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2019 Nissan Sentra Review

The 2019 Nissan Sentra provides plenty of cabin space and is fairly comfortable to ride in. Unfortunately, it trails a lot of class rivals when it comes to performance and cabin styling, which is why it finishes near the bottom of our compact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seats
  • Large trunk
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Lackluster engines
  • Stale cabin design

New for 2019

  • SR Turbo no longer offers a manual transmission
  • Larger standard touch screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now available

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Nissan Sentra's #13 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Nissan Sentra has a score of 6.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 56 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.6
Performance: 5.6
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Nissan Sentra a Good Car?

The Nissan Sentra is an OK car, but calling it good is a stretch. You can count a large trunk, a user-friendly infotainment system, and two rows of seats that can accommodate adults among the Sentra's strengths. It also rides smoothly over most road surfaces.

There are plenty of areas where this Nissan comes up short though. Many other compact cars get better fuel economy, and just about every one of them is more fun to drive. Additionally, the Sentra's cabin styling is a letdown, and unlike several of its classmates, this Nissan isn't available in a hatchback body style.

Should I Buy the Nissan Sentra?

There are too many good options in the compact car class to settle for the Sentra. It's one of the least expensive cars in the class, but a low price does not equal a good value. No matter what you like about the Sentra, you can find that and more in other cars. The Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are both good alternatives to consider.

Compare the Sentra, Elantra, and Civic »

Should I Buy a New or Used Nissan Sentra?

The 2019 Sentra belongs to a generation that began with the 2013 model year. Nissan refreshed the Sentra for 2016, adding sound deadening for the cabin and retuning the suspension and steering. The SR Turbo and Nismo models joined the lineup for 2017, while the 2018 model didn't receive any major changes. The 2019 model gets a larger standard touch screen (7 inches up from 5) and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, but there aren't many other notable changes.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used car instead of a new one, though be aware that older models may have fewer features. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Nissan Sentra. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Sentra »

We Did the Research for You: 56 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Sentra generation, which runs from 2013 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Nissan Sentra Cost?

With a base price just below $18,000, the 2019 Sentra is one of the least expensive vehicles in the class. The most expensive Sentra – the Nismo – starts at nearly $26,000, which is less than what you’d pay for many competitors' top trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

Nissan Sentra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Nissan Sentra or Hyundai Elantra?

The Hyundai Elantra finishes higher than the Sentra in our compact car rankings, and it costs less. The Elantra is available in a hatchback or sedan body style, with the hatchback providing outstanding cargo space. The Elantra has a richer cabin and available features that you can't get in the Sentra. The Nissan has roomier rear seats, but that's where its advantages over the Hyundai end.

Which Is Better: Nissan Sentra or Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic finishes near the top of the class rankings, well ahead of the Sentra. It's available in coupe, sedan, and hatchback body styles, and it delivers much livelier performance than the Sentra while also getting better gas mileage. The Civic is more upscale inside, and it comes with many more standard features, including a lot of driver assistance technology. The Honda costs a bit more, but it's worth the extra money.

Compare the Sentra, Elantra, and Civic »

Sentra Interior

How Many People Does the Sentra Seat?

The Sentra seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Available upgrades include leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. This Nissan has one of the most spacious interiors in the class. Both rows of seats have plenty of room for adults, and the front seats feel really comfortable.

Sentra and Child Car Seats

The Sentra provides full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on each of the rear outboard seats plus an additional upper tether anchor on the middle rear seat. The system earns a Good rating (the highest rating) for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Sentra Interior Quality

There's good and bad news about the Sentra's cabin. It’s well-built and features some quality materials, but many other compact cars have fresher, more modern interior designs.

Sentra Cargo Space

At just over 15 cubic feet, the Sentra's trunk size more closely resembles that of a midsize car than it does other compact cars. That's enough room for roughly a dozen shopping bags, and the rear seats fold down to let you haul larger items.

Sentra Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include a rearview camera and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a four-speaker audio system. Available features include a moonroof, two additional USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system or an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system.

For 2019, the Sentra's infotainment system gets a larger standard touch screen and available features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is intuitive and easy to use.

Read more about interior »

Sentra Performance

Sentra Engine: 2 (Unimpressive) Options

Whether you stick with the Sentra's 124-horsepower four-cylinder base engine or opt for the 188-horsepower turbo-four, don't expect to feel like you're driving a race car. Models with the base engine often feel slow and underpowered. The turbocharged engine moves the car with more ease, but models with this engine are still slower than many competitors.

Sentra Gas Mileage: About Average

The Sentra gets OK fuel economy, though it lags behind several competitors. It earns 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Those are on par with ratings earned by competitors like the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.

Sentra Ride and Handling: It Gets the Job Done

The front-wheel-drive Sentra doesn't handle as well as many compact cars, but it is fairly composed on winding roads. The ride generally feels smooth, though the Sentra struggles to absorb large road imperfections.

Read more about performance »

Sentra Reliability

Is the Nissan Sentra Reliable?

J.D. Power gave the 2019 Sentra a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average for the industry. 

Nissan Sentra Warranty

Nissan backs the Sentra with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Sentra Safety

Sentra Crash Test Results

The 2019 Sentra earns a four-out-of-five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned the highest rating of Good in every test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Sentra Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard. Available driver assistance features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

Which Nissan Sentra Model Is Right for Me?

You have several trim options when choosing a Sentra, but the SV and SR trims provide the most bang for your buck. They offer nearly as many features as the top trims, but they cost less. If you're looking for a more spirited driving experience, you'll want the SR Turbo or Nismo trims, which feature a more powerful engine than the other models.

Nissan Sentra S

The Sentra S trim sports a base price of $17,790 with a manual transmission and $18,480 with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard features include cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, and a four-speaker audio system. Models with the CVT also have forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

Nissan Sentra SV

The Sentra SV model starts at $19,090. It comes standard with the CVT, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and push-button start.

The Special Edition package comes with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a moonroof. The All-Weather package adds heated front seats and heated side mirrors.

Nissan Sentra SR

The Sentra SR costs $20,590 and comes standard with adaptive cruise control, premium sport cloth upholstery, heated side mirrors, and unique styling elements. The SR Premium package adds leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a moonroof.

Nissan Sentra SR Turbo

The Sentra SR Turbo starts at $22,570. This trim comes with a 188-horsepower turbo-four engine, a CVT with a manual shift mode, and a moonroof.

The SR Turbo Premium package adds leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, navigation, an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Nissan Sentra Nismo

The performance-oriented Sentra Nismo has a starting price of $25,840 with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The Nismo comes with the same features and turbo engine as the SR Turbo, plus unique Nismo trim pieces and an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system.

Nissan Sentra SL

The top-of-the-line Sentra SL trim starts at $23,020 and comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

See 2019 Nissan Sentra specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Nissan Sentra does some things well, but it also has some notable shortcomings. Compared to the rest of the class, which features some excellent all-around cars, there's little reason to consider the Sentra. That's why it finishes near the bottom of our compact car rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "And when compared to the rest of the class, the Sentra lags in almost every way that not even an alleged performance-oriented iteration should make it a top choice." -- New York Daily News (2018)
  • The Sentra SR Turbo is not the SE-R we'd like it to be, but it's a significant upgrade over the base model and it still offers a great deal of value for the money. If you want a true sport compact, look elsewhere." -- Left Lane News (2018)
  • The newly revised Sentra is not exactly handsome, but neither does it seem as unpleasantly cheap as when this same basic package was introduced for 2013. More important, the 2016 Sentra's new full-size look helps you realize that there's 111 cubic feet of total interior volume here (95.9 cubic feet of passenger volume), which technically classifies it under EPA standards as a midsize car, not a compact." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
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