Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Sentra VS 2018 Chevrolet Sonic Near Gray, GA

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2018 Nissan Sentra

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2018 Chevrolet Sonic

Safety Comparison

The Sentra Automatic has standard Forward Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sonic offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

To help make backing safer, the Sentra (except S)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sonic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Sentra and the Sonic 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

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 Chevrolet Sonic:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

184 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

515 lbs.

885 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sentra the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 120 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonic was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

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

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sentra has a standard 470-amp battery. The Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 2 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Sentra gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic:







1.8 4 cyl. (130 HP)/6-spd. Manual

27 city/35 hwy

26 city/35 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Manual


1.8 4 cyl. (124 HP)/CVT

29 city/37 hwy

25 city/34 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

The Sentra has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Sonic (13.2 vs. 12.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Sentra’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonic:




Front Rotors

11 inches

10.8 inches

The Sentra SR/SL has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Sonic. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Sentra stops shorter than the Sonic:





60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

140 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Sentra has larger tires than the Sonic (205/55R16 vs. 195/65R15).

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 Sonic LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sentra S/SV has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Sonic LS/LT.

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 Sonic doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 6.9 inches longer than on the Sonic (106.3 inches vs. 99.4 inches).

The Sentra’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.9% to 40.1%) than the Sonic’s (62.5% to 37.5%). This gives the Sentra more stable handling and braking.

Chassis Comparison

For excellent aerodynamics, the Sentra S/SV has standard flush composite headlights. The Sonic has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Sentra has 5.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Sonic Sedan (95.9 vs. 90.3).

The Sentra has .7 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonic Sedan.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Sentra’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Sonic LT/Premier.

The Sentra has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Sonic doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Sentra has standard extendable sun visors. The Sonic doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Sentra’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sonic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Sentra has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Sentra SV/SR/SL’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Sonic doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Sentra SV/SR/SL’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sonic doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sentra SL has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sentra SR/SL has a standard Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sonic doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Sonic’s available 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 Sonic because typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Sonic, including $92 less for a water pump, $214 less for an alternator, $42 less for front brake pads, $31 less for a starter and $139 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by almost six to one during the 2017 model year.

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