Offers good value. With a starting price tag of $20,485, the 2022 Nissan Sentra is one of the more affordable compact cars in the class. Despite being an affordable choice, the Sentra comes well-equipped with features like a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, push-button start, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and four audio speakers. The list won’t blow you away, but it’s far nicer than anything older compact vehicles used to come with.

Our favorite trim is the SV that costs $21,545. For the roughly $1,000 increase, the SV adds a larger eight-inch touchscreen, a seven-inch digital driver display, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, six audio speakers, nicer cloth upholstery, and alloy wheels.

The major drawback with the Sentra’s pricing is that available packages are expensive. The Premium Package on the SV trim costs $2,270. It adds things like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a moonroof, 17-inch wheels, and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. These are nice features to have, but we balk at the idea of paying that much for them.

Impressive safety. Nissan offers the Sentra with an extensive list of safety features. The compact sedan comes with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and a driver attention monitor as standard. Nissan is also one of the few brands in the segment to offer the Sentra with forward and reverse automatic emergency braking. The only available safety features include a surround-view parking camera and adaptive cruise control.

The Sentra did well in crash-testing conducted by the IIHS and NHTSA. In the IIHS testing, the Sentra did well enough to earn a Top Safety Pick award. The sedan earned a rating of “Good” in all six crash tests and a “Superior” for its front crash prevention system. The vehicle’s headlights that earned a “Poor” and “Acceptable” held it back. The NHTSA gave the 2022 Sentra a five-star overall safety rating.

Decent styling. The Sentra has never been a good-looking car, but that’s something Nissan’s designers set out to change with the eighth-gen model that came out in 2020. For a compact sedan, the Sentra looks nicer than the majority of its competitors. The Sentra channels the Maxima to be both sporty and upscale. With the brand’s large shield grille and an available black roof, the Sentra looks sporty in the right color scheme.

On the inside, the Sentra combines sporty elements with an upscale design to have one of the nicer interiors in the class. The circular vents look like they’ve been plucked from a luxury vehicle, while the sweeping lines that meet in the center console mimic the sedan’s grille.

We should also point out that the Sentra isn’t a style over substance sedan. At least on the inside. The seats are incredibly comfortable and there’s a surprising amount of space in the back. The front seats coddle passengers in comfort, while the rear seats are nearly as comfortable.

Lacking oomph. A lot of compact vehicles are available with multiple powertrains, but that’s not the case with the Sentra. Nissan only offers the Sentra with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 149 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is the standard pairing with the engine.

The powertrain is fine around town, where drivers don’t need a lot of power, but the Sentra has a hard time on the highway where it struggles to pass vehicles. The CVT is sluggish, making the engine feel even more lackluster. The engine is noisy under power, too.

Fuel economy isn’t great, which makes the Sentra’s performance even more disappointing. The base Sentra can get up to 33 mpg combined, while the range-topping SR can get up to 32 mpg combined. Without a hybrid powertrain, the Sentra is far off from being the most efficient vehicle in the class.

Final thoughts. We’re happy to report that the 2022 Nissan Sentra is more than a pretty face. While it lacks the performance, agile handling, and refinement as some of its competitors, it has its own strengths. Comfortable seats, great safety scores, and a look that will never get old keep the Sentra out of the weeds.

Alternatively, there’s a new Honda Civic in town for 2022. The sedan and hatchback arrive with upscale styling, nicer cabins, and impressive tech features that include a nine-inch touchscreen. A high-performance Civic Si and Type R trim are on the table, too.

Meanwhile, the Mazda3 continues to be the go-to option for consumers wanting a luxurious experience. Both the hatchback and sedan are available with a powerful turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and a standard 8.8-inch display.

Check prices for the 2022 Nissan Sentra