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Compare the2023 Nissan SentraVS 2023 Volkswagen Jetta

2023 Nissan Sentra
2023 Volkswagen Jetta

Safety

© 1999 - 2024Advanta-STAR Automotive Research, all rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America (“Advanta-STAR”). If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it, or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. Removal of this watermark/notification without prior written license and approval received from Advanta-STAR is an agreement, understanding, and/or stipulation by the person(s), entities, agents, attorneys, and any other persons involved in the removal of this watermark/notification (including but not limited to Search Optics, LLC and any and all parent entities, sister entities, and subsidiary entities of Search Optics, LLC and/or any other entity, agent, attorney, and persons related in any manner to Search Optics, LLC) to: 1) an agreed upon amount of liquidated monetary damages of a minimum of $1,250,000.00 US Dollars in favor of Advanta-STAR; 2) the jurisdiction and enforcement of any legal claims associated with this matter asserted by Advanta-STAR in the United States Federal District Court in Portand, Oregon; and 3) service of process of any legal claims asserted by Advanta-STAR associated with this matter may be accomplished by First-Class Postage by the United States Postal Service or comparable service. XPYNN-M34HG 2a06:98c0:3600::103 2024/04/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Sentra have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Jetta doesn’t offer pretensioners for its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sentra are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Jetta doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Nissan Sentra has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Jetta doesn’t offer knee airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sentra has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor for objects to the rear and automatically applies the brakes to prevent a collision. The Jetta doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Sentra’s standard lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. A lane departure warning system costs extra on the Jetta.

The Sentra SR offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Jetta only offers a rear monitor.

The Sentra’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Jetta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Sentra and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available daytime running lights.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Volkswagen Jetta:

Sentra

Jetta

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

29%

31.7%

Neck Stress

351 lbs.

354 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Volkswagen Jetta:

Sentra

Jetta

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

160

306

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

444 lbs.

554 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

HIC

160

239

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

38 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Side impacts caused 23% of all road fatalities in 2018, down from 29% in 2003, when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced its side barrier test. In order to continue improving vehicle safety, the IIHS has started using a more severe side impact test: 37 MPH (up from 31 MPH), with a 4180-pound barrier (up from 3300 pounds). The results of this newly developed test demonstrates that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Jetta:

Sentra

Jetta

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Driver Injury Measures

Head/Neck

GOOD

GOOD

Torso

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Shoulder Deflection

.94 in

1.06 in

Shoulder Force

178 lbs.

245 lbs.

Torso Max Deflection

1.65 in

1.85 in

Pelvis

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Pelvis Force

1071 lbs.

1182 lbs.

Passenger Injury Measures

Head/Neck

GOOD

GOOD

Head Injury Criterion

182

274

Torso

GOOD

MARGINAL

Shoulder Deflection

1.1 in

1.97 in

Shoulder Force

290 lbs.

379 lbs.

Torso Max Deflection

.87 in

1.69 in

Torso Deflection Rate

6 MPH

10 MPH

Pelvis

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Pelvis Force

848 lbs.

1049 lbs.

Head Protection

GOOD

GOOD

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Sentra, with its five-star roll-over rating, is 3.2% less likely to roll over than the Jetta, which received a four-star rating.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sentra the rating of “Top Safety Pick” for 2022, a rating granted to only 175 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Jetta does not qualify as a “Top Safety Pick.”

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Sentra 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Jetta. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Sentra’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Jetta’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 68 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Sentra’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Jetta’s camshafts. If the Jetta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sentra third among compact cars in their 2022 Initial Quality Study. The Jetta isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan above average in initial quality. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is rated below average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen With 12 fewer problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, J.D. Power ranks Nissan higher than Volkswagen.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 8 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Transmission

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The Nissan Sentra comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta.

The Sentra has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Jetta doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sentra stops much shorter than the Jetta:

Sentra

Jetta

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sentra SR’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (215/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Sentra S/SV’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta S’ standard 60 series tires. The Sentra SR’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Jetta Sport/SE/SEL’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sentra SR has standard 18-inch wheels. The Jetta’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Sentra has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Jetta doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Sentra has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Volkswagen Jetta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Sentra has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sentra flat and controlled during cornering. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sentra is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta.

The Sentra SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Jetta SEL pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sentra SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Jetta SEL (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Sentra is 3.8 inches shorter than the Jetta, making the Sentra easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Sentra has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Jetta uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sentra a Mid-size car, while the Jetta is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has .4 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.

Ergonomics

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The Sentra’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Jetta’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Sentra’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Jetta’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Jetta because it costs $218 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Jetta, including $378 less for a water pump, $316 less for a muffler, $352 less for a starter, $79 less for fuel injection, $41 less for a fuel pump, $242 less for front struts, $9 less for a timing belt/chain and $95 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2024Advanta-STAR Automotive Research, all rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America (“Advanta-STAR”). If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it, or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. Removal of this watermark/notification without prior written license and approval received from Advanta-STAR is an agreement, understanding, and/or stipulation by the person(s), entities, agents, attorneys, and any other persons involved in the removal of this watermark/notification (including but not limited to Search Optics, LLC and any and all parent entities, sister entities, and subsidiary entities of Search Optics, LLC and/or any other entity, agent, attorney, and persons related in any manner to Search Optics, LLC) to: 1) an agreed upon amount of liquidated monetary damages of a minimum of $1,250,000.00 US Dollars in favor of Advanta-STAR; 2) the jurisdiction and enforcement of any legal claims associated with this matter asserted by Advanta-STAR in the United States Federal District Court in Portand, Oregon; and 3) service of process of any legal claims asserted by Advanta-STAR associated with this matter may be accomplished by First-Class Postage by the United States Postal Service or comparable service. XPYNN-M34HG 2a06:98c0:3600::103 2024/04/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sentra third among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Jetta isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by over two to one during 2022.

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