The Nissan Sentra and the Volkswagen Jetta have been longstanding entries in the compact car lineup. However, both the Volkswagen Jetta and the Nissan Sentra have had troubles in recent model years. The 2020 Nissan Sentra has had significantly declining sales from the first quarter of 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta has received harsh reviews from some critics – being rated one of the least reliable compact cars for the model year.
Regardless of these issues, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta and the 2021 Nissan Sentra are still top competitors in their class. Here is who came up on top in Autotrader’s comparison of the two cars and why.
The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta
The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta sedan comes in six different trims – the S, SE, R-line, SEL, and SEL premium (listed from base to the highest trim). According to Volkswagen, the 2021 Jetta comes with two different engine types: a 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 147 hp and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 228 hp. There are also three options for transmission including seven-speed sequential, eight-speed automatic, and six-speed manual.
What Autotrader thought about the 2021 VW Jetta
Autotrader was impressed by the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta’s MIB3 infotainment system and overall display technology. Furthermore, the 2021 Jetta’s Virtual Cockpit instrument system was also impressive as it allows you to adjust the appearance of the gauge layout.
When it came to the interior, Autotrader enjoyed its roomy interior and the visually pleasing interior finishes. Furthermore, in all trims except the base trim, the 2021 Jetta also comes standard with a variety of safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.
Furthermore, the 2021 Jetta’s turbocharged engine produces an impressive amount of torque- allowing for a sporty, speedy drive. The 2021 Jetta’s fuel economy is even more impressive with the Jetta being having a range of more than 450 miles on a single tank. Furthermore, it gets 54 mpg highway and 21 mpg city for an overall fuel economy of 34 mpg according to Consumer Reports.
The only limitation mentioned by Autotrader is the 2021 Jetta’s limited cargo and storage space. Also, Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Jetta a very low predicted reliability rating – with the Jetta getting a 1/5.
The 2021 Nissan Sentra
The 2021 Nissan Sentra comes in three different trims – starting with the base S, the SV, and the SR (the highest trim). All Nissan Sentra models come with CVT automatic transmission. Furthermore, 2021 Sentra models are available in only one engine- a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 149 hp. The Nissan Sentra gets 33 mpg combined fuel economy (29 city/39 highway).
How Autotrader rated the 2021 Nissan Sentra
Autotrader enjoyed the 2021 NissanSentra’s spacious and comfortable interior which includes intuitive features like a flat-bottomed steering wheel for easy entry and exit. Furthermore, the 2021 Sentra’s interior monitor is one of the best in its class and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition to this, optional Bose speakers and Wi-Fi hotspots will further improve the cabin experience.
The 2021 Sentra also outshines many of its competitors when it comes to safety. Like the Volkswagen Jetta, all 2021 Sentra models come standard with safety features like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. There are other safety options including adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system that come at an extra cost. Emergency response connectivity is another great feature of the 2021 Sentra and will provide extra peace of mind to owners.
On the other hand, Autotrader didn’t enjoy the 2021 Sentra’s CVT transmission which is noisy when climbing hills. Furthermore, 2021 Sentra’s with the sunroom option had limited passenger headroom.
The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta comes out on top
The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta comes out on top over the 2021 Nissan Sentra in Autotrader’s comparison for one main reason – the 2021 Jetta’s superior engine. The 2021 VW Jetta’s engine is not only impressively powerful but is also gets amazing fuel economy and an impressive range. In addition to this, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta also has a superior basic warranty with two years of free maintenance.