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Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2024 Nissan Sentra is shown parked in a parking garage.

Getting Ready to Buy Your First New Car on a Budget? Spend Less with the 2024 Nissan Sentra

Nothing says adulting like buying your first new car. Sure, it’s exciting, but with so many models to choose from—not to mention the challenge of figuring out the process—finding a car that fits your budget and offers some cool amenities isn’t easy. That’s where the 2024 Nissan Sentra comes in. For the 2024 model year, Nissan offers a fully refreshed Sentra that’s more fuel-efficient than ever, which will keep your operating costs nice and low.

Nissan modernizes the compact Sentra sedan with a new front end and headlight design for 2024 and adds a new transmission designed to contribute to fuel economy. A bright palette of available exterior colors allows buyers to dial in a unique curb profile tailored to their tastes. There are no wrong decisions here: every color shows off the Sentra’s updated contours and athletic lines. Deciding on a Nissan Sentra trim is easy, thanks to the simplified three-trim lineup that starts with the ultra-affordable and nicely equipped Sentra S.

For first-time buyers, price is likely the critical deciding factor. The 2024 Nissan Sentra is one of the lowest-priced, most cost-efficient vehicles on the market today in any category, offering newbies a chance at new car ownership without having to take on an exorbitant monthly payment. Even the mid-range Sentra SV is affordable. Being a budget buyer shouldn’t mean sacrificing creature comforts or advanced technology. Thankfully, Nissan offers both. Why should you consider the Nissan Sentra? Affordability, reliability, and style top the list of the Sentra’s most desirable features.

The Sentra is Affordable and Practical

Nissan clearly hasn’t listened to industry “experts” who claim that the sedan is on its way out. The Japanese automaker has refreshed its popular Sentra four-door sedan for the 2024 model year, creating the most efficient and stylish version yet. This is great news for first-time buyers who worry that being on a budget might interfere with finding a car that they’ll feel proud to drive. Curb appeal is evident on Nissan’s entry sedan, with a new front fascia design that looks sporty and aggressive.

Inside, the zero-gravity front seats are a highlight, offering a comfortable ride for long-distance commuters. Along with the Sentra’s ergonomic dash and flat-bottom steering wheel, the spacious 38.9 in of headroom promotes comfort and makes the cabin feel more like that of a midsize sedan. Nissan also includes a microfilter in the Sentra’s climate control system. Connectivity comes by way of a standard seven-inch color touchscreen. Upgrading to the SV increases the display to eight inches and adds a digital driver display. All three trims come with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Best of all, as a Sentra owner, you’ll enjoy low ownership costs. The EPA estimates the 2024 Sentra’s fuel economy ratings at 30 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway, with a combined 34 MPG rating. Prepare to pass more gas stations than you stop at to refuel with the standard four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, which accelerates briskly to highway speeds with outputs of 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. One notable benefit: most vehicles require premium, high-octane fuel to achieve maximum fuel economy ratings—the 2024 Sentra does so with less expensive regular fuel.

The black interior and dash of a 2024 Nissan Sentra is shown.

Premium features and next-gen technology

The Sentra’s comfortable cabin seats five passengers, and the trunk offers a generous 14.3 cu.ft. of cargo space. According to Car and Driver, that’s enough space to accommodate seven carry-on suitcases. Though the base Sentra S is priced extremely affordably—just a hair over $20,000—buyers will still find plenty of standard comfort and convenience features. These include a sporty D-shaped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free phone controls, and cloth seating surfaces. A six-way adjustable driver’s seat makes it easy to find a comfortable position.

Upgrading to the Sentra SV adds less than $1,000 to the price tag and unlocks even more amenities, along with access to equipment packages that add luxuries like premium leather-appointed seats. The SV comes with a six-speaker audio system with available satellite radio and a larger eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. While the Sentra S offers a single USB port, the SV adds a second Type-C port in front and a rear seat USB charging port for passengers. The Sentra SV also includes the Nissan Intelligent Key, which provides keyless entry via a key fob.

Both the Sentra S and SV come with 16-inch wheels and a set of all-season tires. Power outside mirrors are standard across the trim range, as are variable intermittent windshield wipers and Nissan’s iconic V-motion front grille. For buyers with a little extra cash, selecting the top-of-the-line SR trim adds heated outside mirrors with embedded turn signals, heated front seats, and upgraded sport cloth seating with unique orange stitching. The Sentra SR also gets its own trim-specific dark chrome V-motion grille, a rear spoiler, and red badging.

Safety and Driver-Assist Systems

The 2024 Nissan Sentra boasts many standard safety features, including semi-autonomous driver-assist safety systems with onboard cameras, radar, and sensors to continuously monitor the area surrounding your vehicle for potential hazards. These systems—five in total—are bundled into the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite and included on every Sentra trim. High Beam Assist is also standard, which automates the task of switching between low- and high-beam settings, improving visibility and allowing drivers to better focus on nighttime driving.

Along with High Beam Assist, Nissan Safety Shield 360 includes the following driver-assist features:

Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection: This system works by first detecting when a vehicle, a pedestrian, or another object is in your lane of travel, and the potential for a collision is possible. If the driver doesn’t apply adequate braking, the system takes over, performing emergency braking to avoid or minimize the severity of a crash.

Rear Automatic Braking: Anyone who has ever “kissed” another bumper or a curb when backing into a parking spot understands that backing up your vehicle comes with inherent risks. Rear Automatic Braking takes some of the stress away by monitoring the distance between you and any object in your path, automatically applying the brakes to keep you from making contact.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert: Live on a busy street? Rear Cross Traffic Alert will help you safely back out of your driveway by monitoring oncoming traffic in both directions and notifying you with an audible alert when a vehicle is approaching. You’ll know precisely when the coast is clear—no more guesswork.

Blind Spot Warning: Changing lanes on a busy highway can sometimes require checking your side mirror and looking over your shoulder to confirm that your vehicle’s blind spot is clear. This system performs that over-the-shoulder look for you, keeping an eye on your blind spot and notifying you when a vehicle enters it if you try to change lanes.

Lane Departure Warning: Who doesn’t drift a little on long, boring road trips? Lane Departure Warning has your back, offering feedback when it senses your car moving to the edge of its intended lane of travel. An audible alert sounds, indicating that it’s time to refocus and re-center your car.

A blue 2024 Nissan Sentra is shown parked near a person.

The affordable, practical, and refreshed 2024 Nissan Sentra

For budget buyers, finding an affordable new car is a challenge. Before resigning yourself to the used car classifieds, consider test-driving the 2024 Nissan Sentra. Nissan priced the Sentra for first-time buyers and shoppers on a shoestring, offering the convenience and reliability of a new car without the hefty monthly payment. At just over $20k, the Sentra S offers outstanding value, but moving up to the SV or SR trim won’t cost much more.

The Sentra’s four-door sedan body style taps into fuel-efficient design without compromising cabin comfort. Designed with plenty of headroom and space for your cargo, along with a 60/40 split rear seat that expands the cargo area to accommodate long items, like skis and snowboards, the Sentra is ideal for on-the-go lifestyles, commuters, and buyers who love the idea of driving a reliable vehicle that won’t break the bank.