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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Nissan Sentra Review

The 2016 Nissan Sentra is a roomy and fuel-efficient compact car. However, poky acceleration and a small touch screen relegate it to the bottom third of a very competitive class.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, roomy interior
  • Spacious trunk
  • Good fuel economy
  • Slow acceleration
  • Small touch screen
  • Front seats could use more support

New for 2016

  • Retuned suspension and steering
  • Improved sound insulation in the cabin
  • A power-adjustable driver’s seat, Siri Eyes Free, and new advanced safety features available

2016 Nissan Sentra Overview

Is the 2016 Nissan Sentra a Good Used Car?

The Nissan Sentra is a good, practical compact car. It has good safety scores and an above-average reliability rating. Still, there are much better choices in this class. The 2016 Honda Civic has a much more upscale cabin, while the 2016 Mazda3 is more engaging to drive and offers better interior technology.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 36 professional evaluations for this 2016 Nissan Sentra review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Nissan Sentra?

Based on the more than 2,300 listings on our site for the 2016 Nissan Sentra, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $16,000 for this car. The average list price is $12,600. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Nissan Sentra Cost to Own?

The cost of owning a vehicle doesn’t end when you drive off the lot. Estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Sentra are about $21,300. That’s higher than average for a 2016 compact car. Five-year costs for the 2016 Civic, for example, are about $19,900, while the 2016 Soul's will cost you about $19,400. However, the 2016 Buick Verano's estimated five-year costs are about $23,600.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sentra?

With an average list price of $12,600, a used 2016 Nissan Sentra will save you around $4,300 compared with the starting price of a new 2018 Nissan Sentra. The 2018 Sentra has many of the same features as the 2016 model, as well as the same base engine. The new Sentra, however, has an available 188-horsepower, turbocharged engine. With its above-average reliability and similar powertrain and standard features, you’re better off saving your money and buying a 2016 Sentra.

Read about the new Nissan Sentra »

You’ll have to drop down to the subcompact car class if you want a new car for about the same price as a 2016 Sentra. The 2018 Kia Rio starts at $13,900 and is one of the top-ranked vehicles in its segment. It has less rear legroom than the larger Sentra, but the Rio comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system and satellite radio. Oddly, though, it lacks power windows: a standard feature in most new cars.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Nissan Sentra?

The 2016 Nissan Sentra earns a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. This is about average for the class but lower than higher-ranked competitors like the 2016 Buick Verano, 2016 Kia Soul, and 2016 Scion tC.

Read more about Sentra reliability »

2016 Nissan Sentra Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Nissan Sentra has five recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They include three issues with a front passenger air bag that may not deploy properly and possibly injure children in car seats, an issue with an engine room harness connection that may fail, and a passenger air bag harness that may disconnect. Make sure these recalls have been addressed before buying a used Sentra.

See more information on Nissan Sentra safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Nissan Sentra Is Best?

The 2016 model is part of a Sentra generation that debuted for 2013 and includes the 2018 Sentra. Both the 2015 and 2016 Sentra are decent vehicles, and they’re your best choices. They have similar overall scores and the same standard features lineup. You can save money by purchasing a 2014 model, but you won’t get standard Bluetooth, a USB port, or cruise control. The 2013 model scores much lower and is best avoided. Finally, the 2017 Sentra will cost you about $2,400 more than the average 2016 Sentra, but you won't gain much in the way of features.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sentra »

Which Used Nissan Sentra Model Is Right for Me?

The Sentra comes in five trims: S, FE+S, SV, SR, and SL. The Nissan Sentra SV comes standard with a rearview camera, a proximity key, the NissanConnect infotainment system, and Bluetooth streaming audio. Look for SV models with the Driver’s Assist package, which adds navigation, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. With this trim and package, the Sentra provides the best combination of value, technology, and safety features.

See 2016 Nissan Sentra trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Nissan Sentra Warranty

For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

According to our analysis, Nissan's CPO program is not as robust as those offered by Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota.

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Read more about the Nissan certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Sentra?

Like many of its competitors, the Sentra earns good safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Sentra a 2016 Top Safety Pick+, the agency’s highest score. The Sentra received an overall four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning four out of five stars in the rollover and frontal crash tests and five stars in the side crash test.

The 2016 Sentra has many of the same available safety features as class competitors. These features include forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and a rearview camera. Several others in the class come standard with a rearview camera.

See Sentra safety scores »

2016 Nissan Sentra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Sentra or 2016 Chevrolet Cruze?

The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze can’t match the Sentra’s trunk and rear-seat space, but it’s the better vehicle overall. Choose a Cruze with automatic transmission and you’ll get better gas mileage than the Sentra's most fuel-efficient trim, the FE+S. The Chevy Cruze also has more-comfortable front seats, a bigger touch screen, and more standard features, including a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Sentra or 2016 Hyundai Elantra?

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra has lots of interior space, both in its sedan and hatchback body styles. Much like its Nissan counterpart, the Elantra has a sluggish base engine, but – unlike the Sentra – a more powerful engine is available. Inside, the Elantra’s bold style contrasts with the Sentra’s simple design. The Hyundai is your better bet.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Sentra or 2016 Kia Forte?

The 2016 Kia Forte is a better value than the Sentra. The Forte’s sprightly available engine offers a good combination of power and fuel efficiency. It comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe, and hatchback. In any of these configurations, the interior is quite accommodating. Additionally, the Forte comes with more standard features than the Sentra, including satellite radio.

Compare the Sentra, Cruze, and Elantra »

2016 Sentra Performance

How Does the 2016 Nissan Sentra Drive?

A 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the 2016 Sentra. The base model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available in the base trim and standard in all other trims. The Sentra produces less horsepower than most other compact cars, but its CVT is smoother than CVTs in most rivals. Sentras with the manual transmission have more passing power than those with the CVT, but fuel economy suffers.

Does the 2016 Nissan Sentra Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base 2016 Sentra with the manual transmission earns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is typical for the class. Models with the CVT get 29/37 mpg city/highway, which is good for the segment. The FE+S trim receives an even better rating of 30/38 mpg.

Read more about Sentra performance »

2016 Sentra Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Sentra Seat?

The 2016 Nissan Sentra seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. The Sentra's front seats are comfortable, though they could use more supportive cushions on the sides. The rear seat is more spacious than that of most compact cars, so tall passengers should have plenty of room.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Nissan Sentra?

The Sentra has two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the outboard seats, as well as a middle-seat tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Focus' LATCH system as Marginal, its second-lowest score, for ease of use.

2016 Nissan Sentra Features

The Sentra's interior has straightforward and refined styling, very good materials, and a larger back seat and trunk than most rivals. Standard features include automatic headlights, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Available features include a proximity key and dual-zone automatic climate control.

There are two available NissanConnect infotainment systems. One comes with a 5-inch display, while the other has a 5.8-inch touch screen, navigation, and hands-free text messaging. Both come with satellite radio, six speakers, Bluetooth audio connectivity, smartphone app integration, Siri Eyes Free voice-activated iPhone integration, and a 5-inch color display in the gauge cluster. The Sentra's smartphone integration features are useful, and the 5-inch color screen in the gauge cluster provides plenty of practical information. However, it'd be nice if the 5.8-inch touch screen were larger.

See 2016 Nissan Sentra specs »
Read more about Sentra interior »

2016 Nissan Sentra Dimensions

Nissan Sentra Cargo Space

The 2016 Nissan Sentra has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. This is very good for a compact car and comparable to that of some midsize sedans. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is standard.

2016 Sentra Length and Weight

The 2016 Nissan Sentra is 15.2 feet long. The Sentra's curb weight ranges from 2,857 pounds to 2,943 pounds depending on the transmission. Its gross vehicle weight ranges from 3,781 to 3,858 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Nissan Sentra Built?

The 2016 Sentra was assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico, along with the 2016 Nissan Versa.

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