Are you tired of that gas-guzzling SUV or pickup? Do you find yourself needing something more fuel efficient and a bit more comfortable? You might be thinking about switching to a sedan. But which sedan is worthy of your hard-earned money?
You will find that there is quite a bit of competition between the 2023 Nissan Sentra vs 2023 Toyota Corolla. They are both capable sedans, with quite a few attractive features. Yet one is better than the other, and you are about to find out why.
In recent years, compact sedans have been considered a dying breed. This segment still has a number of holdouts though, and the Sentra and Corolla are two of them. These two models are strong rivals, but there are some differences between them, differences that make the Sentra a smarter choice for buyers.
Exactly how smart of a choice is the 2023 Nissan Sentra? Not only is it an affordable model packed with value, it also has an interior design that speaks to Nissan’s emphasis on comfort and quality. The Sentra is proof that you can get a great sedan without blowing through everything you have in your bank account.
Superior Comfort Inside the Cabin
Nissan knows how to craft a comfortable cabin. Whether you choose the base S trim, or the SV, SR, or the SR Midnight Edition, you get a cabin that oozes coziness. Air conditioning is standard, but on the SR models you get treated to a dual-zone automatic climate control system that will have you feeling relaxed no matter what the temperature is outside. Also, the cabin is designed with space in mind. In both rows, you get plenty of room for heads, arms, and legs. In certain rivals, such as the Corolla, headroom is limited due to a sloping roofline. Six-foot tall passengers might feel cramped for back seat headroom.
A six-way adjustable driver’s seat is standard, and on the SR models you can opt for a power seat with lumbar support. Given that it does not cost a lot more to upgrade, it’s worth buying the SR trim to add the power seat and enhance your comfort. However, the standard seats feel perfectly comfortable as well. Even the 60/40-split folding rear seats pack in enough back and thigh support. Heated front seats are optional for the SR models, as well as a heated steering wheel.
A High-Quality Interior
The Sentra might be easy on the bank account, but that does not mean it skimps on quality. Access to the cabin is made easy though remote keyless entry on the S trim, or Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition on all higher trim levels. Once you’re inside, you will see plenty of soft touch surfaces up front with hard plastics kept to a minimum. While you get standard sun visors with vanity mirrors, on the SR trim levels you can opt for illuminated mirrors.
As far as seating goes, you have some choices to make. The S features standard cloth upholstery, and the SV upgrades to premium cloth upholstery. The SR bumps it up another notch with sport cloth seat trim complete with contrast orange stitching. The SR also lets you opt for Prima-Tex seats with contrast orange stitching, while on the SV you can get quilted leather seats. No matter what you choose, the fabric feels comfortable and looks cohesive with everything else in the cabin.
Most rivals at least try to compete with the Sentra, but some just don’t nail the refinement factor. Even the Corolla lacks certain details. Its line-topping trim has synthetic leather upholstery, but you won’t find an option for quilted leather.
A Well-Tuned Suspension
Adding to your sense of comfort is the Nissan Sentra’s well-tuned suspension. The Sentra has an independent strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, complete with front and rear stabilizer bars. The twin-tube shock absorbers help to create an effortlessly smooth ride quality. Road imperfections are quickly dispatched, and the vehicle remains composed when you roll over bumps and juts in the road.
Competitors in this segment try to provide comfortable ride qualities, but some struggle to match the Sentra’s refinement. Even the Corolla comes off as feeling too firm sometimes, which isn’t something you get with the Sentra.
Respectable Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is a strong point for the 2023 Nissan Sentra. On the S and SV trim levels, fuel economy is rated for 33 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, from 29 MPG in the city to 39 MPG on the highway. This number only drops slightly on the SR, with an EPA estimate of 32 MPG combined from 28 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway.
Most competitors get somewhere in the same ballpark, but others that are equipped with a 2.0L engine and CVT fall short of reaching the Sentra’s strong estimates. The Corolla is one of the small sedans that does closely match the Sentra’s fuel economy, with its 2.0L engine paired with a CVT getting 34 to 35 MPG combined.
All-Around Affordability and Value
The Sentra offers great deal of value packed into one affordable package. The 2023 Sentra’s starting MSRP of $20,200 is one of the lower price tags for this segment, even lower than the Corolla’s $21,700 starting MSRP. What’s more, the cost of upgrading trim levels is minimal. The SV trim starts for $21,420 (which is still cheaper than the base Corolla) while the SR starts at $23,090. Going all the way up to the SR Midnight Edition results in a starting MSRP of $23,785, which feels justifiable given all the extra features it adds for a more blacked-out appearance. Even the second Corolla trim level up from the bottom, the SE, costs $24,140, which is already more than the top-of-the-line Sentra SR Midnight Edition. It only goes up from there.
Nissan bundles in so many advanced driver aids and tech gadgets that the final price you pay feels easy to justify. With blind-spot monitoring, front and rear collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning coming standard, you can rest assured that you’re driving a vehicle that is focused on safety as well as value.
Slide Behind the Wheel and See For Yourself
As soon as you slide behind the wheel of the 2023 Nissan Sentra, you will see for yourself just how comfortable it truly feels. Sure, you might’ve already tested out competitors like the Corolla, but the Sentra has immense and undeniable value. More affordably priced and jam-packed full of desirable, modern convenience features, the 2023 Sentra demands to be driven. Is it a speed demon? No, vehicles in this segment are oriented for comfort. We have to give a lot of props to Nissan for crafting the Sentra with such finesse without jacking up the price.
Don’t write the Nissan Sentra off this year. Take one out for a test drive so that you can experience for yourself just how refined its ride quality is and how well-crafted the cabin looks and feels. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself signing on the dotted line for one of these capable small sedans.