2021 Nissan Sentra Performance

MSRP $19,410 - $21,750 | Check Best Price

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2021 Nissan Sentra Performance, 0-60, Top Speed And MPG

Updated on: May 21, 2021

K. Choubey's image
K. Choubey

Automotive Journalist


The 2021 Nissan Sentra continues on its feature-rich and stylish streak from 2020, in a total of 3 trims viz., S, SV, and SR. With a $100 increase in the offer, the sedan is available for sale with a starting MSRP of $19,410. The interior feels decent and sees the addition of connectivity features. Like a typical Japanese ride, the saloon carries a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA and a reliability score of 84/100 from J.D. Power.

2021 Nissan Sentra three quarter view

While the turbocharged Sentra Nismo is yet to be launched, currently, the 2021 Sentra is powered by a 149 hp 2.0L I-4 engine that powers up the front wheels. With this breather, the 2021 Sentra can sprint from 0-60 mph in 9.2 seconds, but the CVT helps in offering decent MPG figures. Owing to its cost-effective outlook to life, the 2021 Nissan Sentra competes against the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and the Volkswagen Jetta.

It doesn't provide over the top ride quality but enough to put a smile on your face that makes it worthy of praise.-The Drive

What engine does the 2021 Nissan Sentra come with?

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is powered by a 2.0-L naturally aspirated four-pot engine that can churn out 149 hp and 145 lb-ft of peak torque. The engine comes hooked up to a CVT that helps in using the power properly and optimizing the MPG figures as well. While the low range is peppy for city driving, pushing it further in the mid-to-high revs might leave you disappointed since the engine grunts more than it moves.

 

2021 Nissan Sentra engine

That being said, for a sub-20 grand price tag, the overall operation of the engine remains smooth under normal operations. However, considering the overall power on offer, the Nissan Sentra turns out to be one of the best choices for anyone who needs a car for city usage and highway runs. The power delivery too is decent and there is enough torque present in the lower rev range to help the car pick up pace effortlessly.

Model

2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2021 Hyundai Elantra

MSRP

$19,410

$22,275

$19,995

$19,650

Engine

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.4L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

8-Speed Shiftable automatic

CVT

Power

149 hp @ 6,300 rpm

162 hp @ 6,000 rpm

147 hp @ 5000 rpm

147 hp @ 6,200 rpm

Torque

145 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

142 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

184 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm

132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

As it is clearly evident from the table, the 2021 Nissan Sentra may not be the most powerful car in the segment. However, it's definitely one of the best when it comes to overall torque output. In terms of power output, the Toyota Corolla leads the pack, not with a great margin though. The Volkswagen Jetta and the Hyundai Elantra share the same power output, but the Jetta is the most torquey one here which helps in the lower gears.

How does the 2021 Nissan Sentra fare in the 0-60 mph and quarter mile?

In terms of overall performance, the 2021 Nissan Sentra performs at par with its rivals. The car does a 0-60 mph run in 9.2 secs while the quarter-mile run is finished in 16.6 secs. The top speed of the Sentra is electronically restricted to 120 mph, which is more than enough for a city driver.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra goes from 0-60 mph in 9.2 seconds

CVTs are known to dull down a car's performance, and the 2021 Sentra also suffers the same fate. The CVT gearbox takes a huge toll on the overall performance of the vehicle as the rubber band effect is too pronounced. With this being said, a detailed analysis of the performance output is given below in the table:

Model

2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2021 Hyundai Elantra

0-60 mph

9.2 secs

8.2 secs

7.7 seconds

8.3 secs

Quarter Mile

16.6 secs

16.2 secs

16 seconds

16.4 secs

Top Speed

120 mph 112 mph

127 mph

116 mph

Engine

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.4L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

The Volkswagen Jetta manages to impress with a sub-8 second time in the 0-60 mph run and takes the top spot. The Toyota Corolla comes in next with the Hyundai Elantra remaining head to head. The Nissan Sentra, unfortunately, is the slowest option in the lot.

How well does the 2021 Nissan Sentra brake from 60-0 mph?

The Nissan Sentra has always impressed up with the overall braking performance and we hope to see a similar performance in the 2021 model. Thanks to its carry-over from 2020 it comes with disc brakes from the SV trim onwards. This helps the ride to brake from 60-0 mph in a stopping distance of 122 feet

2021 Nissan Sentra brake rotors

The overall braking performance of the Sentra is certainly impressive for its class and price. The car comes to a complete halt without any drama during emergency braking situations and does not lose its composure. The brake remains calm and composed and the pedal inspires confidence in the driver.

Model

2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2021 Hyundai Elantra

Brake rotor front

11"

10.8"

11.2"

11"

Brake rotor rear

10.2"

10.2"

10.2"

8"

Curb Weight

3,036 lbs

3,110 lbs

2,965 lbs

2,725 lbs

60-0 mph

122 feet

119 feet

120 feet

121 feet

Compared to its competitively priced and highly revered adversaries, the 2021 Nissan Sentra is clearly the underperformer. The Toyota Corolla despite being the heaviest comes to a stop from 60-0 mph in the shortest distance. This is followed up by the Jetta, and the Hyundai Elantra follows up in third place, with just a foot in the door (literally). 

How is the driver experience and handling of the 2021 Nissan Sentra?

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is offered with a well-tuned suspension setup which delivers a great combination of ride and handling balance. The ride quality is highly comfortable, all thanks to the soft suspension setup. Push the car hard and you will realize that the soft suspension has taken a significant toll on the driving dynamics but it is not extremely bad. The body roll is felt but is not too much to make the drive nervous. With this being said, the high-speed stability is decent but the car does tend to lose its composure on the undulations.  

2021 Nissan Sentra driving

With this being said, the overall performance and driving dynamics offered by the Nissan Sentra remain one of the best in the segment. The 2021 model is expected to feature an improved suspension setup which will make things better. Apart from that, the overall ride quality is extremely comfortable at slow speeds and jerks do not filter inside the cabin. The cars feel extremely stable and agile at the corners but the body roll due to the softer suspension is noticeable. The overall steering response from the vehicle is great and the driver gets a decent feed and feedback from this unit.

What MPG figures does the 2021 Nissan Sentra offer?

Though the CVT is built-in for increasing fuel efficiency, the 2021 Nissan Sentra could have had slightly better MPG figures. The 2021 Sentra offers 29 MPG in the city, 39 MPG on the highway, making way for 33 MPG combined. For a daily driver family sedan, these figures are more than acceptable enough.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra offer decent MPG figures

The car gets a fuel tank with a capacity of 13.2 gallons. This means that on a full tank, the ride can offer an overall combined range of 409 miles, and the best it can offer is 484 miles. So, if you are planning a cross country trip, don't worry since you can probably complete that trim in 6-7 refueling stops in total.

Model

2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2021 Hyundai Elantra

MPG (City)

29

31

29

33

MPG (Highway)

39

40

39

43

MPG (Combined)

33

34

33

37

Fuel Capacity

12.4 gallons

13.2 gallons

13.5 gallons

12.4 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined) (miles)

360 / 484 / 409

410 / 528 / 449

392 / 527 / 445.5

409 / 533 / 459

With its generational change, the Hyundai Elantra has also upped its game and now offers segment-leading MPG figures. The Toyota Corolla comes in next in the second spot. The Nissan Sentra and the Volkswagen Jetta offer the exact same MPG figures but the Jetta races ahead to third place with a bigger fuel tank.

Should you buy the 2021 Nissan Sentra?

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is quite easily a bang for the buck package but has its own set of quirks and shortcomings. It's not the most powerful, and certainly not the most fuel-efficient either. However, for the 20 grand you spend on it, it offers a decent and agreeable driving experience, along with comfort and satisfaction. All of this combined, we would recommend you to check out the 2021 Nissan Sentra if you want to break the monotony of the segment and get something new. 

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2021 Nissan Sentra Performance Reviews


PS

Paul K. Shaffer

2021 Nissan Sentra

SR 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: May 4, 2021

Affordable and beautiful

Pros - Affordable, low maintenance, plenty of room, stylish

Cons - Apple CarPlay is glitchy, weird blind spot

Good for the price Sentra is exactly what I wanted. The ride is smooth, free of bumps or noise. The pickup could have been a little better though. Other than that, it is a surprisingly enjoyable car in every aspect: handles great, brakes are superb, and feels solid around corners. Not only are the driving dynamics good but the interior just as good, really good in fact! The cabin has plenty of space for me and my family. My children love it! The cargo is also big enough for all our groceries and even for short trip luggage. Choosing the trim would have been harder than it seems. Thanks to Tyler, he asked a few simple questions and suggested the one I have now.

9/10
Features
8/10
Interior
8/10
Design
9/10
Safety
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

AS

Anne A. Stowe

2021 Nissan Sentra

S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: April 29, 2021

2021 Nissan Sentra

Pros - It is fuel efficient, safe, reliable

Cons - Steering is left out of adjustability

Cool SEdan It is adorable, its beautiful to looks at, plus the interiors. I don't think if what could have been better, I know that it looks the best to me though. Handles very well, great traction, superb transmission. It feels great on turns and quite enjoyable drive it delivers.

8/10
Features
7/10
Interior
9/10
Design
8/10
Safety
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Deal Value
8/10
Dealer Review

PG

Phillip M. Green

2021 Nissan Sentra

SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

7

User Overall Rating

Posted On: April 21, 2021

Sentra- safety, space, comfort

Pros - "comfortable interiors, affordable, spacious"

Cons - "acceleration is slow, 18"" wheels make the ride stiff and noisy"

Just a daily driver gone wrong initially because of the 18'' rims It was my decision to go with the 17" rim and tire arrangement but i regretted it as the ride quality was very stiff and noisy, then I changed to the stock 16" ones a month later which reduced the noise to great extent and also made the suspension work more efficiently. The Sentra is slow to acccelerate but I bought it for daily commuting, and not screeching tires. I get satisfactory mileage and am very impressed with the brakes. I'm glad they changed the tires back to 16's as it seemed to be important. The sales guy had suggested the 17's which only made sense for the looks and took away everything out of the car literally. Wouldn't be correct to disclose the name. Anyone who is buying a new car, please don't always agree to whatever the sales reps say. I had to go through a lot of hassle before my new car made sense and all this imbalance was only because of an inch of difference in the tire size.

7/10
Features
7/10
Interior
6/10
Design
6/10
Safety
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Deal Value
6/10
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

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