The Nissan Sentra is a car produced by Nissan since 1982, with the car originally being a subcompact classification, and was reclassified as a compact car in the model year 2000. Until the 2006 model year, the Sentra was an export version of the Nissan Sunny, but was rebadged as the Nissan Sylphy B17.
The Sentra is currently Nissan's compact car, despite being classified as a midsize car by the EPA due to the interior volume. The Setra has grown in size over the following years, with the Versa replacing the Sentra in the entry level. The first generation was produced from 1982, while the second generation was produced from 1985-1989, the third generation from 1990 to 1995, the fourth generation from 1995-2000, the fifth generation from 2000-2007, and the sixth generation from 2007-2012, the seventh generation from 2013-2019, and the final generation from 2020 onwards.
Worst Nissan Sentra Problems
Nissan is known for making reliable and popular cars. However the same might not be able to be said by the Nissan Sentra, with me of these car models having problems before it reaches 100,000 miles.
The 2005 Sentra costs just around $1,300 to fix the issue that plagues the model year, with the fuel pump stopping working and the Sentra having their head gasket blowing out, costing around $400 to fix the fuel pump issue.
The 2013 Sentra was worse than the 2005 year – hard to believe. In fact, the Car Complaints website gave the 2013 Sentra an “Avoid Like the Plague ” badge, with all of the most common and most serious issues happening before the 2013 Sentra even hit 100,000 miles. The two most common and costly issues both had to do with the transmission, with owners reporting that the 2013 Sentra would rev and jerk while driving. The most common solution to his issue was to replace the Sentra transmission which can be very costly.
The 2014 Sentra was the worst model year, with the “Avoid Like the Plague ” badge being given to this model due to a transmission jerking and revving, the transmission failing, and the failure happening at earlier than 100,000 miles and being very costly to fix. In addition to the transmission issues, the 2014 Sentra also had severe problems with the airbags.
2002 Nissan Sentra Problems
The top complaint regarding the Nissan Sentra includes the engine, while the NHTSA also lodged over 160 complaints regarding the same category. The main user issue involve the high oil consumption, the engine failure. The gas pedals sticking, the car not accelerating, the head gasket blowing, the service soon light turning on, the check engine light turning on, the dipstick melting, the engine stalling and shutting off while driving, and the car having a hard start when cold.
2004 Nissan Sentra Problems
The top category of complaints regarding the 2004 Sentra include the engine category, with the highest number of complaints involving the engine as well. The top problems involve the blown head gasket, the engine taking multiple cranks to start, the car consuming excessive oil, the car losing power, the rattling while accelerating, the squealing noise in cold weather, the car stalling while driving. The typical repair cost comes out to around $1,670 and occurs at an average of around 87,000 miles.
2005 Nissan Sentra Problems
The 2005 Sentra had the main problem category of the engine system, with the second top category complaint dealing with the fuel system. The top complaints regarding the engine deal with the blown head gasket, the check engine light coming on, the car idling rough, the car stalling and the engine light flickering, the crank sensor going bad, the engine misfiring, and the starter blowing. The typical repair cost for these issues comes out to around $1,310 and occurs at around 77,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the head gasket.
The fuel system problems focus on the fuel pumping out, the gas tank ventilation not being able to pump gas, and the car having an evaporative leak, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $400 and occurring at around 83,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the fuel pump.
2006 Nissan Sentra Problems
The 2006 Sentra had relatively few problems from the previous year but focused on the engine and the body and paint issues. The NHTSA also cited the most complaints regarding the engine, with the most user complaints regarding the difficulty starting, engine failure, and excessive oil consumption. The hard starting usually occurs at around 60,000 miles, with users stating that the car takes multiple times to turn over, and the car having difficulty starting.
2007 Nissan Sentra Problems
The 2007 Sentra has the most complaints regarding the same category – the engine system. Although this has the most user complaints, the most NHTSA complaints focus on the seat belts and the air bags. The main engine issues focus on the engine rattling, the engine turning over and not being able to start, the engine failing, and the car making a whining noise during use. These problems have a typical repair cost of around $250 and occur at around 43,000 miles, with the most common solution being a new front motor mount.
The NHTSA airbags and seat belt complaints have caused 11 crashes, 1 fire, 14 injuries, 2 deaths and occur at around 87,000 miles, with workers asking that the tire pressure stays on during use, the airbag light staying on, the buttons all being flashing while driving the car, ad the seat airbags potentially deploying without warning or impact.
2008 Nissan Sentra Problems
After two years of relatively few problems when compared to the 2005 model year, the 2008 Nissan Sentra had more problems than previous years. The top category of complaints deal with the wheels and the hubs, with the top user complaints focusing on the low tire pressure light, the rims being rusted, the finish peeling off of the hubcaps, and the rims failing. The typical repair occurs at around 30,000 miles and has many user complaints.
2012 Nissan Sentra Problems
The 2012 Sentra had an increase in problems when compared to the previous three years, with the 2009 Sentra having very few complaints out of all model years. The 2012 Sentra had the most complaints regarding the transmission and the steering system, while the NHTSA lodged the most concerns regarding the drivetrain.
The main issues of the steering system in the 2012 Sentra focus on the car pulling to one side and the car making a clunking noise when turning, with the car having an average mileage repair cost of around 20,000 miles, with users stating that the car constantly pulls while driving.
The main user complaints of the transmission deal with transmission failure, the transmission clunking, and the car shifter being stuck in park. The typical repair cost for the transmission failure focuses on the car needing a new transmission and having a typical repair cost of around $3,810 and occurring at around 92,000 miles.
2013 Nissan Sentra Problems
The 2013 Sentra had the most complaints regarding the transmission, with the most NHTSA complaints focusing on the brake system. The top user complaints focusing on the transmission center on the revving and jerking while shifting, transmission failure, the CVT tiramisu in failure, the shifter locking up, and the bearings wearing out. The typical repair cost for these transmission issues focus on $3,400 and occurs at around 74,000 miles.
The NHTSA complaints regarding the brakes system focus on the brake failure, noise from the brakes, the electronic stability control, the hydraulic service brakes, and the traction control system. The typical repair cost of the brake issues is around $3,000 and occurs at around 44,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the mastery cylinder.
2014 Nissan Sentra Problems
The top category of complaints for the 2014 Sentra focuses on the transmission, with the most NHTSA complaints focusing on the drivetrain. The top user complaints of the transmission focus on the transmission failure, the poor CVT response, the loss of acceleration, the slipping and clunking of the transmission, the transmission slipping, and the car vibrating at idle. The typical repair cost for the 2014 transmission problems come out to around $3,540 and occurs at around 80,00 miles, with the most common solution being a transmission replacement.
The NHTSA concerns focus on the powertrain, with users stating that the car RPMs can fluctuate, the car can jerk while accelerating, the car shuddering and having a hard time accelerating, the car making whining noises during use and the car stuttering while driving.
2015 Nissan Sentra Problems
The top category of complaints in the 2015 Sentar focuses on the transmission, with the 2013-2017 Sentra having an expensive CVT transmission failure defect that shows up in the complaint data from the earlier model years in the same 7th generation Sentra. The top user issues for the transmission focus on the transmission failure, the transmission surging, the car having known transmission problems, and the transmission clunking noise, with the problems happening at an average of around 48,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the transmission.
Nissan Sentra Recalls
One of the first recalls regarding the Nissan Sentra involves the exterior lighting with the recall in 2006, with certain headlights, bumpers, and side marker lights that are used on the passenger vehicles not being equipped with amber side reflectors to fail to conform to federal motor vehicle safety standards.
A recall a few years later involves the equipment, focusing on the electrical navigation system. Issan recalled certain vehicles that contain the Garmin Nuvi Model 750 navigation system, with the batteries in the affected GPS potentially overheating, causing the potential for a fire.
Another recall a few years later dealt with the airbags, with the occupant classification system at the front passenger airbag. The Nissan is recalling certain model years, specifically the 2013-2014 Nissan Sentras, with the affected vehicles receiving an incorrect occupant classification system that might incorrectly classify the front passenger seat as empty when it is actually occupied by an adult.
2020 Nissan Sentra Reliability
The 2020 Sentra earned the #12 ranking in the Compact Cars category, and also earned the #25 ranking in the Small Cars category based on its rankings. It also earned a 6.9 out of 10 in the US News Scorecard, with the Sentra earning a 7.2 in the critics’ rating, the performance rating earning a 6.2, the interior rating earning a 6.4 out of 10, the safety earning a 9.6, and the JD Power Reliability ranking earning a 2.5 out of 5.
The pros of the 2020 Nissan Sentra include the various standard active safety features that keep the car reliable and the occupants safe and also the modern interior design that is nice inside of the vehicle. The cons of the Nissan Sentra involve the cramped rear headroom, the uninspiring engine and the lack of performance in the transmission, and the hard to use the infotainment system.
Nissan Sentra vs. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is a better compact car than the Sentra when compared in all categories. The Civic offers a variety of powertrains,s including turbocharged and high-performance options, as well as manual transmission that offers controlled handling of the car. The Civic also delivers smooth and file handling, in comparison to the Sentra's lackluster driving dynamics.
Inside the Civic, the material and the interior quality are high amongst the class. You can also get the Honda Civic as the hatchback option, which offers plenty of cargo space. Most of the Serra's pros and the strengths include a variety of safety features.
Nissan Sentra vs. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla earns a higher score ranking in this class for the high predicted reliability and safety rating and the inclusion of standard features, including safety technology and infotainment amenities like AppleCar Play. Both of these cars have similar drawbacks, with similar issues like a lack of performance engine power, the unresponsive transmission, and the limited headroom.