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2015 Nissan Sentra Review

The 2015 Nissan Sentra ranks in the bottom half of the compact car class. It has a large trunk and plenty of passenger space, but the Sentra’s weak engine and stiff ride keep it car from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious rear seats
  • Large trunk
  • Bland engine
  • Firm ride




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Nissan Sentra Overview

Is the 2015 Nissan Sentra a Good Used Car?

The Nissan Sentra is a decent used compact car. It has some of the roomiest rear seats in the class as well as a trunk that rivals what you’ll find in some midsize cars. Fuel economy is stellar when equipped with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This car’s above-average ownerships costs and lackluster acceleration hold it back, however, and some rivals have sportier handling and more safety features.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Nissan Sentra review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 29 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Nissan Sentra?

Based on more than 2,300 listings on our site, you can expect to pay between $9,900 and $15,500 for a used 2015 Sentra. The average list price is $12,800, but the amount you pay depends on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Nissan Sentra Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 Sentra are estimated to be around $23,700 over five years, or about $4,740 per year. That’s above average in the compact car class. For comparison, those same five-year costs are estimated to be around $1,350 lower with the 2015 Ford Focus, but they are $1,000 higher with the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Nissan Sentra?

With an average list price of $12,800, the 2015 Sentra will save you around $5,000 over a new Sentra base model. The two cars share the same standard powertrain, though the new Nissan has more standard features, including a rearview camera and a 7-inch touch screen. Additionally, new models have an optional turbocharged engine that older models lack. If those updates aren’t important to you, consider shopping for an older vehicle, which could save you thousands of dollars.

Read about the new Sentra »

The price of a used 2015 Nissan Sentra ranges from $9,900 to $15,500. No new compact cars can compete with that price. You’d need to step down to a subcompact car to find something within that range, and cars in that class are a little more cramped inside. Starting at $14,260, the 2015 Ford Fiesta is more engaging to drive, with its peppy engine and sporty handling. The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic starts at $15,420 and has more standard features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. None of those features are available in the 2015 Sentra.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Nissan Sentra Is Best?

The 2015 Sentra is part of a generation that debuted for the 2013 model year. Nissan gave the 2015 model more standard features, including Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, and cruise control.

However, the 2016 Sentra is the most appealing choice. It gained refreshed exterior styling, a retuned suspension, improved insulation, and more available safety features, such as blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. The performance-oriented SR Turbo trim debuted for 2017.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Sentra »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Nissan Sentra?

The 2015 Sentra has a slightly above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Sentra reliability »

2015 Nissan Sentra Recalls

As of this writing, three recalls have been issued for the 2015 Sentra. Two concern the passenger air bag either failing to deploy or deploying improperly and damaging a child in a car seat installed in the front seat. The third is about doors not properly latching. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed.

See more information on Nissan Sentra safety recalls »

Which Used Nissan Sentra Model Is Right for Me?

Nissan offers the 2015 Sentra is five trim levels: S, FE + S, SV, SR, and SL. Of those, the SV is the best bet. It gains some standard comfort features and is available with a few packages containing most of what higher-level trims offer.

The base S gained some new standard features for 2015, including cruise control, a USB port, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. It also comes with remote keyless entry, cloth seats, air conditioning, and a four-speaker stereo, but it’s pretty bare-bones otherwise. The FE + S gains low-rolling-resistance tires and Nissan’s Xtronic CVT for increased fuel efficiency.

The SV adds a few amenities, such as proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio, a six-speaker stereo, and satellite radio. When the Sentra was new, Nissan offered the SV trim with a few packages, such as the SV Style package, SV Cold Weather package, and Navigation package. That means you can find an SV trim with heated front seats, alloy wheels, a moonroof, and the NissanConnect infotainment system with a 5.8-inch touch screen and a navigation system.

The SR adds larger alloy wheels, fog lights, and a few sport styling elements. The Navigation package is available with this trim too, as is the SR Premium package, which adds a moonroof, leather seats, and an 8-speaker Bose premium sound system.

Both of the SR’s packages are available with the top-of-the-line SL trim. The Nissan Sentra SL adds dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

See 2015 Nissan Sentra trims and specs »

What Does Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Nissan offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each Nissan CPO vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, towing, and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

According to our research, Nissan’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer. Mazda, Honda, and Chevrolet all have more robust programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Sentra?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2015 Sentra a Top Safety Pick, the organization’s second-highest award. The IIHS also gave it the highest score of Good in five crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Sentra an overall rating of four out of five stars.

Other than basics like seat-mounted airbags, no standard safety features come standard in the 2015 Sentra. A rearview camera is optional. Most rivals offer more safety features.

See Sentra safety scores »

2015 Nissan Sentra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Nissan Sentra or 2015 Toyota Corolla?

In many ways, the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra are similar vehicles. They have decent fuel economy estimates with their CVTs, underwhelming engine power, and comparable standard and available features. The Toyota has a smoother ride over rough roads and provides more rear-seat legroom, but the Nissan handles a bit better than the Toyota and has a bigger trunk. However, neither car is a great option in the class. While the Sentra scores slightly higher, these cars are pretty evenly ranked, and picking between them is largely a matter of personal preference. For the price conscious, note that the Toyota costs $1,600 more to buy than the Sentra.

Which Is Better: 2015 Nissan Sentra or 2015 Nissan Altima?

The 2015 Nissan Altima is a midsize car, which means it’s a little larger than the Sentra and offers slightly more passenger and trunk space. The Altima has a potent V6 engine option and an upscale cabin, and it handles curves with finesse. A few more safety features are available in the Altima – such as lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert – that you can’t get in the 2015 Sentra. In most other respects, however, these two are similar vehicles. Go for the Altima if it’s in your budget.

Which Is Better: 2015 Nissan Sentra or 2015 Hyundai Elantra?

The 2015 Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra are neck-and-neck in our rankings. While the Sentra comes only as a sedan, the Elantra is available as a hatchback. In either body style, the Elantra has a lot of cargo space and a handsome cabin. It also has stronger engines, especially in higher trims, and composed handling. On the other hand, the Nissan has slightly higher safety and reliability ratings. Choosing between these cars comes down to your personal preference.

Compare the Sentra, Corolla, and Altima »

2015 Sentra Performance

How Does the 2015 Nissan Sentra Drive?

Powering this sedan is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower. The base S has a six-speed manual transmission, and every other trim has a continuously variable automatic transmission, which Nissan calls Xtronic CVT.

This car will get you around town fine, but many rivals have stronger engines and quicker acceleration. The Sentra engine feels especially weak while accelerating on the highway. The CVT is smooth, however.

No one would confuse this car for Nissan’s fun-to-drive GT-R or even a sporty Mazda. Its handling is composed but not engaging, and the Sentra can feel stiff on rough roads. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel-drive is not available.

Does the 2015 Nissan Sentra Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Sentra sedan with the CVT gets fuel economy estimates of 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (27/35 mpg city/highway with the manual gearbox). The fuel-efficient FE + S trim gets 30/38 mpg city/highway. Both figures are pretty good for the class, passing rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf.

Read more about Sentra performance »

2015 Sentra Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Sentra Seat?

The 2015 Sentra sedan seats five people on varying grades of cloth upholstery. Sport seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are available. The Sentra’s front seats are comfortable for short trips, but they lack the cushioning to remain comfy for long periods of time. The back seat has more head- and legroom than most rival compact cars, and it even approaches the proportions of a midsize car.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Nissan Sentra?

The 2015 Nissan Sentra has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. There’s also a tether-only connection for the rear middle seat. The whole setup received the second-lowest rating of Marginal from the IIHS because the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats.

2015 Nissan Sentra Features

The base Nissan Sentra S sedan comes with fewer standard features than many competitors. The base model gives you steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a USB port, and a CD player.

Available upgrades include push-button start, proximity keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a moonroof, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo or an 8-speaker Bose premium sound system, Bluetooth audio streaming, and the NissanConnect infotainment system with a 5.8 touch screen and navigation. The NissanConnect interface is easy to use, and it can integrate with handy smartphone apps such as Pandora.

See 2015 Nissan Sentra specs »

Read more about Sentra interior »

2015 Nissan Sentra Dimensions

Nissan Sentra Cargo Space

This car has a 15.1 cubic-foot trunk, which is large for a compact car.

2015 Sentra Length and Weight

The 2015 Sentra is around 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,855 pounds up to 2,923 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Nissan Sentra Built?

Nissan assembled the 2015 Sentra in Mexico alongside the 2015 Nissan Versa.


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