2018 Nissan Sentra: Used Car Specs, Reviews, and Most Common Problems

The 2018 Nissan Sentra is an economical compact sedan. It’s available in six trim levels that present options for a manual shift or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It also offers a couple of engine choices, including one turbocharged option. In addition, some models include advanced driver assistance safety features, but is a used Nissan Sentra worth buying?

2018 Nissan Sentra specs and reviews

A blue 2018 Nissan Sentra parked
2018 Nissan Sentra | Nissan

Cars.com tells us that the 2018 Nissan Sentra offers six modes choices: S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, SL, and NISMO trim levels, with new MSRPs ranging from $16,990 to $25,790. According to MotorTrend, every 2018 Sentra includes automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, and a 5.0-inch center-mounted display with Bluetooth audio connectivity. Dual-zone automatic climate control comes standard on SV models, and the SR and SL models get adaptive cruise control. In addition, for 2018, SL models come with the SL Premium Tech package, including a moonroof, Bose audio system, and NissanConnect Services.

The base 124-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder provides 125 lb-ft of torque and gets 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway when equipped with the CVT. However, opting for the manual transmission reduces fuel economy by two mpg on city streets or highways. For more power, opt for the turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 with 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque available in the SR Turbo or NISMO models. But prepare for fuel economy to drop into the mid-20s in the city and low 30s on the highway. 

U.S. News & World Report says the 2018 Sentra provides a “gentle ride over most roads, spacious second-row seats, and a large trunk.” Used prices range from $12,100 to $19,500, resulting in the average cost for a used 2018 Sentra on U.S. News’ site at $15,400. Ultimately, the Sentra’s economical price and comfortable cabin can’t save it from its underpowered base engine, so it places next to last in the U.S. News list of 2018 Compact Cars. 

What are the common problems with a 2018 Nissan Sentra?

Car and Driver reports that among the 2018 Nissan Sentra’s biggest problems is the 1.8-liter’s lack of power and the amount of noise it makes when pushed to go faster. While the 188-horsepower turbo makes the Sentra fun to drive, it’s hard to justify the expense associated with the upgrade. 

In addition, the Sentra’s roomy cabin leads to excessive body roll when cornering and Car and Driver calls its steering “devoid of feeling.” Again, the SR Turbo and NISMO models attempt to rectify this shortcoming but fall short of offering impressive handling. 

However, data from CarComplaints shows that the 2018 Sentra is reliable and a better option than most earlier-year models. Electrical problems and transmission failures are the most commonly reported problems, although there are few complaints overall. 

Is the 2018 Nissan Sentra worth buying?

A white 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO driving
2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO | Nissan
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2019 Nissan Sentra: How to Choose the Right Sentra For Your Daily Driving Needs

While the 2018 Nissan Sentra presents an economical compact sedan with lots of room inside, its lack of power and poor handling leave it lagging behind several better compact car options. If brand loyalty has you locked into looking only at Nissan, consider a used Nissan Maxima instead.