2021 Nissan Sentra

#8
in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$19,090 - $21,430
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7.2

Overall Rating

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2021 Nissan Sentra Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020

John Bedrow's image
John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist


The Nissan Sentra is comparable to a $1 coupon in your email to play rummy online and become a billionaire; everyone ignores it, and is destined to be in the list of taxi driver's must buy cars. Nissan took note of this and wholly redesigned the Sentra inside-out in 2020 and expect this to remain similar for the upcoming year. Interestingly, the fender flares are inspired by the R35(GT-R) itself and three circular vents for climate control on the dashboard hints at a Ferrari.

Sentra has become the best-selling nameplate over time for the Japanese label. The 2020 redesign shifts the image from a humdrum to a head turner in all regards, looking far more upscale than its budget origins. The latest Nissan Sentra looks forward to swaying buyers away from popular choices like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

See detailed review »

Pros

Improved exterior styling

Intuitive technologies and updated features

Electric steering

Driving dynamics

Cons

Limited rear headroom

Timid powertrain

What's New?

Nismo Trim may appear later this year

No major changes for 2021 


Pictures & Videos

exterior
interior
Videos
2021 Nissan Sentra Review video
2021 Nissan Sentra Interior video

Ratings

Features

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

6.0

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Nissan Sentra S

S

power
149 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$19,090


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $19,090 MSRP (29/32/37) 149 hp @ 6400 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Sentra SV

SV

power
149 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$20,270


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $20,270 MSRP (29/32/37) 149 hp @ 6400 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

2021 Nissan Sentra SR

SR

power
149 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$21,430


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SR 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $21,430 MSRP (29/32/37) 149 hp @ 6400 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


The eighth-generation Sentra sits on a unique platform and comes with options like the floating roof and “V” motion grille seen in Altima and Maxima. The 2021 Sentra will also be powered by an ongoing 149-horsepower 2.0-litre inline-4 with a hugely revised CVT. Now, it rides much lower to the ground and has an independent rear suspension that can soak up road imperfections and steers well with the double pinion electric steering.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra has gone under the knife, which includes both mechanical updates and aesthetic revisions. The all-new redesigned Sentra looks exceptionally refined and modern. Like the pleasant exterior, the interior amenities are also promoted to a better level. Also, smart device integration features like Apple, CarPlay, and Android Auto are made available from the SR trim level.


8.0/10
Features

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

6.0/10
Competition


2021 Nissan Sentra Features

8.0/10

The all-newly redesigned Nissan Sentra 2021 is made available in three trim levels viz. S, SV, and SR. Starting a base price of less than $20K, Sentra is designed and engineered to be customer friendly and is ranked everywhere among the list of best sedans under twenty grand. Optional packages are given solely on SV and SR models, with the base model simply getting way to accessories such as a $345 rear spoiler or $205 carpeted floor mats.

Trims

S

SV

SR

MSRP(FWD) 

$20,090

$21,195

$22,430

Key features

16” Wheels

16” Aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/60R16 all-season tires

Standard LED lamps

 

Remote entry with push-button start

8.0” touch screen infotainment system

Walk-in lights

 

Centre console storage area

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Fog lamps

 

7.0” Touch screen display

Dual-zone climate control

Orange-Accent stitching interior

 

4 speaker sound system

Cruise control

Dark chrome V-motion Grille

   

Stop-and-go technology

 

We Recommend

We would suggest the $21,195 SV trim, which, for $1,180 more, adds adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto adaptability, a bigger touchscreen, wider wheels, and more admirable Zero Gravity seats. All models share the same naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine and CVT transmission, so you don't have to make any decisions in that department.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is expected to arrive in the markets by the beginning of 2021 more precisely, by January 2021, starting with a base price of less than $ 20K.

2021 Nissan Sentra Engine and Performance

The Nissan Sentra 2021 is a well-crafted sedan that is equipped with 2.0L inline-four engine which is capable of delivering a power of 149 hp and of 145 lb-ft of torque mated to a CVT transmission. As the powertrain was completely overhauled for 2020, there are no expected changes in terms of performance and engine with respect to the 2021 model.

Nissan's Xtronic CVT automatic transmission sends its power to the front wheels as standard. Also, they may come up with a Nismo variant this year which may sport a six-speed manual transmission. This will be the first mainstream entry-level vehicle to get a Nismo treatment in the lineup.

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

MSRP($)

19090

23005

21605

20280

Engine

2.0L Naturally Aspirated inline 4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated inline 4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated inline 4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated inline 4

Drive train

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

CVT

6-speed manual /CVT

HP @ RPM

149 @ 6300

169 @ 6600

158 @ 6500

147 @ 6200

Torque lb-ft @ RPM

145 @ 4000

151 @ 4400

138 @ 4200

132 @ 4500

Even though four of them are equipped with the same engine with similar drivetrain and transmissions, Toyota Corolla 2020 with a higher price than the other three, puts out greater power and torque of 169hp and 151 lb-ft respectively and proves to be the most dominant individual. 

Hyundai Elantra is battered by the other three. Also, it is clear that Nissan Sentra is not as capable as Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic but is surely the right choice for the price, compared to rivals.

How quick is the 2021 Nissan Sentra?

Stomp the throttle, and the CVT glances at you for a while, questioning if you’re sure. It’ll run to nearly 6,000 rpm before the CVT finds a decent mid-range rpm. Over 3,000 rpm, the Sentra is punchy to perform any moderate crossing move. 

There is a sport mode, which is actuated via an unmarked button on the shifter and makes the CVT take up the rpm just a little for more sharp acceleration. However, it doesn't make any real difference. The Nismo variant is expected to reduce the acceleration time by a greater margin when it comes later this year.

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

0 - 60 MPH(Sec)

8.3

8.2

8.2

8.3

Quarter Mile

16.6

16.2

16.3

16.4

Top Speed

120

112

--

116

Engine

2.0L Inline4

2.0L Inline4

2.0L Inline4

2.0L Inline4

The2021 Nissan Sentra is quite zippy when compared to its rivals from 2020. It covers 0-60 with 8.3 seconds and can reach a top speed of about 120 mph.

Every vehicle here is outfitted with 2.0L Inline 4 engine, it is quite evident that the 2021 Nissan Sentra has got something unusual with the highest top speed. As the Nissan Sentra, other rivals also take a similar time to reach the 60 mph mark. While Sentra catches the quarter-mile in 16.6 seconds, Toyota still gains it in just 16.2 seconds, although it is a slight difference and goes unnoticed in the real world.

How well does the 2021 Nissan Sentra brake?

There are no official specifications about the braking performance of the 2021 Nissan Sentra. As there are no significant changes, we can expect it will be similar to the 2020 iteration. It gets adequate braking feedback and has four disc brakes with two of them ventilated when compared to rivals. You can also opt for the ventilated rear disc brakes in the SV variant.

The front brake rotor of 11 inches makes it more robust and convincing. In case of execution, when the abrupt brake is applied, it breaches to stop in just 122 feet. This is an above-average figure for an entry-level sedan. The Sentra gets an Active Understeer Control, which brakes the inside wheel to help in turning the car around corners. 

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

Brake rotor front(in)

11

10.8

11.2

11

Brake rotor rear(in)

-

10.2

10.2

8

Curb weight(lbs)

3047

3110

2771

2844

60-0(ft)

122

119

120

121

From the data mentioned above, Honda Civic has the most effective brake rotors of 11.2 inch and 10.2 inches in the front and rear respectively. Nissan Sentra and Hyundai Elantra have the same brake rotor size of 11 inches. Toyota Corolla shows mediocre performance in the braking section. Even though others beat it in terms of equipment, Toyota Corolla reaches to a standstill- pose faster than others.

How well does the 2021 Nissan Sentra handle?

An all-new design inside-out has made the Nissan Sentra more charismatic. Lightweight chassis components made the ride and handling more easier and compliant. The 2020 Sentra sat on a brand new platform, which combines a new independent rear suspension and redesigned electric power steering system. While opponents have advanced towards a more modest torsion beam rear suspension to hold prices down, Nissan's judgment to use an unconventional setup has immediately leapfrogged the Sentra into the best handler in the section.

It's not something you take to tracks, but the lower centre of gravity and lively powertrain lets you drive the front-wheel-drive compact better than anticipated. The cabin is comparatively quiet, with engine noise only begun when you are travelling at highway speed. The dual-pinion rack-mounted electric power steering gives more stability the more you turn, so cruising is soft and relaxed. At the same time, more vivacious driving in valley roads has all-embracing feedback. Sentra is quite a good 'Family-Car' for their daily use. Because it is budget-friendly, the interior steering wheel is easy to handle, brakes, suspension, etc. are pretty cool.

2021 Nissan Sentra Fuel Economy

As the 2020 Sentra uses a non-turbo engine, doesn't mean it can't be fuel-efficient. Despite being bigger in capacity, Nissan has worked on its 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor to be more potent and improve fuel efficiency. A drag coefficient of only 0.27 Cd and a curb weight of around 3000 pounds helps to take this ahead.

Nissan Sentra gives a combined MPG of 33 and ranges up to 359/483(city/hwy). Sentra’s CVT has an endless number of gears, which serves to optimize fuel economy based on how you operate. 

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

MPG city

29

31

30

30

MPG highway

39

38

28

40

MPG combined

33

34

33

34

Fuel capacity

13.2

13.2

12.4

14

Range (mi) (city/hwy)

359/483

410/528

372/471

420/560

Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra provide an equivalent MPG figures 33, while the other two extend maximum MPG of 34 respectively. And Hyundai Elantra holds the prime place for having the most fuel capacity of 14 gallons, while Honda Civic only has 12.4 gallons.

2021 Nissan Sentra Interior

8.0/10

A radically overhauled interior takes the 2021 Nissan Sentra from dull rental Uber staple to contemporary commuter, fashionable just like the outside. Gone are those days, now a dashboard that glides beautifully and includes angular design details such as centrally-mounted triple air vents - as you have seen in Camaro and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. It has grown dimensionally, the space inside is also increased.

Standard interior features for 2021 include a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, while six-way power and two-way power lumbar seats are components of the Premium Package.

Nissan's Zero Gravity seats secure their access into the Sentra's cabin and offer excellent support, especially when journeying long road trips. These are simply the comfiest seats in the segment.

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

Seating capacity

5

5

5

5

Front headroom/ shoulder room/ legroom

38.9

56.4

44

38.3

54.8

42.3

39.3

57.0

3701

40.3

56.2

42.2

Rear headroom/ shoulder room/ legroom

36.7

54.5

34.7

37.1

54.8

41.4

37.1

55.0

37.4

37.3

55.3

35.7

Trunk capacity(cu.ft)

15.1

13.0

15.2

14.4

Outward visibility is excellent due to the large windshield, though the reduced roofline steals rear and side visibility. It provides maximum front legroom than the rivals. But it lags behind others in terms of second-row space.

Hyundai Elantra provides the maximum front headroom and Honda Civic extends its shoulder room of 57-inches, which is the maximum. Nissan Sentra is the sedan that offers maximum front legroom space of 44-inches.

What about the infotainment features of the 2021 Nissan Sentra?

At the centre of the dashboard lies a new infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen as standard which can be enhanced to an eight-inch screen on upper trims. Standard infotainment features include speed-sensitive volume control, Bluetooth streaming, a single USB port, and aux input.

For the nicer amenities go to SV trim at $1,180 more than the base model, which comes with three USB ports, including one USB-C, an 8.0-inch touchscreen. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 7.0-inch digital vehicle info display while the standard one is of 4.5 inches. The interface is intuitive to use and responds quickly to inputs. Steering wheel mounted controls to toggle through trip meters or changing audio, so you don’t need to whine with the touchscreen.

Some of the prominent features include:

  • 7.0” touch screen in base trim
  • 8.0” touch screen in SV and SR trims
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in SV and SR.
  • Climate control panel.
  • Four-speaker sound system

How much cargo can the 2021 Nissan Sentra carry?

Nissan Sentra offers an acceptable and spacious luggage cabin of 15.2 cu.ft, which is bigger than its rivals. It offers the standard cargo space of 15.2 cu.ft and can be extended by split-folding the rear seats 60/40. 

There are many clever spaces and cubby holes inside the cockpit to carry smaller items. The doors pockets are large and can accommodate substantial belongings. The wide-opening trunk and low liftover makes loading and unloading easy.

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

Standard cargo capacity(cu.ft)

15.1

13.0

15.2

14.4

Maximum cargo capacity(cu.ft)

-

-

-

-

Nissan Sentra and Honda Civic offer the maximum cargo cabin space of 15.2 cu.ft each and is followed by Hyundai Elantra with 14.4 cu.ft. Toyota Corolla has the least luggage space of 13.0 cu.ft.

2021 Nissan Sentra Exterior

7.0/10

The 2019 model car was headed as a slave in rental squadrons till it got an undignified death. The new vehicle is an entirely different league. It is almost two inches lower and two inches wider, with a somewhat longer wheelbase, so it looks more contemporary. The redesigned Sentra wears a flowing V motion grille like the other vehicles in Nissan's lineup and looks way better than the forerunners.

The hood dips farther down, and the front expands horizontally, with strongly recessed available fog lights in the lower grille. The two-tone black roof alternative has a slimming outcome. The Nissan Sentra is listed as a compact sedan and measures 182.7 inches in total length while sitting on a 106.8-inch wheelbase. The Senta is 71.5 inches broad and reaches 56.9 inches in height.

Models

2021 Nissan Sentra S CVT

2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT

2020 Honda Civic LX CVT

2020 Hyundai Elantra SE IVT

Curb weight(lbs)

3047

3110

2771

2844

Length (in)

182.6

182.5

182.3

181.9

Width (in)

71.5

69.9

70.8

70.9

Height (in)

56.9

56.5

55.7

56.5

Ground clearance (in)

6.4

5.1

6.3

6.3

Wheelbase

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

Nissan Sentra is the lengthiest and weighty sedan on the list. Also, it is broader than rivals. Nissan Sentra beats its rivals with greater ground clearance than others.

  • Fog lights
  • Taillamps and LED headlamps.
  • Signature V-motion grille
  • Floating roof
  • Concealed under-hood

2021 Nissan Sentra Safety

8.0/10

While focusing on its features and performance, Sentra doesn’t forget to give its attention to the safety measure. The redesigned 2020 Nissan Sentra hasn’t been crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS, but it adds a suite of standard active safety features called Nissan Safety Shield 360. Some of the prominent safety features are:

  • Anti-Lock braking system(ABS)
  • Traction control (TCS)
  • Vehicle dynamic control 
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blindspot detector
  • Standard six airbags
  • Pre-collision warning

 

2021 Nissan Sentra Competition

6.0/10

The 2021 Nissan Sentra manages to stacks up against its rivals in many cases. The notable opponents of Nissan Sentra 2021 are, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra. Each of them is a worthy competitor for the Nissan Sentra. 

2021 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla 2020 is a real competitor for Sentra. Toyota Corolla has better performance and fuel efficiency. But Sentra manages to keep its head up with its exterior and interior features. Most of the Sentra's might include a long list of standard safety features, that are equalled by the Corolla. There's inconsiderable intent to buy the Sentra rather than the Toyota.

2021 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a more reliable compact car than the Sentra. It offers an ample range of powertrains, including turbocharged options, as well as a charming manual transmission. The Civic also presents athletic handling, in opposition to the Sentra's overall humble driving dynamics. With both of these competitors selling for less than $20,000, you're better off with the high-ranking Civic.

2021 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Hyundai Elantra

Talking about the final rival, Hyundai Elantra 2020, this is not a tough competitor, rather it is more like a friendly rival. Both of them share almost the same features as power and performance, price, fuel capacity, etc. but Nissan Sentra triumphs the other in terms of cargo space and some exterior features. But at the same time, Hyundai is a definite winner because of multiple engine options and a better design

 

2021 Nissan Sentra Final Verdict

For this price you pay, this is really a good choice and is worth every penny. The Sentra is an affordable midsize sedan designed to satiate the need of a small family or handling daily commutes. It is not only spacious but is pretty functional as well. For a casual buyer, we will recommend this without a single slice of uncertainty. The new 2021 Sentra will succeed to be a more reasonable car to drive, without losing the value proposition.

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