Year in and year out, many different models occupy the top spots on Consumer Reports’ recommended small car rankings. But occasionally, another car sneaks into the mix. In 2022, it was the Nissan Sentra’s turn. It finally earned a checkmark by its name on Consumer Reports’ Recommended list.
What Consumer Reports says about the 2022 Nissan Sentra
Nissan last redesigned the Sentra in 2020. That year, Consumer Reports called the change “a complete transformation compared with the previous model.” The company liked the Sentra’s performance and how it drove. It praised the Sentra’s “comfortable ride, nimble handling, great fuel economy, roomy cabin, and intuitive controls.” It also liked the 149 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and refined continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Consumer Reports also liked the mix of features, noting the upscale appearance of the interior with options like leather and heated seats. The reviewer thought the infotainment system was well thought out and easy to use.
Finally, it liked Nissan’s Safety Shield 360, a standard suite of safety features, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot monitoring.
There are only a few items Consumer Reports didn’t like about the Sentra. It mentioned the foot-operated parking brake and said the headlight performance could be better. They also felt the front seats needed more lower back support. However, they noted that the SV trim level’s Premium package includes better seats with upgraded lumbar support and power adjustments on the driver’s side.
What years of the Nissan Sentra are not recommended?
Surprisingly, Consumer Reports does not have a lot of data on the 2020 to 2022 Nissan Sentra, which is why it did not provide a recommended rating. The company also didn’t recommend the previous generation Sentra, built from 2013 to 2019, for the same reason.
The only data Consumer Reports consistently has on the 2013 to 2021 Nissan Sentra is ownership satisfaction. This rating is based on Consumer Reports survey data combined with the staff’s technical knowledge. This combination allows the company to “expertly predict the owner satisfaction of new and redesigned models.” Consumer Reports also indicates the ownership satisfaction rating “combines all versions of the model and may not be specific to the individual vehicle featured.” The rating is meant to be an “informed prediction.”
Is the Nissan Sentra a good car?
Consumer Report’s “informed prediction” is like stock market performance and should come with the same disclaimer found on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: “past performance is not indicative of future results.” In other words, just because the Nissan Sentra received low marks in the past doesn’t mean it should continue to receive low marks today. In reviews of the current generation Nissan Sentra, the company acknowledges this fact.
In the Sentra’s case, the lack of a recommended rating from Consumer Reports is due to a lack of data as opposed to poor scores. The first year the company has a complete set of data on the Sentra is 2022, and the car is ranked #2 on their list of compact cars. It is just behind the Subaru Impreza but ranks ahead of the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta, and Honda Civic.
The Nissan Sentra is a good car for the right person. It stands out in the compact car class thanks to its combination of comfort, features, and performance. We think that will continue with the 2023 Sentra, which should only have minor changes from 2022.