The Nissan Sentra has faced criticism over the past decade. But the brand has made tremendous strides in revamping its compact sedan to make it better than ever. Those efforts paid off in the 2020 and 2021 Nissan Sentra, as both model years scored much better in reliability than past iterations.
Let’s take a closer look at the reliability issues the Nissan Sentra has faced over the years and what that might mean for prospective owners.
The Nissan Sentra’s reliability history
Unfortunately, the Nissan Sentra hadn’t earned great reliability ratings from Consumer Reports over the past several years. Analyzing the 2010 through 2019 models, CR gave each a 1 out of 5 for owner satisfaction. Aside from the 2012 model and a few years when CR made no reliability verdict, the consumer site also gave many Sentra models a 1 out of 5 in predicted reliability.
That paints an abysmal picture, especially when wondering how many miles a Sentra will last. Nissan’s longtime compact sedan saw a complete redesign in 2020, and the 2021 model has earned predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings of three out of 5. A 3 still isn’t exciting, but it’s a definite improvement over its scores over the past decade.
So it might be easy to assume that purchasing a Nissan Sentra will set you up for headaches and major repair costs.
But your mileage may vary — literally
On CarComplaints.com, drivers can report issues that arise with their vehicles, giving prospective owners a chance to see what problems may arise. For the Nissan Sentra, CarComplaints.com reports that the two Nissan Sentra model years with the most issues are 2013 and 2005. Once you choose which year you want to give a closer look, CarComplaints.com shows how many owners have reported a certain problem, the average number of miles when the Sentra developed the issue, and the average repair cost.
You can also read reviews where owners report on issues in detail. Many indicate the number of miles on their car when a problem occurred. The overall picture here is that some owners notice problems at 10,000 or 20,000 miles, and others don’t experience the same problems until their Sentra hits well over 100,000 miles. What reviews like this won’t tell you, however, is how the owners maintained their cars. That can make a huge difference in performance.
Despite some owners’ problems, a typical Nissan Sentra should last without major issues through its first 200,000 miles with proper care. But that might not be the case for all owners because individual vehicles vary.
Getting the most out of your car
You can take several steps to ensure you get the most miles out of your car before it breaks down. Perhaps the most obvious is taking it in for regular oil changes. Your car should get an oil change at least once every 5,000 miles or more often if you live in extreme climates. Keeping your tires properly inflated and rotated can also reduce the amount of wear-and-tear on your car. And that could save you plenty of money in the long run.
Finally, finding a mechanic you can trust might be the most important part of keeping your car running for as long as possible. A trusted service technician can give you other tips and tricks for getting the most miles out of your car. They can also give recommendations for when your vehicle needs a tuneup or other important service.