Childre Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Sentra VS 2017 Mazda 3 Near Macon, GA

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2017 Nissan Sentra

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2017 Mazda 3

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Sentra as “Superior.” The Mazda 3 scores at most only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Sentra and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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:



Mazda 3


Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Movement

1 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

276 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

72 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

515 lbs.

602 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 52 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sentra has a 110-amp alternator. The Mazda 3’s standard 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Sentra stops shorter than the Mazda 3:



Mazda 3


60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 3i’s standard 60 series tires.

The Sentra SV/SR/SL 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 Comparison

The Sentra SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Mazda 3i Touring 4-Door pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Mazda 3 4-Door:



Mazda 3

At idle

37 dB

39 dB


76 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

71 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Sentra is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the Mazda 3 4-Door is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has .8 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the Mazda 3.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 3 4-Door (15.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Sentra has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Mazda 3 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Sentra (except S)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Mazda 3’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 3 because it costs $90 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Sentra than the Mazda 3, including $59 less for a water pump, $21 less for an alternator, $22 less for front brake pads, $18 less for a fuel pump, $29 less for front struts and $63 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Mazda 3 by over two to one during the 2016 model year.

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