2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO

2018 Nissan Sentra
2018 Nissan Sentra


  • Spacious backseat and trunk for the class
  • Priced lower than many rivals
  • User-friendly control layout


  • Slow acceleration on most models
  • Seats aren't particularly suitable for taller drivers
  • Less engaging driving experience than many competitors

Which Sentra does Edmunds recommend?

Unless you're willing to opt for a manual transmission, the price difference between the automatic-equipped S and SV is so minor that we'd recommend going with the Sentra SV. It adds nicer upholstery and interior trimmings, a better stereo, dual-zone climate control, and a few other appealing upgrades without adding too much to the price. Though we're not fond of the sluggish base engine, the upgraded turbo engine is a pricey addition that lessens the Sentra's value proposition, especially compared to competitive cars.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.9 / 10

The Nissan Sentra offers straightforward practicality and an appealing price. There's plenty of cargo space and lots of room for passengers. It's also an easy car to live with thanks to simple controls and a smooth driving experience.

That said, nothing about the Sentra stands out in the class. Its base engine is one of the slowest available, and even the optional turbocharged engine lags behind some competitors in terms of outright performance. There are also rival sedans that offer nicer interiors and greater degrees of comfort and technology.

A good example is the Kia Forte, which has an extensive list of optional features for a reasonable price. There's also the all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza that has many excellent active safety features and driver aids available. Finally, the Honda Civic, when equipped with its available turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, is our overall favorite vehicle in the class.

2018 Nissan Sentra configurations

The 2018 Nissan Sentra sedan is offered in S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, Nismo, and SL trim levels. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 124 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque (130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque with the S trim's manual transmission) is standard on the S, SV, SR and SL models. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the S, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on that model and standard on all other Sentras.

The base Sentra S comes with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, trip computer, a 5-inch central touchscreen, a rearview camera and Bluetooth audio connectivity. Automatic emergency braking for imminent front collisions is now also standard on all CVT-equipped Sentra trim levels, except the Nismo.

Stepping up to the SV gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker sound system and satellite radio.

The SR gets 17-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, a sport body kit including a rear spoiler, LED headlights (low beams), foglights, adaptive cruise control, heated mirrors, unique cloth upholstery and heated front seats.

For both the SV and SR, heated front seats and side mirrors, a sunroof and a 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation are optional.

The SR Turbo takes the SR trim and adds a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (188 hp and 177 lb-ft), mated to a choice of a six-speed manual or a specially calibrated CVT with a manual-shift mode. Nissan also adds a sport-tuned suspension, recalibrated steering, upgraded front brakes and a sunroof.

Optional upgrades for the SR and SR Turbo include leather upholstery, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming mirror, a power sunroof, the bigger touchscreen with navigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system with  NissanConnect app connectivity.

The Sentra Nismo comes with the SR Turbo's features and adds a lot of Nismo-branded trim pieces such as a spoiler, 18-inch wheels, exhaust, grille and badges, along with a unique interior appearance package. It also comes standard with NissanConnect and the larger touchscreen, as well as the eight-speaker Bose stereo system.

The top-of-the-line SL loses the SR's sport-themed flourishes, keeps the 1.8-liter engine, and adds unique 17-inch alloy wheels plus the rear disc brakes, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a moonroof, a larger 5.8-inch touchscreen with navigation and voice controls, NissanConnect, and the premium eight-speaker Bose stereo system. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Nissan Sentra SL (1.8L inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Nissan Sentra has received some revisions, including a more powerful, optional turbocharged engine and some trim-level and package feature adjustments. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Nissan Sentra.


Performance is not a Sentra strong suit — far from it. Acceleration is among the worst in the class, and braking and handling are simply acceptable. But it is free of overtly bad habits, so while unremarkable to drive, it isn't irritating during A-to-B transport either.


The base 1.8-liter engine offers poor acceleration whether from a standstill or when passing, with a 0-60-mph time of 10 seconds that makes the Sentra one of the slowest cars in the class. The significantly stronger turbocharged 1.6-liter should deliver a much better experience.


The Sentra's overall performance inspires confidence, although the brakes require a light foot in traffic, where inputs can be sensitive. In our simulated-panic stop from 60 mph, the Sentra posted average performance for the class.


The Sentra thankfully lacks the heavy at low speeds, light at high speeds steering effort of some other Nissan products. Effort is appropriate for easy commuting and maneuvering around parking lots. There's sufficient feedback, but class leaders do better.


Body roll is largely managed, and overall handling is adequate although rivals provide a greater sense of control. The Sentra is just generally outmatched by most competitors on a windy road, though the stiffer-sprung SR Turbo and Nismo trims should fare better.


The Sentra gets under way smoothly and humbly goes about its business in traffic or when running errands. This is an easy car to drive as long as you aren't in a hurry.


The Sentra can be a quiet, comfortable-riding compact sedan. The trouble is that many rivals are as well, and they also provide superior marks in most other areas. The oddly high-mounted seats were an annoyance for several taller editors.

Seat comfort

The seats are mounted high. This might give a slightly more commanding view of the road, but it cuts into the available headroom, especially for drivers of above-average height. The front seats are also quite flat yet simultaneously feel overstuffed with seat material.

Ride comfort

Ride comfort is a strong suit for the Sentra. Small-but-sharp bumps in city driving are felt in the cabin, but not unbearably so, and the highway ride is smooth and composed.

Noise & vibration

The Sentra can be impressively quiet for a small sedan as long as you go easy on the gas pedal. If you don't, the underpowered engine and CVT conspire to produce loud droning noises a bit reminiscent of an enormous blender.


The Sentra is straightforward and user-friendly, with controls that don't require navigating any high-tech interface. Visibility is also quite good, and the trunk is large. It's one of the more sensible compact cars.

Ease of use

The infotainment screen is small but refreshingly easy to use with straightforward, easy-to-read virtual buttons. Everything important is within reach from the driver's seat including the logical, albeit small, steering wheel controls.

Getting in/getting out

Getting in and out of both the front and back seat is a breeze (the oddly high seats help in this way at least). Large door openings and high windows make for easy entry into this tall-roofed sedan.


The Sentra has a large back seat with plenty of space for adults. The seats, especially the front passenger one, are mounted noticeably high. People of above-average height reported feeling out of place. Shorter drivers may appreciate the view.


Large windows and mirrors provide good all-around visibility, and the standard rearview camera is a nice addition.


The Sentra lacks the polish of a Honda Civic or VW Golf but is nevertheless good for the segment. Frequently touched surfaces (like the center console and elbow rests) are well-padded and made from quality materials. The plastic switchgear doesn't feel cheap or fragile.


The 15.1-cubic-foot trunk is large for the class the class, and the Sentra's 60/40-split-folding seat adds some versatility. Center console storage and cupholders are sufficient, but nothing clever. The rear seat has clearly marked LATCH anchors.


The infotainment system is easy to use, but Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are missing. Automatic emergency braking is now standard on all trims, and a full suite of active safety technologies and driver aids are available on higher trim levels.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Nissan Sentra.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

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Features & Specs

25 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
188 hp @ 5600 rpm
25 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
188 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Sentra safety features:

Automatic Emergency Braking
Applies the brakes to avoid low-speed collisions when forward-facing sensors detect an obstacle.
Intelligent Cruise Control
Adjusts the speed of the car automatically to maintain a constant distance from the vehicle in front.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Alerts the driver to traffic moving behind the vehicle when in reverse.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

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More about the 2018 Nissan Sentra

The 2018 Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan that's roomy and easy to use. It offers a sizable trunk and a comfortable ride, along with an appealing price tag in its lower trim levels.

Starting with the base Sentra S, buyers get 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote entry, and, for 2018, automatic emergency braking. Inside you'll find air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a manually adjustable driver's seat, a 60/40-split folding rear bench and cruise control. Basic technology includes a 5-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera display and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

A six-speed manual transmission and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 130 horsepower are standard on the Sentra S, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional.

Stepping up to the SV gets you Nissan's CVT standard, along with 16-inch alloy wheels, proximity entry with push-button ignition, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, a larger information display in the gauge cluster, a six-speaker stereo system and satellite radio.

The SR upgrades the 2018 Sentra to 17-inch alloy wheels with rear disc brakes, a sporty body kit with a spoiler, LED headlights, foglights, adaptive cruise control, heated mirrors, unique cloth upholstery and heated front seats.

The top-of-the-line Nissan Sentra SL gets its own wheels, along with leather upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a sunroof. Infotainment is handled by a 5.8-inch touchscreen with navigation and voice controls. NissanConnect, an app connectivity suite, is also included, along with an eight-speaker Bose stereo system. The Sentra SL receives blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard. Many of the SL's features are available as options on the sportier SR (and SR Turbo).

Buyers who want more grunt from their Sentra can opt for the SR Turbo or Nismo trims. Both come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that makes 180 horsepower, and both can be had with a CVT automatic or a six-speed manual. The SR Turbo is similarly equipped to the SR, while the Nismo comes with a full appearance package loaded with goodies from Nissan's Nismo performance division.

Be sure to read our full review for more information about the Sentra, and take advantage of our shopping tools to find the best deal on a 2018 Nissan Sentra near you.

2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO Overview

The 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO is offered in the following styles: NISMO 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and NISMO 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo CVT).

What do people think of the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Sentra NISMO.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Sentra NISMO featuring deep dives into trim levels including NISMO, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMOS are available in my area?

2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO Listings and Inventory

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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO for sale near you.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO and all available trim types: NISMO, NISMO. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Nissan Sentra NISMO include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

Check out Nissan lease specials