than $12,5003
2016 - Average prices less than $13,5003
2017 - Average prices less than $14,5003
2018 - Average prices less than $15,5003
2019 - Average prices less than $16,0003
2020 - Average prices less than $20,0003
2021 - Average prices less than $20,0003
2018-2021 Nissan Sentra FAQ
Q: Are Nissan Sentras good cars?
A: The Nissan Sentra is a good car for those who value simplicity and making fewer stops at the pump. With an average price of less than $20,000, the 2021 Sentra is a sensible choice.2 2020-2021 models with FWD, 2.0L engine, and automatic transmission achieve an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined.1
Q: Is a 2018 Nissan Sentra reliable?
A: The 2018 Nissan Sentra has above-average reliability. RepairPal gave the compact car an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Q: Does the 2021 Sentra have a sunroof?
A: The 2021 Nissan Sentra features an available power sliding glass moonroof when equipped with the SV Premium Package or the SR Premium Package.
The 2019-2021 Kia Forte is a sporty sedan packed with features, including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and an eight-inch touchscreen display. 2017-2021 models include a base 2.0L four-cylinder engine; a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder engine is available on the 2017-2018 Forte SX and 2020-2021 GT trims.
Standard features on base 2017-2021 Kia Forte trims include:
15-inch steel wheels
Power windows with driver's one-touch auto-down
The Toyota Corolla is a comfortable sedan with a quiet cabin and plenty of interior space. 2017-2020 models feature 41.4 inches of adult-friendly rear-seat legroom and 13 cubic feet of cargo volume to carry groceries and shopping bags. On the road, the Corolla's suspension maintains a well-balanced ride that glides over bumps and ruts.
Standard features on the 2017-2021 Toyota Corolla L include:
15-inch styled steel wheels
60/40 split fold-down rear seat
The Honda Civic is a stylish sedan that gets many miles to the gallon with its fuel-sipping powertrain. 2017-2021 models come standard with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine; a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with direct injection is available on 2017-2018 Civic EX-T and higher trims and 2019-2021 Civic EX and higher trims. With the 1.5L four-cylinder and automatic transmission, the 2017-2021 Civic returns an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined.1
Standard features on the 2017-2021 Honda Civic LX include:
16-inch steel wheels
Four-speaker audio system
The Bottom Line
If you're shopping for a stylish sedan with plenty of space and a smooth ride that also gets many miles to the gallon, the Nissan Sentra is sure to impress. This model caters to a range of lifestyles, whether you're looking for a commuter, carpooler, or road tripper.
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