2013 Nissan Sentra vs. Its Competition

2013 Nissan Sentra, short test drive, Los Angeles, Feb 2013
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

If the new 2013 Nissan Sentra is aiming to be more of a 'little big car,' its closest rival could actually end up being the Chevrolet Cruze, which feels large, comfortable, and refined compared to some of these other compact sedans.

Meanwhile, both the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra have managed to stand out in the market in part because of their designs, but otherwise there are different reasons for the appeal of these cars.

The Focus is one of the sportiest-driving small cars in this class, and likely to be much more so than the Sentra, while the Elantra is established as one of the value and feature leaders.

Taking a step back, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the Sentra's traditional competition.

The latest Civic gets reasonably good gas mileage but fails to impress for design, features, or refinement, and while the Corolla remains an affordable, reliable, and comfortable pick, it fails to impress in most other ways.

2013 Nissan Sentra, short test drive, Los Angeles, Feb 20132013 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings2013 Chevrolet Cruze2013 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Focus2013 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda Civic EX-L2013 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2013 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2013 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Corolla2013 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.2
The 2013 Nissan Sentra looks poised to become more of a 'premium' compact sedan, emphasizing spaciousness, comfort, and features over outright sportiness.
7.8
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is one of the smartest picks for anyone wanting practicality, comfort, and safety in a compact sedan—although it's missing the fun-to-drive edge of some other models.
8.8
Whether or not you consider the exciting new ST performance model, the 2013 Ford Focus lineup is evidence that small cars don't have to feel so appliance-like.
8.0
The 2013 Honda Civic takes a step back in the right direction with an impressive feature set, a sophisticated new look, and much-improved refinement.
8.4
Civic who? Corolla what? The Hyundai Elantra's one of the new standard bearers in the compact class, with 38-mpg fuel economy, better safety, and class-leading standard features.
7.0
The 2013 Toyota Corolla fits the transportation needs of those who want a comfortable, safe, and very low-cost vehicle that will be long-term dependable; those who crave any driving excitement should look elsewhere.
MSRP From     
$15,990$17,130$16,200$18,165$16,695$16,230
Gas Mileage     
27 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactMidsize CarsCompactCompact CarsMidsize carsCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan I4 Manual S4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant) *Ltd Avail*4-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/A4N/AN/A4N/A
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedanSedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManualManualManual