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The Nissan Sentra is a cheap, attractive compact sedan that puts up a good fight against top rivals in its class. It starts at under $20,000 for the base Sentra S trim level, which is competitive for a well-equipped car that looks sharp and modern. But is the entry-level trim worth the price? Or are you better off with a Sentra SV or SR?

2022 Sentra trim level pricing

Side view of a blue 2022 Nissan Sentra S base model compact sedan
2022 Nissan Sentra sedan | Nissan

Which Nissan Sentra model is the best? The Sentra S base model starts at $19,610, but the MSRP jumps to $20,635 as soon as you start your “Build,” so assume that you’ll pay over $20,000 for even the cheapest Sentra model. It seems cheap because that sub-$20K price doesn’t include all that much.

But, the base 2022 S model can get expensive quickly. You can equip an entry-level Sentra with additional package options and accessories like: 

  • $500 Lighting Package
  • $200 splash guards
  • Clear body protectors that range from $75-$375
  • $125 Impact Sensor
  • $450 Virtual Key
  • $145 sport pedals
  • $440 Electronics Package
  • $345 rear spoiler
  • $120 side-window deflectors

One trim level up, the 2022 Sentra SV starts at $20,670. The 2022 Sentra SR starts at $22,200, while the top-of-the-line 2022 Sentra SR Midnight Edition starts at $22,895. You’ll notice that there isn’t a huge price difference across any of the models in the lineup.

Sentra S standard features

Why is the Nissan Sentra so cheap? The 2022 Sentra S is reasonably well-equipped for the price, but it’s not as well-equipped as some of its rivals. Standard features include:

  • Intelligent automatic headlights
  • Body-color exterior mirrors
  • Remote keyless entry
  • 4.2-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display
  • 7.0-inch color touchscreen infotainment display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Nissan Safety Shield 360 driver-assistance features

Upgrade to the 2022 Sentra SR or SV for more premium features like Intelligent Cruise Control, a larger touchscreen for the infotainment system, sporty exterior design accents, dual-zone automatic temperature control, remote start, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and premium upholstery trim.

Does the Nissan Sentra have transmission problems? 

Rear angle view of a blue 2022 Nissan Sentra S base model compact sedan
2022 Nissan Sentra S | Nissan

Transmission issues are among the worst Nissan Sentra problems reported by owners. Fortunately, that seems to have only plagued model years between 2013 and 2017—the model years you should never buy. 

Unfortunately, Nissan isn’t known for making reliable transmissions, and even the current 2022 Sentra suffers from the bad reputation created by those problems. We don’t yet have enough owner-reported data to determine if the 2022 Sentra has transmission problems, but generally, the newer Nissan Sentra is reliable.

Is the base Sentra sedan good on gas?

One benefit of the base Sentra model is excellent fuel economy. The 2022 Sentra S sees up to 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. Combined, it’s good for about 33 mpg. That’s not the best in its class, but it’s plenty to keep you going longer on a full tank. With gas prices right now, you’ll want to save every gallon you can.

So, is the Sentra base model worth it?

If price is the most crucial factor for you, the roughly-$20,000 base Sentra S sedan could absolutely be worth it. CNET calls the entry-level Sentra a good value, mainly because of its safety features.

But, with such a slight price difference between the base Sentra S and the nicely-equipped Sentra SV, or even the fully-loaded Sentra SR, we’d recommend upgrading to a more premium trim level if you can afford it. There’s less than a $3,500 difference between the SR Midnight Edition and the entry-level Sentra S.

Is the base Sentra worth it? Simply in terms of price-per-feature, sure. But it’s not worth giving up that excellent heated steering wheel. Treat yo’self.


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