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2017 Nissan Sentra Review

The 2017 Nissan Sentra sits near the bottom of our compact car rankings, due to its underpowered engine and dull handling. Its safety scores are also below average for the segment. However, the Sentra’s cabin space rivals some midsize cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Exceptionally large cabin and trunk
  • Good safety scores
  • Sluggish base engine
  • Drab interior




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Nissan Sentra Overview

Is the 2017 Nissan Sentra a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Nissan Sentra is not a good used car. While it has an above-average predicted reliability rating and a spacious interior, the base engine is weak, there is no standard active safety equipment, and it has high predicted operating costs.

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 47 professional evaluations for this 2017 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 2017 Nissan Sentra?

Based on over 3,700 listings for this vehicle on our site, you can expect to pay between $12,600 and $18,600 for a used 2017 Nissan Sentra. The average list price is $15,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Nissan Sentra Cost to Own?

Projected five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2017 Sentra are $24,525. That’s one of the highest estimates in the compact car segment.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sentra?

The 2018 Nissan Sentra has a starting price of $16,990. That’s only slightly higher than the 2017 Sentra’s average price of $15,000. Still, since there were no significant changes between the 2017 and 2018 model years, there is little reason to buy a new model unless dealer incentives lower the price.

Read about the new Nissan Sentra »

You can’t buy any new compact car for the average price of a used 2017 Sentra, but there are good subcompact cars in that price range. One of the better options is the 2018 Kia Rio (MSRP: $13,900). It has a user-friendly infotainment system, nimble handling, and almost perfect predicted reliability. Just note that the base Rio lacks power windows and cruise control. Front-row legroom is comparable, but the Sentra has much more rear legroom. Still, even with these shortcomings, the Rio is still the better choice.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Nissan Sentra Is Best?

The only reason to buy a 2017 Sentra is to get one of two performance versions: the Sentra SR Turbo or the Sentra Nismo, which were introduced in 2017. Both are respected for their handling and horsepower.

Sticking with the 2016 Sentra will save you money and deliver a quieter interior and better ride and handling. Models built before 2016 are difficult to recommend due to their lack of ride comfort.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sentra »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Nissan Sentra?

The 2017 Nissan Sentra has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Sentra reliability »

2017 Nissan Sentra Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Nissan Sentra has one open recall. The front passenger air bag may not deploy properly. Make sure the seller fixes any open recalls before buying a used car.

See more information on Nissan Sentra safety recalls »

Which Used Nissan Sentra Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Nissan Sentra comes in six trims: S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, SL, and the Sentra Nismo. The latter two have powerful standard turbocharged engines and sportier handling.

The S trim comes with only the most basic of features, while the SV has a number of convenience features, including push-button start, an infotainment system, Siri Eyes Free, and Bluetooth streaming audio. We recommend the SV.

The SR trim is good for folks in colder climates thanks to its standard heated seats and mirrors, but most people should be able to live without these features.

See 2017 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.

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

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Sentra?

The 2017 Sentra earned the top score of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all five test categories, as well as a Top Safety Pick award. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Sentra four out of five stars in the front and rollover crash tests. The Sentra received five stars in the side impact test.

The Sentra has no standard active safety features. Available safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control.

See Sentra safety scores »

2017 Nissan Sentra Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Nissan Sentra or 2017 Toyota Corolla?

The 2017 Toyota Corolla is the better choice. It has more standard active safety features and much more second-row legroom than the Sentra. Also, the Corolla's infotainment system uses a vivid display that surpasses even the Sentra's upgraded systems.

Which Is Better: 2017 Nissan Sentra or 2017 Chevrolet Cruze?

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze can’t match the 2017 Sentra’s rear legroom, but the Chevy is the better choice overall. The Cruze’s compliant suspension soaks up road perfections, and its seats envelop you in comfort. Also, the Cruze’s easy-to-use MyLink infotainment system features a standard 7-inch touch screen. The Chevy also has some of the best fuel economy in the compact car segment among nonhybrid vehicles. The final factor in the Chevy’s favor? Lower predicted ownership costs.

Compare the Sentra, Corolla, and Cruze »

2017 Sentra Performance

How Does the 2017 Nissan Sentra Drive?

The best word to describe how the 2017 Sentra drives is “dull” – but then again, few compact cars are known for their engaging rides. Handling is stable, but the steering wheel requires more effort than usual for a car in this class.

The Sentra’s 124-horsepower four-cylinder is one of the weakest engines in the class. Merging onto the highway requires flooring the gas pedal. On the other hand, the available 188-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the SR Turbo and Sentra Nismo has no issues tackling on-ramps.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard. You’re better off finding a Sentra with the available continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s one of the best CVTs on the market, and it delivers better fuel economy numbers than the manual transmission.

In all but the SR Turbo trim, the Sentra’s ride is smooth and comfortable. The SR Turbo's sportier suspension results in a stiffer ride. Also available for better handling is the 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo, a factory-tuned performance sedan with a rear spoiler for better grip.

Does the 2017 Nissan Sentra Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base 2017 Sentra with a six-speed manual transmission is EPA-rated at 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy improves to 29/37 mpg city/highway with the CVT. The higher-horsepower turbocharged engine in the SR Turbo is rated at 27/33 mpg city/highway with the CVT, and 26/32 mpg with the manual transmission. The Nismo Sentra has an EPA rating of 25/31 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 25/30 mpg with the CVT.

Read more about Sentra performance »

2017 Sentra Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Sentra Seat?

The 2017 Nissan Sentra seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Its cabin is one of the roomiest in the class. Head- and legroom are generous, even for taller passengers. Premium cloth, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. The available Sentra Nismo, a more performance-oriented sedan, has front seats with more side support for throwing the car through curves at high speeds.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Nissan Sentra?

The 2017 Sentra has a set of LATCH car-seat connectors on both of its outboard rear seats, plus a middle-seat tether anchor. The Sentra’s LATCH system receives the second-lowest rating of Marginal from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its ease of use. The lower anchors are buried too deep in the seat cushions, and it can be difficult to maneuver your hands around them.

2017 Nissan Sentra Features

Standard features inside the 2017 Sentra include a four-speaker audio system, a USB port, and Bluetooth for phone calls. The standard audio system is basic, but you can find models with either an available a 5- or 5.8-inch display. Other available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, smartphone app integration, voice recognition, and an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system.

See 2017 Nissan Sentra specs »

Read more about Sentra interior »

2017 Nissan Sentra Dimensions

Nissan Sentra Cargo Space

The 2017 Sentra’s 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space is impressive for a compact car. In fact, it’s on par with several midsize sedans’ capacities.

2017 Sentra Length and Weight

The 2017 Nissan Sentra is 15.2 feet long. The Sentra’s curb weight ranges from 2,848 to 2,943 pounds, depending on how it is equipped. The Sentra’s gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 3,781 to 3,858 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Nissan Sentra Built?

Nissan built the 2017 Sentra in Mexico.


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