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Compare the2024 Nissan SentraVS 2024 Mazda 3

2024 Nissan Sentra
2024 Mazda 3

Safety

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Both the Sentra and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available daytime running lights and around view monitors.

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 Mazda 3:

Sentra

Mazda 3

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

196 lbs.

238 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

160

371

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

71 G’s

Hip Force

444 lbs.

620 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

160

199

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

Warranty

© 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 2024/04/22

There are almost 2 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sentra has a 150-amp alternator. The Mazda 3’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2023 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan above average in initial quality. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is rated below average.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Sentra is faster than the Mazda 3 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Sentra

3

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.8 MPH

87.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Sentra gets better mileage than the Mazda 3 Sedan:

MPG

Sentra

FWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Mazda 3 Sedan

FWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the Sentra gets better mileage than the Mazda 3 Hatchback:

MPG

Sentra

FWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Mazda 3 Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/33 hwy

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Sentra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Mazda 3 with the 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost on average about 82.8 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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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 Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sentra stops shorter than the Mazda 3:

Sentra

Mazda 3

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Mazda 3 2.5 S Sedan’s standard 60 series tires.

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 Mazda 3 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 Mazda 3 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 Mazda 3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Sentra has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Sentra SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Mazda 3 Carbon Edition Sedan AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sentra SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Mazda 3 Carbon Edition Sedan AWD (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Sentra uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Sentra SR is quieter than the Mazda 3 Premium Hatchback (38 vs. 40 dB).

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 Mazda 3 is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 3 Sedan (96.1 vs. 92.8).

The Sentra has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 3 Sedan (14.3 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

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 Mazda 3 2.5 S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sentra owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sentra with a number “5” insurance rate while the Mazda 3 is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 3 because it costs $91 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Sentra than the Mazda 3, including $9 less for a muffler, $2 less for front brake pads, $75 less for a fuel pump, $40 less for front struts and $74 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 2024/04/22

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Mazda 3 by almost three to one during 2022.

© 1999 - 2023 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.