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2019 Nissan Sentra Review

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Think of the Nissan Sentra as a reliable, decent-looking, middle-of-the-pack compact sedan option. It doesn’t do any one thing well enough to stand out from its competitors, but it does most things competently.

The Sentra presents a practical, affordable option for a compact, four-door sedan. The Sentra competes in a crowded market segment – in its Best Sedan rankings, Edmunds ranks it No. 7 out of 9 small sedans. It’s roomy, and even the base levels comes with safety technology, all for a comparatively affordable price. In fact, the 2019 Nissan Sentra has one of the lowest base manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) in its class. To see if it’s the right choice for you, and how it stacks up against other cars in its class, keep reading.

2019 Nissan Sentra pricing and trims

Nissan offers five different trim levels for the 2019 Nissan Sentra, not including its NISMO line, so there may be an option that fits your needs. The lowest MSRP is $17,890 for the base model S, excluding the mandatory destination charge. In the S model, you get a 7-inch touch screen, power windows and door locks, a four-speaker stereo with a USB connection and a six-speed manual transmission. The S is also available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic transmission.

The top of the line is the sporty NISMO turbocharged model, with an aerodynamic body kit and leather-wrapped trim inside. The MSRP for the NISMO is $25,940 with either the six-speed manual or CVT. NISMO is the race-inspired performance line available on coupes and sedans like the Nissan GTR, Nissan 370Z and the Nissan Sentra.

All versions of the Nissan Sentra offer 15 cubic-feet of trunk space for hauling stuff, as well as 60/40 split-folding rear seats to increase cargo space should you need it.

Base MSRP $17,890 $19,190 $20,690 $22,670 $23,120 $25,940
Features 6-speed Manual, 16″ Wheels, 7-inch Display, Bluetooth Audio CVT Automatic Transmission, 16″ Aluminum Alloy Wheels, Premium Cloth Seat Trim, Nissan Connect 17″ Alloy Wheels, Rear Spoiler, Heated Front Seats, LED headlights Turbocharged 4-cylinder, CVT Transmission with Manual Shift Mode, Moonroof, Leather-Appointed Seats Premium Audio, Power Moonroof, Intelligent Automatic Headlights, Power Driver’s Seat 18″ Alloy Wheels, NISMO Tuned Suspension, Sport Front Seats, NISMO Body Kit, Leather-Wrapped Shift Knob & Steering Wheel

As the trim levels rise, the Sentra comes with additional standard features. For example, all versions except the S have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a standard feature. The S and NISMO trim levels are available with the choice of a standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional CVT. The rest of the trim levels are available only with the CVT. The S has an integrated key with remote keyless entry. The rest of the trim levels use an intelligent key with push-button ignition.

The Nissan Sentra SR offers a good value, with additional technology such as LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and heated seats. The SR Turbo adds extra horsepower and performance-oriented styling with a less aggressive appearance than the NISMO trim.

The luxury-oriented SL version offers an upgraded interior with a power-sliding moonroof, leather-appointed seating and a premium eight-speaker audio system.

Keep in mind you may not have to pay MSRP. Before you go shopping, check out industry guides such as Kelley Blue Book or NADAGuides to find fair market pricing. You may also be able to find a deal below the MSRP at a dealer close to where you live.

What’s next? As you decide on the car you want, it pays to start looking for your car loan. You can apply to multiple lenders without hurting your credit score if you do so within a 14-day window. Potential lenders could include banks, credit unions, online lenders or Nissan financing. Fill out a single online form at LendingTree, and you could receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. Do your research and comparison shop to find the best deal for your budget.

2019 Nissan Sentra safety

Other than the SR Turbo and NISMO trim levels, the Nissan Sentra isn’t known for its performance, but it’s a reliable, practical commuter. While the Sentra hasn’t been updated since 2013, it still offers an array of safety features.

In crash safety tests, the Sentra sedan earned a four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Sentra earned a 2018 Top Safety Pick for cars with optional halogen projector or LED projector bulbs, available in trims from the S level equipped with the Driver Assist package through the rest of the lineup. Headlight performance on the base S trim without the Driver Assist Package was given a “poor” rating with halogen headlights. Overall, the Sentra was rated as “good” in nearly all categories.

Vehicle Dynamic Control: Under slippery driving conditions, the VDC system controls braking and engine output to keep the car driving on its steered path. This system is standard on all Nissan Sentra trim levels.

Traction Control System: TCS automatically applies the brakes as needed to prevent wheel slip when the car is accelerating. This system is standard on all Nissan Sentra trim levels.

As the trim levels increase, optional safety features include:

Blind Spot Warning: The system will indicate when an object is detected in the driver’s blind spot. An audio warning will announce if there is a detected object and the driver uses a turn signal.

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert: The car can detect alert the drivers of passing traffic when the car is in reverse.

The SR has the same safety options as the SV.

SR Turbo
The SR Turbo shares the same safety features with SV. The SR Turbo comes with cruise control as standard, while the SV comes with optional adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise is not available on the SR Turbo but is standard on the SR.

The safety features that were options on the SV and SR are standard on the SL.

The top-of-the-line sporty model has fewer safety features, as the automatic emergency braking, blindspot warning, intelligent cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert are not available.

2019 Nissan Sentra competitor comparison

The Nissan Sentra is one of the larger cars in the compact car segment. It offers a manual transmission for the base trim for a low starting price compared to the competition.

Nissan Sentra Chevrolet Cruze Honda Civic Mazda 3
BASE MSRP $17,890 $18,870 $20,750 $21,000
Expert Scores Average 3.7 3.6 4.4 4.2
Standard Technology 7″ Touch Screen, Rearview Monitor, Traction Control, Power Locks & Windows Automatic Stop/Start, Electronic Stability Control, Wi-Fi Capable, 7″ Touch Screen, Rear View Camera, Electronic Stability Control Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Continuously Variable Transmission, Collision Mitigation Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist 8.8″ Touch Screen, LED Headlights, Voice Command System, Vector Control Steering
Fuel Economy city/hwy/combined 27/35/21 MPG 28/38/32 MPG 30/38/33 MPG 26/35/30 MPG

Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (but is not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

The bottom line on the 2019 Nissan Sentra

If you’re looking for basic transportation for work or school at an affordable starting price, the Sentra may be a good option for you. If you’re still on the fence about which car to pick, you can also check out some of the best commuter cars on the market.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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