2020 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Mazda 3

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 2020/09/30

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Sentra have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sentra are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sentra has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Sentra SR offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mazda 3 only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Sentra and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available daytime running lights.

Warranty

© 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 2020/09/30

There are almost 2 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sentra has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Mazda 3’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Sentra is faster than the Mazda 3 (automatics tested):

Sentra

3

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.8 MPH

87.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/09/30

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

MPG

Sentra

FWD

Auto

S/SV 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/39 hwy

SR 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

Mazda3 Sedan

FWD

Auto

Premium 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

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

MPG

Sentra

FWD

Auto

S/SV 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/39 hwy

SR 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

Mazda3 Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

Transmission

© 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 2020/09/30

The Sentra 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 Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/09/30

The Sentra stops shorter than the Mazda 3:

Sentra

Mazda 3

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 Mazda 3 Sedan’s standard 60 series tires.

The Sentra 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 Mazda 3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Sentra has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda 3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Sentra SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Mazda 3 Premium Sedan AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sentra SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Mazda 3 Premium Sedan AWD (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Sentra uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sentra a Mid-size car, while the Mazda 3 is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mazda 3 Sedan (96 vs. 92.8).

The Sentra has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/09/30

The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 3 Sedan (14.3 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/09/30

The Sentra SV/SR’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sentra SR’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/09/30

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Mazda 3 by almost four to one during 2019.

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