Safety » 6
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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
'Good,' frontal, side, rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; 'poor,' small overlap frontal impact
Top Safety Pick
Four stars overall; four stars frontal, five stars side
Perhaps more importantly, the SR also comes with disc brakes front and rear – lesser Sentra models stick with rear drums
Road & Track
In safety, the 2014 Sentra is a bit below par when you add up its scores—even though its safety equipment is good and the new design introduced last year allows good outward visibility.
The Sentra achieves top 'good' ratings in most categories from the IIHS (like most cars in its class), but that's the bright side; it gets a worrisome 'poor' rating for small overlap frontal impact. Factor in four-star NHTSA overall ratings and a four-star frontal test from that federal agency and the Sentra becomes a lower-tier performer by the crash-test results.
Standard safety equipment in the Sentra includes front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, as well as roof-mounted side-curtain bags, plus electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. And moms will be reassured to know that there are two full LATCH connectors in the Sentra's back seat (and three child-seat upper tether anchors).
Also standard is a new Easy Fill Tire Alert system that sounds the horn when you’re inflating the tires to signal the recommended pressure.
A rearview camera system is included with the available navigation system, but you might not need it all that much because the lower beltline and somewhat higher seating position give you a pretty good outward view.
Yet Bluetooth is a feature that we still consider safety-related, and it's only standard on the top SL model—an odd omission from a car that was just redesigned this past year.
Crash-test ratings place the 2014 Nissan Sentra in a lower tier, although safety features include most of what's expected in this class.