Used 2013 Nissan Sentra
Used 2013 Nissan Sentra for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Thanks to improved fuel economy, a welcoming cabin and enhanced infotainment features, the 2013 Nissan Sentra becomes a much more desirable choice in the small sedan class.
It's been a while since the Nissan Sentra has been a major player in the small-sedan segment. The previous-generation car, last redesigned in 2007, has been increasingly outclassed in terms of design, features and fuel economy over the past few years. Yet the fully redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra is a much-improved car, boasting significant improvements that should thrust this formerly forgettable sedan out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
For starters, the 2013 Sentra rides atop an all-new platform. Overall length has grown by about 2 inches, yet Nissan says the new car is 150 pounds lighter than before. The Sentra's styling has grown up at the same time, with a cleaner, more upscale look. Notably, the car's grille, silhouette and headlights/taillights are now more closely related to the similarly redesigned Altima's. This premium vibe continues into the cabin, which features higher-quality materials and a more handsome-looking design. The Sentra's extra length has also freed up greater amounts of rear passenger room and trunk space.
Under the hood is a new 1.8-liter engine. It's slightly smaller than last year's 2.0-liter engine, and makes less peak power (130 horsepower versus 140 hp). This may seem odd until you realize Nissan's goal was to compete with the Sentra's rivals, which advertise 40-mpg capability on the highway. Indeed, the Sentra FE earns this same impressive rating, while overall fuel economy is impressive throughout the lineup. A newly revised continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes on all but the base model, which has a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
Overall, the 2013 Nissan Sentra makes a strong showing in a segment that is chock full of great choices, each with its own advantages. The 2013 Ford Focus and 2013 Mazda 3 provide a more involving driving experience along with a slightly more youthful vibe. And you can't leave out the 2013 Hyundai Elantra and 2013 Honda Civic, with their well-rounded nature and generous lists of standard features. Yet if fuel economy and a spacious and upscale interior are priorities for you, then the 2013 Nissan Sentra is worthy of serious consideration.
2013 Nissan Sentra configurations
The 2013 Nissan Sentra is a small sedan offered in S, SV, SR and SL main trim levels. There are also the "FE+" versions of the S and SV that prioritize fuel economy.
The base Sentra S comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a trip computer, full power accessories and a four-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack.
A step up is the SV, which adds cruise control, premium cloth upholstery and a six-speaker sound system. The sporty SR gains bolder styling elements including 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, lower body skirting and a rear spoiler. The optional Driver's package for the SV and SR adds automatic headlights, rear disc brakes (SR only), keyless/ignition entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.3-inch display, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.
The FE+ versions of the S and SV add a rear spoiler, underbody aerodynamic deflectors and low-rolling-resistance tires, all of which promote slightly higher fuel mileage.
The SL comes with the SV's standard features and equipment from the Driver's package. It also boasts unique 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone climate control and wood-tone accents.
Optional for the SV, SR and SL is the Premium package, which adds a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. The Navigation package includes a navigation system, NissanConnect (hands-free text messaging and Pandora radio), a rearview camera and Bluetooth audio connectivity. The Leather package (SL only) includes the rear disc brakes, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
Performance & mpg
Every 2013 Nissan Sentra gets a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 130 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base model, with a CVT being optional. All other Sentras have the CVT as standard.
Nissan estimates that the CVT-equipped Sentra returns 30 mpg city/39 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class. The FE+ model is expected to achieve an EPA-rated estimate of 40-mpg highway.
In Edmunds testing, a Sentra SL accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, which is about a half-second slower than average for this class of car.
The 2013 Nissan Sentra comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Most Sentra models come with rear drum brakes, although rear discs are an option.
In government crash tests, the Sentra earned an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Edmunds brake testing, a Sentra SL stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, an average distance for the segment.
Around town and on the freeway, the 2013 Nissan Sentra provides a fairly smooth and quiet ride. Driving over severely broken pavement may result in an occasional jolt reaching the cabin, but it's nothing worse than what you'd likely experience in most of the Nissan's rivals. Though the Sentra's handling abilities around corners are respectable, the steering is rather numb. Other small sedans are more rewarding to drive.
The Sentra's new engine is pleasantly muted while accelerating moderately and while cruising at freeway speeds. Only under hard acceleration does the engine get vocal, but it's nothing objectionable, especially given the segment in which it competes. During aggressive driving, throttle response could be crisper, but the Sentra's CVT is one of the better ones out there, offering fairly linear response, quiet freeway cruising and little of the strangely elastic "rubber-banding" sensation some of these transmissions have. On that note, the Sentra's acceleration isn't as energetic as the top models in this class, but it's perfectly adequate for everyday driving.
Taller drivers will welcome the new Sentra's standard tilt-and-telescoping steering column, while all adults should be pleased by the unexpectedly spacious front seats. Rear-seat passengers aren't left out either, since they have nearly 3 more inches of legroom than before, making the Sentra one of the most spacious cars in its class.
Fit and finish throughout the cabin is excellent, and the SL trim, in particular, stands out with its generous use of soft-touch materials and wood-tone accents; its available leather upholstery, with its handsome stitching, is especially appealing. The NissanConnect enhanced electronics interface allows one to search (via its 5.8-inch touchscreen) the Internet, stream Pandora or Bluetooth audio, and even hear and compose text messages hands-free using a mobile phone's Bluetooth connection.
Luggage capacity is generous. At 15.1 cubic feet it's comparable to that of many midsize sedans.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
This new 2013 Nissan Sentra may call itself a compact sedan, but don't believe it. Like many of its competitors it has grown to the point where the term compact barely applies anymore.
Take, for instance, the Sentra's rear seat. It offers 37.4 inches of legroom. That's more than Nissan's midsize Altima sedan (36.1) and the latest Chevy Malibu (36.8). Even some of the biggest midsize sedans like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are only marginally bigger in back, with 38.5 inches and 38.9 inches of rear legroom respectively.
So this Sentra is bigger, yet Nissan claims that it's lighter, too, by some 150 pounds. It's one reason why this very uncompact Sentra can also deliver very compact carlike mileage numbers. Nissan says the Sentra has been rated by the EPA at 30 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
A bigger car that gets better mileage? Is there a catch? We got behind the wheel to find out.
At first glance, the new 2013 Nissan Sentra appears bigger, more substantial and altogether more attractive than the previous model. Instead of looking like an economy sedan, it looks more like a slightly smaller version of the Altima.
It's not until you slide behind the wheel that you get a sense of the Sentra's slightly smaller dimensions compared to true midsize sedans. It's hardly tight, though, as nearly all of its measurements fall about midpack compared to other sedans in its class like the Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. In other words, if you're more than 6 feet tall there's still plenty of room to stretch out.
The driver seat itself is about average in terms of comfort and adjustability. Even in the top-of-the-line SL trim like our test car, the Sentra only offers manual adjustments. It's relatively easy to find a comfortable driving position, though, and general visibility is good in every direction. Seat heaters are available on the SL, too, so you can make up for some of its lack of support with warmth.
With less weight to move around, Nissan decided to push the Sentra's efficiency even further with a smaller, less powerful engine. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder in last year's model has been replaced with a 1.8-liter four cylinder that delivers 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are down by 10 hp and 19 lb-ft of torque versus the 2.0-liter.
How does that feel on the road? Not all that much different, especially since, like the last Sentra, the standard gearbox on everything but the base model is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It's Nissan's latest CVT and it does a good job of making smaller engines feel slightly more powerful than their numbers suggest. Part of the reason is a new "Sport" mode that makes it respond a little bit quicker to throttle inputs.
We wouldn't call the 2013 Nissan Sentra sporty, though, given that it takes 9.7 seconds (9.4 seconds with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip) to go from zero to 60 mph. That's on par with the Hyundai Elantra, but about half a second slower than most of the other cars in its class. Passing power at highway speeds is merely adequate. With a running start you can make it around big trucks, but don't expect to make any last-minute passes around inattentive cell phone slugs.
The new engine is a smooth-running piece, which is good since you need to wring it out to get going with any enthusiasm. Once it settles down at cruising speeds, the noise subsides considerably. In fact, the Sentra is one of the quietest sedans in its class at 70 mph.
Nothing Sporty Going on Here
Even though this Sentra is built on an all-new platform, there are no major changes to its suspension design. It still uses MacPherson struts up front and a semi-independent torsion beam in the rear. Not surprisingly, it rides much like the previous model, which is no bad thing. Modestly aggressive tuning makes it feel a bit sharper than the Hyundai Elantra, yet nowhere near as sporty as the Ford Focus.
The electrically assisted steering is heavier than you might expect on-center, so it gives the impression of being overly sporty at first. As soon as you bend the Sentra into a corner, however, that heaviness quickly disappears. In its place is the kind of light, easily maneuverable feel that's typical of cars in this class. The increased level of assist also means there's not much road feel, something our test-drivers noted during slalom testing, where the Sentra managed 62.5 mph with its stability control activated.
During around-town driving, the Sentra offers a good mix of refinement and comfort. In this class, that means it's not bothered by minor road imperfections and generally unfazed by potholes. The SL trim level gets standard 17-inch wheels and 205/50R17 tires, but they're not overly aggressive and don't make it drive busy. Our SL also had the optional Leather package that includes rear disc brakes for some reason. They helped stop the Sentra from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is good for the class.
Big and Full of Features
Like many of its competitors, the 2013 Nissan Sentra now offers many of the same electronic features that used to be restricted to the larger midsize sedans. Options like a fully featured navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and even a premium Bose audio system.
Our loaded SL had them all and they definitely give the interior the feel of a more expensive sedan. The 5.8-inch navigation screen is easy to read, the touchscreen functions are simple to use and even the Bluetooth interface is straightforward. The premium sound system comes coupled with a sunroof as part of the Premium package and isn't the best we've heard. Top-shelf SLs also get a standard dual-zone climate control system, which is an appreciated upgrade for a car in this class.
The leather on the seats and steering wheel feels a little better than your basic cloth or vinyl, but the wood trim looks out of place in a car like this. Some nicely finished plastic pieces would look just as good, especially down the road when they begin to show wear.
The big legroom figure quoted by Nissan for the backseats is no joke. Two adults could ride quite comfortably in back without feeling cramped. The only difference between the Sentra and Altima in this regard is width. The Altima, and most midsizers for that matter, offers more hip and shoulder room so adding a third person is far more realistic.
Cargo room is another area where the Sentra matches up favorably to both compact and midsize sedans. With 15.2 cubic feet of trunk space, the Sentra handily beats out rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, which don't even top 13 cubic feet. At the midsize level, the Camry and the Altima have 15.4 cubic feet while the latest Accord has 15.8, so the advantage is pretty slim.
One area where the Sentra could use an upgrade is interior storage. The center console is tiny and there's no bin in front of the transmission shifter either. There are two average-size cupholders between the seats and some decent door pockets, but neither is a good place for loose change.
Extra Size Doesn't Cost Extra
Given how close the Sentra is creeping toward midsize status, we expected its price to start getting bigger, too. Instead, Nissan went the other way and made the 2013 Sentra slightly cheaper than the previous model.
Our fully loaded, top-spec SL model came in at $23,420, and that's as expensive as the Sentra gets. A fully loaded Honda Civic runs a couple hundred dollars more, while the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus can top $25K when fully optioned.
There's a trade-off, though, as the Sentra's competitors offer more powerful engines and a sportier feel along with a few options that still aren't available on the Sentra. Both the Focus and the Elantra offer hatchback versions, too, an option the Sentra won't offer until sometime in 2013.
As it stands now, this 2013 Nissan Sentra is best suited to those who like basic transportation done well. It might sound like faint praise, but that's the heart of the compact sedan market. Value pricing, an efficient engine and a quiet, spacious cabin: That's what the Sentra delivers. There are cars in this segment that are more fun to drive and models that are cheaper, but the Sentra plays it right down the middle and looks good doing it.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2013 Nissan Sentra Overview
The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra is offered in the following submodels: Sentra Sedan. Available styles include SV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SR 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SL 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), FE+ SV 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), FE+ S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), and S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M).
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Nissan Sentra?
Save up to $259 on one of 32 Used 2013 Nissan Sentra for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $6,866 as of11/22/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Nissan Sentra trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra SV is priced between $6,866 and$10,000 with odometer readings between 55 and118813 miles.
- The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra SR is priced between $7,695 and$9,500 with odometer readings between 52559 and102894 miles.
- The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra S is priced between $7,485 and$8,800 with odometer readings between 72523 and95376 miles.
- The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra SL is priced between $7,757 and$10,598 with odometer readings between 54590 and102002 miles.
- The Used 2013 Nissan Sentra FE+ SV is priced between $6,995 and$8,900 with odometer readings between 44910 and81741 miles.
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Which used 2013 Nissan Sentras are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Nissan Sentra for sale near. There are currently 32 used and CPO 2013 Sentras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,866 and mileage as low as 55 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Nissan Sentra. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $259 on a used or CPO 2013 Sentra available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Nissan Sentra?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.