How much is your car worth?
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.
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 Volkswagen Jetta 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 Jetta 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 Jetta 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 Jetta only offers a rear monitor.
The Sentra’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 Jetta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Sentra and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras and available daytime running lights.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Sentra 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Jetta. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Sentra’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Jetta’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
There are over 67 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Sentra’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Jetta’s camshafts. If the Jetta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 16 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.
The Nissan Sentra comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta.
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 Jetta doesn’t offer a CVT.
The Sentra stops much shorter than the Jetta:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Sentra SR’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta (215/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).
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 Jetta’s standard 60 series tires. The Sentra SR’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Jetta R-Line/SEL Premium’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sentra SR has standard 18-inch wheels. The Jetta’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.
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 Jetta doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
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 Volkswagen Jetta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Sentra has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sentra flat and controlled during cornering. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Jetta (106.8 inches vs. 105.7 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sentra is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Jetta.
The Sentra SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Jetta SEL pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Sentra SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Jetta SEL (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Sentra a Mid-size car, while the Jetta is rated a Compact.
The Sentra has .4 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.
The Sentra’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Jetta’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Nissan Sentra outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by 84% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.