The U.S. Department of Transport estimates that the average American drives about 14,263 miles per year. That's a lot of time spent behind the wheel. As such, you want to ensure that your vehicle performs well and suits your needs.
If you're looking for a reliable, efficient, and stylish sedan, you might be wondering which types of Nissans are best for you. This blog post will compare the performance of the Nissan Sentra vs Altima to help you make an informed choice. Keep reading to learn more.
Nissan offers drivers a wide variety of vehicle options. These include sporty coupes, family-friendly SUVs, and capable trucks. However, the brand has long been revered for its lineup of sedans. Their high-quality construction and powerful performance have made them a top contender for drivers.
Models like the Maxima, Altima, and Sentra have earned praise for their refinement, reliability, and value. For shoppers focused on finding an enjoyable, practical sedan, Nissan models consistently rise to the top.
The Nissan Sentra compact sedan is known for delivering responsive performance in an affordable package. It features a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood. It's capable of generating 149 horsepower, which is peppy enough for energetic everyday driving.
A Continuously Variable Transmission keeps the engine in its ideal rpm range. This ensures smooth, seamless acceleration. The chassis offers nimble handling with precise steering. The interior space design is well thought out, as are the tech features. This makes the Sentra a practical choice for shoppers on a budget.
Stepping up to Nissan's midsize Altima sedan brings more power to match its larger dimensions. Altima models offer two engine choices: a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or an available 3.5-liter V6 cranking out 270 horsepower. '
This muscular V6 can rocket the Altima from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. That's quite quick for a family sedan.
All-wheel drive capabilities plus available tech features like Intelligent Cruise Control further enhance the Altima's performance. Add in a roomy, comfortable interior and you have a sedan equally suited for weekday commutes or weekend road trips. For buyers needing space plus exhilarating performance, the Altima checks every box.
Stacking the Nissan Sentra and Altima side-by-side reveals key performance differences. Learn more from the comparisons below.
When it comes to engine performance, the Altima has a clear advantage courtesy of its available 3.5-liter V6 powerplant. It generates up to 270 horsepower along with 251 lb-ft of torque. By contrast, the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the Sentra produces just 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque.
That's a significant difference of 121 more horsepower and 105 more pound-feet of torque offered by the Altima V6. All that extra power translates into much stronger acceleration and passing ability. The V6 gives the Altima the performance edge for drivers focused on power and responsiveness.
When properly equipped with the available 3.5L V6, the Altima can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. By comparison, the base 2.0L 4-cylinder Sentra model clocks 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds. While not slow, it's considerably behind the Altima V6's time.
This sizable advantage illustrates the V6 Altima's superior power for passing, merging, and quick responsiveness. Drivers who crave brisk acceleration will find the Altima V6 model highly appealing.
With its smaller 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, the Sentra beats out the Altima in fuel efficiency. Sentra models with the CVT automatic can achieve up to 33 mpg in combined city/highway driving. That's excellent gas mileage for a compact sedan.
Meanwhile, the V6-powered Altima averages between 22 to 26 mpg combined, depending on configuration. The penalty of more power is increased fuel thirst - you'll make more frequent gas station stops with the Altima. So if maximizing miles per gallon is a priority, the Sentra has a clear advantage.
The Altima is designed for stability with a sophisticated suspension design. It continually adjusts power distribution to all four wheels. This enhances grip and stability during quick maneuvers.
By comparison, the front-wheel drive Sentra is nimbler. Its smaller dimensions and responsive steering make it eager to change directions. So, while the Altima takes corners with control, the Sentra tackles twisty roads with an added degree of fun.
For the best performance, it's always recommended to schedule preventative car service for your Nissan vehicle.
Being a midsize sedan, the Altima unsurprisingly offers more interior room than the compact Sentra. Front and rear seat legroom is generous, giving passengers plenty of stretch-out space. The Altima also provides 15.4 cubic feet of trunk capacity, allowing you to haul more cargo.
The Sentra isn't cramped, but it can't match the Altima's dimensions. There's less legroom for rear passengers to get comfortable. And with 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space, you'll be challenged to fit larger items.
So families or drivers needing to regularly accommodate passengers and gear should lean toward the Altima. Its larger midsize body pays dividends in occupant and cargo rooms.
Need to hitch up and haul a trailer? The Altima is significantly better equipped for the job. It can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That's enough capability to manage a small camper or boat trailer with ease.
Meanwhile, the Sentra is only rated to tow a maximum of 1,000 pounds. Trying to pull anything larger or heavier will overwhelm the Sentra. Essentially, it should only be used for light-duty towing such as small utility trailers.
So Altima buyers who plan to tow gain huge utility versus the Sentra. Hitching up regularly makes the Altima's robust tow rating hugely beneficial over the Sentra's limited capabilities.
Choosing between the Nissan Sentra vs Altima boils down to your individual preferences and needs. Both models offer commendable performance but excel in different areas. Either way, a test drive of both models is the best way to make an informed choice.
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