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For years, the Nissan Sentra lived in the shadow of other compact sedans like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda3. Much of the appeal of those sedans was the combination of style, features, and reliability. But it also helped that those sedans received favorable reviews from critics.

The tide began to change when Nissan redesigned the Sentra for 2020. Styling took a big leap forward. New safety features, an improved infotainment system, and better ergonomics made the Sentra the choice for more drivers. As for the critics, the results are in from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. Both rated the 2022 Nissan Sentra higher than not only the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda3 but also the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra.

Consumer Reports places the 2022 Nissan Sentra ahead of all other compact cars

2022 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reports J.D. Power
2022 Nissan Sentra | MikeDitzPhoto via Nissan Motor Corporation

The folks at Consumer Reports call the 2022 Nissan Sentra the best Sentra they’ve ever tested, praising its “comfortable ride, nimble handling, great fuel economy, roomy cabin, and intuitive controls.” They liked the 149-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and refined continuously variable transmission. The powertrain delivers quick and smooth acceleration but provides only slightly better gas mileage than the larger Nissan Altima. 

Inside the cabin, Consumer Reports felt the Sentra’s interior was upscale and roomy while providing a good driving position and unobstructed visibility. They praised the controls as “a model of simplicity and a snap to use.” Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all trim levels, as is Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. Buyers can get a power seat, leather upholstery, and heated seats on higher trim levels.

A few small items detracted from Consumer Reports’ score. Testers didn’t like the foot-operated parking brake and thought the headlights could be better. They also thought the front seats could use more lower-back support. However, the SV trim with the Premium package includes upgraded seats with lumbar adjustment and power adjustments on the driver’s side. CR recommended this trim and advised consumers to avoid the SR due to the 18-inch wheels, which hurt ride quality. 

J.D. Power ranks the 2022 Nissan Sentra above the 2022 Honda Civic

J.D. Power ranks cars in terms of quality and reliability, driving experience, resale, and dealer experience. In all categories, the 2022 Nissan Sentra scored highly — better than the competition by several points. The two nearest competitors on their list — the Honda Civic and the Kia Forte — are close behind but lost points in the quality and reliability or driving experience categories.

In its 2022 Nissan Sentra review, J.D. Power said, “It’s exactly what you want,” praising the car’s combination of luxury and performance in the compact car class.  

In the J.D. Power owners’ survey, consumers praised the Sentra’s roominess, interior layout, and infotainment’s ease of use, including the voice command features. Complaints centered around fuel economy, which owners thought could be better, and difficulty loading and unloading compared with other vehicles. Most of these complaints were minor and common among other cars in the compact class.

The best compact car of 2022 

The 2022 Nissan Sentra has no shortage of class competition, with fan favorites like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla as contenders. In recent years, the Sentra has proven its best-in-class redesign with clear praise from owners and critics alike. It seems this compact car is here to stay.


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