Consumer Reports Taps the 2022 Nissan Sentra as the Best New Small Car Under $30,000

In the compact car segment, the competition is steep. These sedans are super popular as small family cars, working commuter cars, and among those who appreciate affordability. One of the top model contenders in this space nearly every new model year is the Nissan Sentra.

The 2022 Nissan Sentra showed up to compete in a big way. The automaker advertises this car as a fun, sporty, and personality-infused option for cost-savvy car buyers. Still, don’t just take Nissan’s word for it. Consumer Reports has officially weighed in, too, and the the CR team is tapping the 2022 Nissan Sentra as the best new small car for under $30,000.

Why the 2022 Nissan Sentra is such a gem

A 2022 Nissan Sentra compact sedan in blue parked in a concrete plaza surrounded by fauna
2022 Nissan Sentra | Nissan Motor Corporation

The Nissan Sentra got a significant facelift and redesign for its 2020 model year, pleasing nearly all the critics at the time. Meanwhile, the 2022 model year is taking fresh style and economics to a whole new level. Additionally, considering the super-affordable pricing, the 2022 Nissan Sentra feels like a steal of a deal when you realize how much car you’re getting for the under $30,000 MSRP, according to Nissan.

The Sentra fits neatly between Nissan’s Versa and Altima sedans in terms of size. Every 2022 Sentra comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for efficient power and fuel economy ratings. Consumer Reports additionally pointed to the more-than-adequate roster of standard safety equipment. Every Sentra comes with forward and rear collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning systems, and blind-spot monitoring.

What Consumer Reports says about the 2022 Nissan Sentra

Consumer Reports says the 2022 Nissan Sentra, among others on this list of new cars and SUVs, is a “top performer” that “costs less than the average new car.” That may be enough for you to take a test drive.

This new accolade for the 2022 Nissan Sentra isn’t entirely based on pricing alone, either. The CR team assembled a complete list of cars and SUVs below the $30,000 MSRP price point. The team then evaluated each model, using its internal survey-based scoring system that assigns point values for owner satisfaction, safety, predicted reliability, and road test performance. 

The 2022 Sentra qualified for the roster with its base MSRP range of $19,610 to $22,200. However, it wowed the CR team at every turn after that. The team says it’s the “best Sentra we’ve ever tested.” Consumers will love its agile handling, comfortable ride quality, incredible fuel efficiency, spacious cabin, and user-friendly controls.

Trims and price points to fit every consumer preference

You might assume that the entry-level S trim for the 2022 Nissan Sentra is the only affordable variation. However, you can buy all three trim levels of this impressive little sedan for less than $30,000.

Edmunds breaks down the available equipment for each Nissan Sentra trim: S, SV, and the SR. You can expect 149 horsepower across the board, a CVT automatic transmission, and a front-wheel drive, too. The S will set you back $20,633. The SV (the most popular trim) costs $21,695, while the top-level SR trim runs about $23,225.

Car and Driver also details the packages available for the 2022 Nissan Sentra. The SV trim can be upgraded to include an All-Weather package, adding a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and heated exterior mirrors. Additionally, the SR trim can now be married to a Midnight Edition package if black exterior elements and interior appointments are your thing.

If you’ve been eyeing the Nissan Sentra, the 2022 model year is worth a look. It delivers a whole lot of driving dynamics and amenities for its itty-bitty price tag. Furthermore, it’s not every day you can buy a top-trimmed sedan for less than the average cost of a new car. 

RELATED: The 2022 Nissan Sentra Is Cheap, But Is It Worth Buying?