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Shopping for a used car can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you don’t know which cars are reliable and which ones will leave you with costly maintenance bills. If you’re looking for a used car in the compact sedan segment, the 2013 Nissan Sentra is one to avoid. 

The 2013 Sentra has a below-average reliability rating and probably isn’t worth considering. The 2013 Chevy Cruze and 2013 Honda Civic, however, have earned much higher marks from experts and consumers alike. Let’s take a look at why these two cars make better options than the Sentra. 

A person walking by a 2013 Nissan Sentra at an auto show.
A Nissan Sentra at an auto show | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Why should I skip the 2013 Nissan Sentra?

According to U.S. News, “The Sentra is not very reliable” and has “Below-average predicted reliability ratings.”. It’s powered by a front-wheel-drive 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Although acceleration isn’t the best out on the highway, it’s fine for getting you from point A to point B in the city.

As far as standard features go, you’ll get a four-speaker stereo and an auxiliary input jack as standard. If you want upgraded features, you’ll have to pay more. Available features include an eight-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen navigation system, and a NissanConnect hands-free text messaging feature.

It’s strongly recommended to avoid this model altogether—even though it has average features for its price point. 

So, should I choose the 2013 Chevy Cruze instead?

In comparison, the 2013 Chevy Cruze offers a more well-balanced ride. Its base model offers better fuel economy ratings, and there are some models that come equipped with turbocharged engines. 

For example, the diesel engine offers 31 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. The Chevrolet Cruze also has more available features than the Sentra, like blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, a navigation system, a nine-speaker stereo system, and a sunroof.

What about the 2013 Honda Civic vs. the Nissan Sentra? 

The base engine in the 2013 Honda Civic is less powerful, but it still feels zippy on the highway and has about the same fuel economy ratings (28/30 mpg). If you need more power, there’s one under the hood of the Civic Si. 

In addition, the Civic has higher-quality materials around the cabin, supportive seats, and more standard tech features. We will admit that both cars have rough transmissions, but you’ll probably be happier with the Civic.

Should I buy a 2013 Nissan Sentra?

When selecting a used car in the compact sedan segment, there are several factors you should consider before making your purchase. If you are looking for something reliable without breaking your budget, then definitely go with the 2013 Chevy Cruze or the 2013 Honda Civic. 

When it comes to reliability, the 2013 Nissan Sentra doesn’t compare. And you want to avoid being stuck with a used car that will last only a couple of years. Of course, the best way to see if any of these cars is right for you is to schedule a private test drive.