For those who enjoy driving a bit more, the Mazda3 might be worth a look; it's not quite as roomy inside, and it has a bit more road noise, but its handling is quick and responsive.
The MazdaSpeed3 is also one of the top rivals for the SE-R Spec V; compared to the Spec V the Mazda is a little more unruly and feels more like a tuner car, yet it's also more outright fun to drive.
The Honda Civic Si would be the other top rival for the Spec V, more closely matching its demeanor.
The rest of the Honda Civic lineup offers more variety, including coupe and sedan body styles and multiple powertrains—even hybrid and natural gas—and it has more interior style than most others in this class.
Interior appointments—and the SYNC hands-free system—have been the emphasis in the latest Ford Focus, and an all-new 2012 Ford Focus Meanwhile, the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra are the least fashionable of the group.
Compared to the Sentra, both offer more features at the base-model level.
The Corolla now offers standard stability control and anti-lock brakes—features that remain optional in the Sentra.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2011 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings||2011 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2011 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2011 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2011 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2011 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan I4 Manual 2.0||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Manual DX||4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant) *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan Manual i SV||4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2011 Nissan Sentra vs. 2011 Ford Focus||2011 Nissan Sentra vs. 2011 Honda Civic||2011 Nissan Sentra vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra||2011 Nissan Sentra vs. 2011 Mazda MAZDA3||2011 Nissan Sentra vs. 2011 Toyota Corolla|