Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Sentra VS 2018 Ford Focus Near Macon, GA

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2018 Nissan Sentra

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2018 Ford Focus

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 Focus doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Both the Sentra and the Focus 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Focus Sedan:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

7 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1/.1 kN

3.63/2.27 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia forces R/L

1.5/.5 kN

2.6/3.7 kN

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 Ford Focus:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

218 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

60 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

515 lbs.

698 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 Focus was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sentra’s reliability 45 points higher than the Focus.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 27th in reliability. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine Comparison

The Sentra’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (130 vs. 123) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (128 vs. 125) than the Focus SE Sedan’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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







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

27 city/35 hwy

25 city/34 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Manual


1.8 4 cyl. (124 HP)/CVT

29 city/37 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Sentra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Focus SE Sedan requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Sentra stops much shorter than the Focus:





60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Sentra has larger tires than the Focus (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 Focus S Sedan’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 Focus S Sedan.

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 Focus doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Focus (106.3 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

The Sentra SL handles at .83 G’s, while the Focus SE Sedan pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Sentra’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Focus’ (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Focus SE Sedan:




At idle

37 dB

40 dB


76 dB

80 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 Focus Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Focus (95.9 vs. 90.7).

The Sentra has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Focus.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Focus Sedan (15.1 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Sentra easier. The Sentra’s trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the Focus’ liftover is 28.2 inches.

The Sentra’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Focus S/SE Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Sentra’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Focus’ standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 Focus 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 Focus doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Focus doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Focus because it costs $180 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Sentra than the Focus, including $8 less for a water pump, $76 less for a starter, $103 less for a timing belt/chain and $19 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Ford Focus by 38% during the 2017 model year.

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