2019 Mazda 3 vs. 2019 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 3 has standard Whiplash Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan) has standard Smart City Brake Support, 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 Sentra SR Turbo doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Mazda 3 offers optional Rear Smart Brake Support that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Mazda 3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan)’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Mazda 3 offers an optional 360-Degree Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sentra SR Turbo only offers a rear monitor.

The Mazda 3 =’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Mazda 3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Mazda 3 and the Sentra SR Turbo 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Mazda 3 has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Sentra SR Turbo’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 177) than the Sentra SR Turbo’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Mazda3 gets better fuel mileage than the Sentra SR Turbo:

 

 

 

MPG

Mazda3

FWD

Manual

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

 

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

 

Sedan Premium 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

AWD

Auto

Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

Sentra SR Turbo

FWD

Manual

NISMO 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

Auto

1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

 

 

NISMO 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 3 Premium/Hatchback/AWD’s fuel efficiency. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda 3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Sentra SR Turbo requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Sentra SR Turbo.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mazda 3 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the Sentra SR Turbo.

Chassis

The Mazda 3 Sedan is 6.9 inches shorter than the Sentra SR Turbo, making the Mazda 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Mazda 3 Sedan has 3.7 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear hip room than the Sentra SR Turbo.

Ergonomics

The Mazda 3 Auto offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mazda 3 Premium has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and warning light readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Mazda 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sentra SR Turbo’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sentra SR Turbo’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Mazda 3 Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Mazda 3’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sentra SR Turbo’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

When the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Sentra SR Turbo’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Mazda 3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sentra SR Turbo offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Mazda 3 has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan) has a standard Radar 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 Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Mazda 3 comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo isn’t available as a four door hatchback.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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