Nissan Sentra vs. Nissan Altima

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - March 13, 2020

Despite consumer interest in SUVs, Nissan recently overhauled a few of its sedans. The midsize Nissan Altima was redesigned for the 2019 model year, while the compact Sentra was completely updated for 2020.

There are clear differences between the two models, but they also share quite a lot of similarities, which may make choosing between them difficult. For starters, the Altima is larger, more expensive, and offers more performance than the Sentra. The Sentra is a smaller, more affordable, and more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Are there any other differences that'll have you leaning toward one option? Take a look at which one we think is the better buy for the majority of consumers below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Sentra & Altima »

What the Sentra Gets Right

If you’re looking to stay on a budget, the Sentra is the clear choice. It costs $20,015 including destination to start, which makes it $4,980 cheaper than the entry-level Altima.

With cars being more expensive than ever, being able to save money on a new vehicle is a major advantage. You could even get into a range-topping Sentra SR trim for $22,355, which would still be $2,640 cheaper than the base Altima.

Despite being the more affordable vehicle, the Sentra comes with more standard safety features than the Altima. Even the base Sentra S comes with front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and more. When it comes to standard active safety features, the base Altima only gets automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.

What the Altima Gets Right

When it comes to performance, the Altima has the edge over the Sentra. The Sentra only has one engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 149 horsepower. Nissan offers two engines for the Altima, both of which are more powerful. Its base 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 188 hp, while consumers seeking more power can opt for an available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 248 hp.

Another key thing that the Altima has over the Sentra is available all-wheel drive. It’s only available on the base four-cylinder engine but is a relatively affordable $1,350 option.

While the Sentra is the more fuel-efficient option, the Altima gets the win because it’s not too far off of the Sentra while being much more powerful. The Altima gets 32 miles per gallon combined with the base engine and 29 mpg combined with the turbo, according to the EPA. The Sentra is only rated at 33 mpg combined.

The Altima also comes with more standard tech features. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen, four USB ports, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system are included. The base Sentra gets a 7-inch touchscreen without smartphone integration.

Want the Best Bang for Your Buck?

If you’re looking to get the most for your money while staying on a budget, the Sentra is the best option. The fully redesigned model is good enough to ensure that some consumers continue to go with compact sedans over SUVs, thanks to its move of becoming a well-rounded option instead of just a budget-friendly car. There’s more to like with the Sentra than ever before.

Our Verdict: Nissan Altima

With more standard tech features, more powerful engines, and available all-wheel drive, the Nissan Altima is the winner in this competition. Thanks to its larger size, the vehicle is more versatile and should also be more comfortable for owners. It does cost more money than the Sentra, but the extra cost is justified.

Take a closer look at the Nissan Sentra »

Take a closer look at the Nissan Altima »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer|
COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com