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The 2021 Nissan Senta is a model that many shoppers may consider to be their next commuter car. But does the Sentra stand out in a highly competitive segment?

For years, Nissan’s compact car has lagged behind other competitors with the amount of value it’s offered its owners. However, the 2021 model year has brought some welcome changes, helping the Sentra inch closer toward the rest of the pack.

Nissan recently announced the initial pricing and feature lineup for its 2021 Sentra via a press release. The manufacturer only raised the MSRP of the car by $100, as it now starts at $19,410.

Consumers won’t likely mind the slight increase in cost. While the 2021 Nissan Sentra remains relatively unchanged, its base trim now gains some popular technologies. Plus, the company’s press release claims the car has the most standard features in its class, making it quite a bargain.

Do the adjustments to the 2021 Nissan Sentra make it more competitive within the compact car segment? Or will this car be an afterthought as shoppers continue to favor the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla?

The 2021 Nissan Sentra makes connectivity a priority

A silver 2021 Nissan Sentra parked by the water
The 2021 Nissan Sentra on display | Photo via Nissan

Smartphones are becoming more and more intertwined with the driving experience. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to access their apps by linking their phone to the car’s touchscreen display.

These smartphone mirroring technologies have become extremely popular and are now standard on most models. However, the Sentra has been behind the eight ball, making buyers pay extra for these features as they were only available on particular trim levels.

Thankfully, that’s no longer a problem, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on every 2021 Nissan Sentra. Every Sentra driver will now be able to easily stream their favorite music, check their messages, and access navigation.

Those who upgrade to the SR trim level will be treated to even more connectivity features. It comes with NissanConnect Services with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to communicate with your car remotely. You can use your smartphone to lock/unlock the vehicle, remotely start the engine, and more.

What else does this car have to offer?

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is a no-frills commuter car. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers every model, but you shouldn’t expect too much excitement. This powerplant delivers just 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, which is less than many of its rivals. Meanwhile, drivers will enjoy exceptional gas mileage. Figures for the 2021 model have not yet been released, but the 2020 iteration earned an EPA-estimated 33 MPG city/highway combined.

Interior amenities are limited on the base model, but the mid-tier SV trim adds plenty of goodies. The size of the touchscreen is upgraded from seven inches to eight, and you’ll gain two extra speakers for a total of six.

Perhaps the most significant area where the 2021 Nissan Sentra shines is in safety, as it’s loaded with driver-assistance technologies. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. Features like adaptive cruise control are available on higher trims.

Is the 2021 Nissan Sentra a contender?

Nissan’s compact car is undoubtedly a better vehicle now than it was during its previous model year. Some experts have even praised the 2021 Sentra. However, the addition of the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto won’t likely sway too many car buyers.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra still doesn’t offer a better overall package than the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, or Hyundai Elantra. This doesn’t mean that the Sentra is a lousy car. Rather, it’s not the most exciting model for the money.


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