2011 Nissan Sentra vs. Its Competition

2011 Nissan Sentra 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.0 S Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Nissan Sentra is soundly mainstream in the compact-sedan class, and it fits into the middle, between strictly practical models like the Corolla and sportier models such as the Mazda3.

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.

2011 Nissan Sentra 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.0 S Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings2011 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan S Side Exterior View2011 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2011 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto EX-L Angular Front Exterior View2011 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2011 Hyundai Elantra2011 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings2011 Mazda32011 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2011 Toyota Corolla2011 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.0
The 2010 Nissan Sentra looks plain on the outside and is only offered in one body style, but there's a lot to love for shoppers who value a comfortable, well-appointed interior.
7.2
7.2
The 2011 Honda Civic is still a standout for its perky driving feel and responsiveness, but in most other respects it's no longer so impressive.
8.2
38 mpg; a sleek, sophisticated look; and even more value for the money confirm that this little sedan has officially left the Corolla in the dust.
8.0
The 2011 Mazda3 provides more driving enjoyment than most other small-car models, along with a stylish, racy look; but with a tight, noisy cabin, it’s not without compromise.
7.2
The 2011 Toyota Corolla is spacious, safe, and well-equipped; but if you're looking for excitement or inspiration, it's not here.
MSRP From     
$16,060$16,640$15,805$14,945$15,800$15,900
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactCompactCompactMid-SizeCompactCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan I4 Manual 2.04-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant) *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualManual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD