Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Sentra VS 2018 Toyota Prius Near Atlanta, GA

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2018 Nissan Sentra

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2018 Toyota Prius

Safety Comparison

Compared to metal, the Sentra’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Prius has a metal gas tank.

Both the Sentra and the Prius 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Toyota Prius:







4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Stress

305 lbs.

344 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

195/290 lbs.

290/353 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 Toyota Prius:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

73 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

2 Stars




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

515 lbs.

1213 lbs.

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

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Sentra (130 HP engine) is faster than the Toyota Prius (automatics tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

9.5 sec

10.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

10 sec

10.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

4.8 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

7.1 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

17.4 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

81 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

115 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Sentra has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius (13.2 vs. 11.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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




Front Rotors

11 inches

10 inches

The Sentra stops shorter than the Prius:





60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Sentra has larger tires than the Prius (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 Prius’ 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 Prius.

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 Prius doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Sentra SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Prius Four Touring pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Sentra SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Prius Two Eco (28.1 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Prius Four Touring (71 vs. 72 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Sentra has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (95.9 vs. 93.1).

The Sentra has .2 inches more front legroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

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 Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Two Eco/Three/Four.

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 Prius doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Prius because typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Prius, including $459 less for a water pump, $89 less for fuel injection, $176 less for front struts, $1071 less for a timing belt/chain and $211 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Toyota Prius by over two to one during 2017.

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