Throughout the years, automakers have grown to realize how essential it is to include advanced safety features in their vehicles. The backup camera, once thought to be a luxury, is now standard on all new cars. There are also quite a few cars that offer automatic emergency braking on the base trim, like the Nissan Sentra.
Along with several other driver aids, automatic emergency braking is considered a pricey upgrade. The Nissan Sentra comes at an affordable price with a completely redesigned interior. However, considering its low overall score on U.S. News, is it worth your money?
The 2021 Nissan Sentra’s standard features
The base Nissan Sentra has a decent amount of tech offerings, including some USB ports, a 7-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth. For 2021, smartphone integration was also made standard. However, many critics noted that the system itself is slow to respond to user inputs and isn’t user-friendly in general.
The Sentra’s interior, which was once full of chunky black plastics, went through a complete overhaul last year. There are still some cheap imperfections, but soft, padded materials and eloquent stitching can also be found inside the cabin. The standard cloth seats aren’t the fanciest, but they offer good support and can also be manually adjusted.
The Nissan Sentra has a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 149 hp. It’s paired with a CVT and only has front-wheel drive. The CVT creates a lot of noise when the driver tries to accelerate, but at least it provides accurate shifts.
The Nissan Sentra’s unexciting handling doesn’t exactly compel drivers to go for joyrides. It feels balanced and has a decent suspension, but the steering wheel doesn’t supply good feedback. Still, drivers won’t feel short on power, especially for daily commutes.
All the Nissan Sentra’s safety features
The Nissan Sentra comes with a full suite of driver aids, including lane-keeping assistance, forward-collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Night driving is safer with the Sentra’s driver drowsiness warning as well as automatic high-beams. Drivers won’t have to worry about any blind spots thanks to the included blind-spot monitors, rearview camera, and pedestrian detection system.
A rearseat reminder alarm is also included, plus both forward and reverse automatic emergency braking. For everything included, the Nissan Sentra is a great value at just over $19,000. The only safety feature that isn’t standard on the Nissan Sentra is a surround-view camera system.
Why is AEB so important?
Brakes are designed to protect drivers in the event of a collision, but sometimes things go wrong. The driver may not apply enough pressure to the brakes, making a crash unavoidable. With automatic emergency braking, the brakes will engage when a probable collision is detected, even without the help of the driver.
Reverse automatic emergency braking is designed to help drivers maneuver into tight parking spots. If the system detects that you’re going to rear-end something, it automatically engages the brakes. Even when AEB isn’t activated, many critics still praised the Nissan Sentra’s brakes for being responsive and easy to modulate.
Is the 2021 Nissan Sentra a good deal?
Standard AEB is definitely a great perk, but the Nissan Sentra is still far from perfect. The backseat is cramped even for a rider of average height. Its bland engine and frustrating infotainment system may also discourage potential buyers.
The relatively affordable Honda Fit has a roomier interior and a better infotainment system. For around $200 less, you could get a Hyundai Veloster instead, which provides a more exciting driving experience. Just like the Nissan Sentra, both of these cars can have automatic emergency braking at a cheap price.