Sedans & Coupes

The 2020 Nissan Sentra Is a Great Car Depending Where You Look

Depending on where you look, the  Nissan Sentra is the total package. The 2020 Sentra features an all-new platform and many practical and upscale features. Even so, reviews on this Nissan are mixed. Here’s what some of the most respected critics have to say.

The 2020 Nissan Sentra has a lot to offer 

A Nissan Sentra car on display at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California
The 2020 Nissan Sentra | MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

Nissan’s Sentra can give you a lot at a relatively affordable price. Some reviewers even consider the 2020 Sentra as a better option over the Toyota Corolla. For example, Cars.com road testers like that the Sentra offers a bit more frills than the Corolla does. The 2021 Sentra is available in three trim levels: S, SV, and SR. 

The base S trim begins at $19,310 and comes with plenty of advanced safety functions. These include forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and pedestrian detection. Along with Cars.com, Car and Driver considers the SV trim as the best option. The SV trim has more standard infotainment features, including an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.  

A 2020 Sentra SV model with leather trimmed seats.
2020 Nissan Sentra SV interior | MikeDitzPhoto

Additionally, the SV replaces the base model’s standard cloth seats with premium cloth upholstery. The top-tier SR trim provides the most upscale experience. With the SR model, you get more leather accents and available tech amenities. 

However, some critics aren’t as thrilled with the 2020 Sentra 

2020 Red Nissan Sentra landscape image
2020 Nissan Sentra | Nissan

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Critics at U.S. News also recognize the 2020 Sentra for its long list of modern features. They favor this Nissan for its handsome cabin too. However, reviewers at this organization ultimately think that the Sentra’s performance is a significant drawback.

U.S. News ranks the 2020 Sentra near the bottom of its compact car rankings because of its powertrain. All Sentras have the same 149-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a continuously variable automatic. The 2020 Sentra has an EPA rating of 33 mpg overall, which is average for the class. 

Even though its fuel economy is on par, the Sentra is pretty weak compared to many of its rivals. Because of this, U.S. News considers the Sentra’s engine and transmission as “uninspiring.” Reviews for the car’s handling are also varied.

“Power aside, the Sentra isn’t half bad to drive. The independent front and multi-link rear suspensions give the sedan a compliant ride quality, nicely tuned for city and highway driving alike. The Sentra won’t round a corner with the same verve or engagement as a Honda Civic or Mazda3, but the steering and chassis are still fine enough for the kind of driving Sentra owners will do most.” 

CNET

It’s still a best-seller, though 

A new Nissan Sentra on display
Nissan Sentra | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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Despite some low ratings, the Sentra has still emerged as one of America’s best-selling cars of the year. According to data from TTAC, Nissan sold 26,086 Sentras by the end of Q3 2020, putting it at ninth place in the small car segment. The Sentra isn’t the most enchanting option in its class, but its affordable price point and reliability make it more alluring.