Each year, Consumer Reports (CR) puts out a new reliability survey that includes each car available for purchase. These surveys ask current owners what they thought about their cars in terms of performance, various features, and more. It also shows which vehicles have improved in terms of reliability and which ones have gotten worse. According to the latest data, one Nissan model fails to impress its owners. How did the Nissan Sentra, previously a CR Recommended vehicle, lose its coveted status this year?
General reliability findings for 2022
The newest Consumer Reports surveys concluded that the sedan segment has the highest average predicted reliability score. SUVs aren’t too far behind, while minivans and pickup trucks are prone to more problems. CR doesn’t recommend most 2022 pickup trucks, though models like the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma have good track records.
Many PHEVs and EVs were noted to have lower predicted reliability scores due to powertrain and charging problems. Many of them are also still plagued with glitchy or malfunctioning in-car electronics reported in prior years. Most hybrids retain their good reliability scores, and a few of them have even improved.
So where do Nissan and its Sentra fit into all this new data?
You might not want to buy a Nissan Sentra according to Consumer Reports
Despite earning a Green Choice badge from Consumer Reports, the Nissan Sentra has a rock-bottom predicted reliability score. While most of its major mechanical components should stay in good shape, owners reported body integrity problems and paint quality issues. Drivers also had problems with the Sentra’s climate control system and brakes.
Of course, it’s worth noting that some drivers have different experiences compared to others. On CR’s road test, the Nissan Sentra didn’t have any braking problems. Testers also didn’t report any excessive exterior noise, and the engine does a decent job of keeping its volume low.
The Nissan Sentra only has 149 hp on tap, but CR says that it’s still fast driving around city streets. It also has an agreeable suspension and agile handling, which extends to instances where you need to swerve at highway speeds. It got 32 mpg overall during real-world testing, with an impressive 44 mpg on the highway.
Even so, CR was disappointed by the poor illumination from the Nissan Sentra’s halogen headlights. You can get LED headlights on both the SR and SR Midnight Edition, with the latter priced below $24,000. Otherwise, CR says that you may need to use your high beams once you accelerate to higher speeds.
Both the Nissan Sentra S and SV trims also have fairly basic interiors, though that’s hardly surprising at their price points. Still, CR testers wished that the front seats had better lower back support. The second row’s seats are also on the firm side, and taller riders might have problems getting inside either row.
The Nissan Sentra has good visibility from most angles, and it’s no challenge for most drivers to get comfortable in their seats. However, your left shin might keep bumping into the foot-operated parking brake.
Consider these cars instead of a Nissan Sentra
CR recommends buying the Nissan Rogue over the Sentra, and not just because of its excellent reliability score. It’s easier to access the interior thanks to an elevated ride height and the seats are slightly more supportive. The Nissan Rogue also comes with standard LED headlights and a 201-hp turbocharged engine.
The Mitsubishi Outlander and Ford Escape Hybrid SUVs also satisfied the majority of their owners. If you’re looking for something closer to the Sentra’s price range, the Kia Soul or Seltos might be worth your consideration. All of these models have improved reliability scores for this year, which means less maintenance and a better bang for your buck.
Of course, if you’re set on buying a sedan, the Honda Civic is always a reliable option.