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2020 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Hyundai Elantra: Which Is Worthier of This Big Award?

It’s common for vehicles to go head to head in the auto world, and the 2020 Nissan Sentra, and the Hyundai Elantra are the latest two cars to compete with each other. This isn’t any mere competition, however.

These two cars are all up for the 2021 North American Car of the Year in January. So which one will win? We don’t have any juicy inside details, but here’s our best guess.

The 2020 Nissan Sentra makes a great case for itself

RELATED: How Did the 2020 Nissan Sentra Just Beat the 2020 Toyota Corolla?

Nissan is counting on the Sentra to bring it in some much-needed consumer love, and so far, it’s working. The Sentra comes equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine that delivers 149 hp and 146 lb.-ft.

Kelley Blue Book likes the fact that the Sentra been updated, but is disappointed with the limited rear visibility and lack of a hybrid model. The starting price of around $19,000 is very attractive.

To add to the Sentra’s allure is the fact that it’s already won plenty of awards. So far, the Sentra has won the Best-In-Show” among WardsAuto’s 10 Best Interiors, the top compact sedan in the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, and Autotrader’s “Best New Cars of 2020.”

According to Automotive World,

“All-new for 2020, Sentra offers unexpected refinement, technology and value, including the most standard safety features in its class. Sentra features an exterior with a commanding presence and a “cut-above” interior that sets the standard for compact sedan quality and comfort.”

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra is equally as impressive

RELATED: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Buyers Don’t Have to Pay Extra for This Safety Feature

The Hyundai Elantra impressed Kelley Blue Book thanks to its long list of standard features, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an outstanding warranty. The review site was disappointed that there was no all-wheel drive option, however.

With a starting price of around $18,950, the Hyundai Elantra definitely makes a good impression. It also helps that the Hyundai Elantra scored a four out of five from several review sites in terms of reliability. It’s not a perfect score, but it’s better than the average vehicle. 

The Hyundai Elantra has even beaten out the mighty Toyota Corolla. Given the love the Corolla tends to get from critics, that was no mean feat. 

While previous model years have been plagued with airbag problems, steering issues, and engine problems, these don’t seem to be affecting the 2020 model.

This is a good thing for the Elantra, as the judges aren’t going to look back at previous model years. It gives the Elantra a clean slate so that it can prove what it can do now, not what it couldn’t do in the past.

Nissan Sentra vs. Hyundai Elantra: there can only be one winner

RELATED: Here’s How the Hyundai Elantra Bests the Beloved Honda Civic

With such amazing cars, picking a winner is going to be very hard for the judges. Each has its own unique appeal, and yet both have similarities.

The 2020 Nissan Sentra offers the most safety tech, which is huge. Safety is quickly taking precedent as far as what vehicles consumers are willing to spend money on. Whether this is enough to sway the judges remains to be seen, however.

Finally, the Hyundai Elantra won Kelley Blue Book’s heart by having a wider array of standard features and a longer warranty. This comparison didn’t include the Genesis G80, which is also in the running, so it’s unclear how a luxury vehicle will compare to two non-luxury vehicles. 

In our humble opinion, the Hyundai Elantra probably has the best shot of winning. It has a lot going for it, and has the most impressive standard features. The Detroit Free Press reports that the winners will be announced on Jan. 11, 2021, so we’ll know for certain then.