2019 Nissan Sentra vs. 2019 Toyota Yaris

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Sentra as “Superior.” The Yaris scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Sentra (except S)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Yaris doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Sentra (except S)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Yaris doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Sentra and the Yaris 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Sentra has a standard 470-amp battery. The Yaris’ 356-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Sentra CVT’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (124 vs. 106) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (125 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Sentra’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (130 vs. 106) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (128 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Sentra is faster than the Toyota Yaris (automatics tested):

 

Sentra

Yaris

Zero to 30 MPH

3.6 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.7 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

17.5 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

81.1 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Sentra has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Yaris (13.2 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Sentra CVT has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Yaris doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sentra’s brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Yaris:

 

Sentra

Yaris

Front Rotors

11 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

7.9 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

The Sentra SR/SL has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Yaris. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Sentra stops much shorter than the Yaris:

 

Sentra

Yaris

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Sentra has larger tires than the Yaris (205/55R16 vs. 185/60R16).

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 Yaris L’s standard 65 series tires. The Sentra SR/SL’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Yaris LE/XLE’s 60 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 Yaris L. The Sentra SR/SL’s 17-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels on the Yaris LE/XLE.

The Nissan Sentra’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Yaris only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

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 Yaris doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Sentra has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sentra flat and controlled during cornering. The Yaris’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Sentra has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Yaris doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Yaris (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Sentra is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Yaris.

The Sentra SL handles at .83 G’s, while the Yaris pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Yaris (76 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sentra a Mid-size car, while the Yaris is rated a Subcompact.

The Sentra has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Yaris (95.9 vs. 85.9).

The Sentra has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 3 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Yaris.

Cargo Capacity

The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Yaris (15.1 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 Yaris has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE.

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 Yaris doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Sentra’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Yaris doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Sentra (except S) offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Yaris.

The Sentra has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Yaris doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 Yaris doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sentra SL has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Yaris doesn’t offer rear vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Sentra’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Yaris doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sentra SR/SL has a standard Intelligent 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 Yaris doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Sentra (except S). The Sentra’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Yaris doesn’t offer a navigation system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Yaris because typical repairs cost less on the Sentra than the Yaris, including $59 less for a starter, $118 less for front struts and $37 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Toyota Yaris by almost 8 to one during 2018.

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

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