2022 Nissan Sentra Unseats the Toyota Corolla After 2 Years on Consumer Reports’ Top 10

In the auto world, Toyota is often the manufacturer to beat, as it typically takes home the crown for any division it has a vehicle in. However, Nissan overthrew its rival with the 2022 Nissan Sentra. In a surprising twist, no one saw coming; the Sentra beat the much loved Toyota Corolla for the Best Small Car Award from Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports bests cars of 2022

An orange 2022 Nissan Sentra in a black and white room
2022 Nissan Sentra | Nissan Motor Company

Each year, Consumer Reports releases the Best Cars of the Year award. For 2022, there were a few changes, such as a highway-speed AEB requirement and the addition of two points to a vehicle’s overall score if it has an active driver monitoring system. 

The 2022 Nissan Sentra took home the award for the small car division, while the Nissan Rogue Sport won the subcompact SUV. For the small SUV division, the Subaru Forester managed to beat out the competition, thanks largely to the addition of the Wilderness trim.

The Honda Accord’s hybrid option helped it take home the Best Midsize Sedan award prize. Speaking of hybrids, the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime stood out thanks to the impressive 52 mpg range.

Toyota managed to earn another win in the two-row SUV division with the Toyota RAV4 Prime. No one was surprised when the Kia Telluride was awarded the midsize three-row SUV.

The Honda Ridgeline won the compact pickup truck, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E won the electric vehicle. The Lexus RX rounded things out with the luxury midsize SUV.

The 2022 Nissan Sentra was a real surprise

The Nissan Sentra has officially overthrown the Toyota Corolla. Consumer Reports was highly impressed with the Sentra and awarded it an overall score of 77. 

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is highly impressive for such an affordable vehicle, and the acceleration can’t be beaten. The interior is also tough to compete with for the price range.

Speaking of the price, the 2022 Nissan Sentra has a starting price of $19,510 and tops out at $22,100. It gets 22 mpg in the city, 44 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg overall, so this will also aid in keeping the price low for those on a budget. 

The standard Safety Shield 360 offered by Nissan is what tipped the scales in favor of the Nissan Sentra and helped it dethrone the Toyota Corolla, which has held the title for Best Small Car from Consumer Reports for two years now.

The Toyota Corolla has fallen

The Toyota Corolla failed to bring home the title for 2022. However, it won the Best Small Car award from Consumer Reports in both 2020 and 2021. 

The 2022 Toyota Corolla received an overall score of 73 from Consumer Reports. While only slightly lower than the Nissan Sentra, it played a role in the Corolla’s loss.

Other factors that helped contribute to the Corolla’s fall were the slow, raspy engines on both the hybrid and gasoline-fueled versions. The base engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder generating 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque, with an optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. 

The transmission, which tends to roar out even when the gas pedal is only lightly pressed, is another source of annoyance that was difficult to overlook. There is also less headroom in the back than in previous models.

Consumer Reports was impressed that the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 comes standard, but lack of blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning without upgrading contributed to bringing the Corolla’s score down.

Even though the Corolla gets 23 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway, and 33 mpg overall, which is slightly better than the Sentra’s, it wasn’t enough to bring home the award for 2022. 

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