Two of Nissan’s top-selling models are the Sentra and the Altima. Both vehicles are classified under the midsize sedan category, which often confuses buyers trying to decide between the two. There are several differences between the Altima and Sentra in engine choices, luxury features, and interior space. Below is an in-depth comparison of the 2020 Altima and Sentra to help you figure out which is right for you.
The 2020 Altima has five trim levels: S, SR, SV, SL, and Platinum. The base model is priced at $24,100 while the premier model (Platinum) costs $35,150. The company offers few drivetrain and engine options for different trim levels. The 2020 Sentra has three trim levels to choose from: S, SV, and SR. The 2020 Sentra L model costs $19,090 while the top Sentra sedan model costs $21,430.
With a wheelbase of 111.2 inches, the 2020 Altima is slightly bigger than the Nissan Sentra, which has a wheelbase of 106.8 inches. Both sedans are undeniably sporty with their low-slung, athletic stance . These cars have more than a few visual similarities that can be confusing to the uninformed. However, for a trained eye, you can spot the differences between the body lines, front headlamps, and tail lights.
Despite a slight difference in dimensions, both Nissan cars have similar passenger capacity. The extra length of the Altima translates into a larger luggage space of 15.4 cubic feet and increased legroom for front and rear passengers.
The comfort features offered in Sentra and Altima are very similar. The Sentra S model is simpler in its comfort features, offering things like air conditioning, 4.2-inch display, and an AM/FM audio system with four speakers. The higher trims offer more robust features like dual-zone air conditioning and a premium audio system.
The base model of the Altima doesn’t have a ton of comfort features but still offers more in comparison to the Sentra S model. The top three trim levels in Altima get dual-zone air-conditioning, Nissan Door-to-Door navigation system, Bose Premium Audio system with nine speakers and many more modern luxuries.
Engine and Mileage
The company does not offer any additional engine options for the Sentra. All Sentra models come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with CVT transmission. The engine generates 149 horsepower and 146 pounds per foot of torque. The Sentra also features a fuel economy of 29 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway.
Nissan offers two engines and drivetrain options for some Altima models. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an Xtronic CVT transmission is offered as standard across all trim levels. The 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine option is only offered for SR and Platinum models.
The FWD drivetrain is offered as standard while AWD is offered as an option for all models. The 2.5-liter VC-Turbo engine generates 248 horsepower and 273 pounds per foot of torque.
Safety and Driver-Assist Features
The Nissan Advanced Airbag System is offered as standard in all Sentra and Altima models. In the Altima lineup, the top trims get all of the Nissan driver-assist and safety features like Cruise control, automatic braking, rear automatic braking, vehicle dynamic control, blind-spot warning, and many more features.
The base trims get some safety and driver-assistance features while others are offered as additional options. The Sentra lineup gets fewer driver-safety features and all are offered as standard across all trim levels
If you are looking for a comfortable and affordable car, the Sentra is the right choice for you. However, if you are looking for a more premium family vehicle with larger cargo and better comfort features, the Altima just may be the perfect car for you and yours.