2022 Nissan Sentra

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 26, 2021

Buying tip

Opt for the Sentra SV with the Premium package if you want heated seats and a big touchscreen (and we do).

features & specs

S CVT
SR CVT
SV CVT
MPG
29 city / 39 hwy
MPG
28 city / 37 hwy
MPG
29 city / 39 hwy
MSRP
$19,510
MSRP
$22,100
MSRP
$20,570

The 2022 Nissan Sentra uncovers a cache of refinement in its sleek shape and refined ride.

What kind of car is the 2022 Nissan Sentra? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Sentra is a compact four-door sedan that’s been a staple of Nissan’s lineup for decades. Newly imbued with graceful looks and standard safety technology, it’s a rival for the Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla.

Is the 2022 Nissan Sentra a good car?

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It’s good, but there’s room for improvement. We like its shape, its comfort, and its value, but crash-test scores have been mixed and power is on the lean side of fine. We give the ’22 Sentra a TCC Rating of 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Nissan Sentra?

It’s still sold in S, SV, and SR trim. This year, the SR gains a black-trim package with 18-inch wheels, and the SV gains an all-weather package.

Redesigned in 2020, the latest Sentra wears a sleek look that’s not just inspired by the bigger Maxima and Altima sedans; it’s practically lifted from them. We’re fine with that, because it’s a fine shape that plays well even on the Sentra’s shorter body. The Sentra’s economy-car roots no longer show through the exterior—and even inside it’s a more serene and better-trimmed car, especially in a knockout tan-and-black leather combination.

Power isn’t its best trait, though. With 149 hp and a CVT, the front-drive Sentra doesn’t spool up to speed with alarming alacrity. It’s the opposite of that, actually—not slow, but not enough to get interesting, even when the road does. Its best efforts have come in the ride and handling department, where engineers tuned it for an absorbent feel and direct steering for an elevated driving experience, one that’s better on highways than byways.

We like the Sentra’s front seats, even in basic cloth and with manual adjustment, but high-spec cars get a power driver seat with heating and ample lumbar padding. The back seat’s good for tall passengers, two of them; three will fight for their wedge of its compact-car shoulder space. Small-item storage excels, and the trunk’s nearly as big as some mid-size cars, though far off the mark from what a compact Rogue crossover can offer, obviously.

Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick, but the NHTSA dings the Sentra with a three-star front passenger protection score.

How much does the 2022 Nissan Sentra cost?

The $20,485 Sentra S has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and automatic emergency braking. We’d spend more for the $21,545 Sentra SV and its 8.0-inch touchscreen and adaptive cruise control, and might add the Premium package’s power driver seat, sunroof, and quilted leather trim.

Where is the 2022 Nissan Sentra made?

In Mexico.

6

2022 Nissan Sentra

Styling

The Sentra copies the best Altima and Maxima cues.

We give the Sentra a 6 for styling, with a point above the usual for its exterior.

Is the Nissan Sentra a good-looking car?

It is, in part because it has the bigger Maxima and Altima to borrow from. The Sentra wears the same black cat-eye trim on its rear roof pillars. That trick was clever once, fine twice; now in its third application it’s lost its novelty, but it’s still undeniably attractive, and gives the Sentra a longer, more luxuriant shape. Nissan’s smart not to overwhelm the rest of the car with silly flourishes. There are slim LED headlights that usher the eye toward the rear and toward that black trim and its floating-canopy effect.

Budget-car cues come back into vogue inside the Sentra, especially in base models. Still, and even in basic-black trim, the interior’s far from a somber study hall. Low groups of horizontal vents lay out an expansive theme, and the view to the road ahead isn’t cluttered, even by the stand-up touchscreen centered on the dash. Rising above the base editions, the Sentra SV and SR get quilted leather trim and can be colored in black and tan and upholstered in soft synthetic-leather trim.

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5

2022 Nissan Sentra

Performance

The Sentra’s well-tuned suspension makes the most of its middling power.

The Sentra drives without much passion, but it brims with competence. It rides well, handles fine, and accelerates with moderate urgency. That’s a 5 here.

Is the Nissan Sentra 4WD?

All models are front-wheel drive.

How fast is the Nissan Sentra?

It’s eager but it’s still not very quick. The 2.0-liter, 149-hp 4-cylinder under the hood has 146 lb-ft of torque to send to the front wheels through a CVT. That’s not a technical description that inspires enthusiasm, but Nissan knits it all together well to rise slightly above the mundane. In urban stop-and-go traffic, the CVT lags where torque is thin, but at highway speeds the available power cooperates better with the pulley-and-belt transmission.

Where it offsets its average power output is in ride quality, where it’s risen above its former basic-transportation moves. The Sentra has responsive electric power steering, a low center of gravity, and an independent suspension, so it responds fluidly where it can’t react urgently. The steering has good heft, though it’s still canted toward easy driving and doesn’t build up too much weight in corners. It’s sure and settled when it’s set to cruise, and absorbs pavement gaps well.

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6

2022 Nissan Sentra

Comfort & Quality

The Sentra has moved past its economy-car roots.

With a point above average for its front seats, the Sentra earns a 6 for comfort and utility.

The Sentra’s front seats provide good support across a wide range of bodies, thanks to a well-bolstered seat back and bottom. Base sedans wear cloth interiors, and have six-way manually-adjusted seats, but quilted leather can be fitted to SV sedans, and SR cars can wear synthetic leather. With the Premium package, the driver’s seat adds power adjustment and better lumbar support.

In the back, the Sentra has enough leg room for taller bodies, but it’s not quite wide enough for three people on long-distance trips. The front seats have “foot garages” for big toes, and Nissan installs a USB port so no one arrives with a dead smartphone.

With 14.3 cubic feet of space, the Sentra’s trunk is on the small side, but it’s bigger than the trunks in the Mazda 3 and VW Jetta.

Cabin quality has been boosted in this Sentra. Its engine makes less harsh sound, and with the extravagantly stitched seats, it gives off the impression of a more costly car.

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6

2022 Nissan Sentra

Safety

The IIHS says it’s safe; the NHTSA begs to differ.

The 2022 Sentra has standard automatic emergency braking and other safety tech on the order sheet, but it’s been a mixed performer in crash tests. It’s a 6 for safety.

How safe is the Nissan Sentra?

With improved headlights, the Sentra has picked up points with the IIHS. It had just missed Top Safety Pick status when it was redesigned in 2020; now it’s “Good” in all tests and has “Acceptable” headlights in SR spec with the Premium package, so for that distinct trim level it’s a Top Safety Pick.

The NHTSA hasn’t been as kind. It gives the Sentra five stars overall, but scores it at three stars for front passenger protection.

Automatic high beams and blind-spot monitors also come with every Sentra, while a surround-view camera system and adaptive cruise control can be fitted to top trims. We like the view out of the Sentra from most angles, but the low roofline makes it somewhat more difficult to get a clear view to the sides and to the rear.

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7

2022 Nissan Sentra

Features

Take the Sentra SV to unlock the best mix of features and value.

We give the Sentra a 7 for features, with points above average for strong value and for infotainment. 

The $20,485 Nissan Sentra S has a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, power windows and locks, keyless start, and automatic emergency braking.

Which Nissan Sentra should I buy? 

We’d spend a little more for the $21,545 Sentra SV, which nudges screen size up to 8.0 inches, and adds a digital vehicle display, steering-wheel controls, and adaptive cruise control.

How much is a fully loaded Nissan Sentra?

It’s $23,075 for the Sentra SR, which has LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, an orange-stitched black interior and a rear spoiler. 

We’d consider the Premium package offered on the SR and SV. It has quilted seats upholstered in leather on the SV and synthetic leather on the SR, a power driver seat, heated front seats, and a power sunroof. The SR Premium also adds a surround-view camera system and 8-speaker Bose audio. 

Every Sentra carries a warranty good for 3 years/36,000 miles.

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6

2022 Nissan Sentra

Fuel Economy

The EPA sings the Sentra’s praises.

Is the Nissan Sentra good on gas?

It’s an efficient compact sedan, though some of its competitors outscore it in combined fuel economy by a couple of miles per gallon. The EPA rates the Sentra at 29 mpg city, 39 highway, 33 combined in S or SV trim, and at 28/37/32 mpg as a Sentra SR. That’s a 6 here, but the Civic and Corolla and Elantra hit 35 mpg or more on the EPA’s combined scale—and have hybrid companions.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$19,510
MSRP based on S CVT
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6.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety 6
Features 7
Fuel Economy 6
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2022 Nissan Sentra Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Sentra is here; 2021s sold out
  • Lease: From $239 per month for 36 months
  • Rebates: No special offers again this month
  • Finance: From 0% APR for 36 months
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