2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Nissan Sentra

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Sentra doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sentra doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Sentra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe weighs 450 to 560 pounds more than the Nissan Sentra. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Sentra’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Sentra’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sentra.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 79 more horsepower (228 vs. 149) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 146) than the Sentra’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 152 more horsepower (301 vs. 149) and 185 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 146) than the Sentra’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Sentra doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sentra doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Sentra doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Sentra SV/SR are solid, not vented.

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Sentra. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has larger standard tires than the Sentra (224/40R18 vs. 205/55R16). The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sentra (235/35R19 vs. 215/45R18).

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sentra S/SV’s standard 55 series tires. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Sentra SR’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sentra S/SV. The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Sentra SR.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Sentra doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Sentra’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Sentra’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.3% to 41.7%) than the Sentra’s (60.8% to 39.2%). This gives the 2 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Sentra’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe is 4.2 inches shorter than the Sentra, making the 2 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk than the Sentra (15.1 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series Gran Coupe. The Sentra doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sentra doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Sentra uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the 2 Series Gran Coupe, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Sentra doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sentra doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sentra’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Sentra have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 2 Series Gran Coupe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sentra prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s front power windows 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’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the 2 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sentra can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sentra’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 2 Series Gran Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sentra doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Sentra SV/SR.

When the 2 Series Gran Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Sentra’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sentra offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Sentra SV/SR.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Sentra offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sentra doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sentra’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 2 Series Gran offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Sentra doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Sentra doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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