A good commuter car comes at a decent price, and is nice both at the wheel and in the seats. In this comparison guide, we take a look at the 2018 Nissan Sentra and the Toyota Corolla. Which of these compact sedans have a better price, interior, and ride? We'll find out.
Pricing: 2018 Nissan Sentra
The 2018 Nissan Sentra is a steal, starting at $16,990. And the base model is hardly bare-bones, coming with cloth upholstery, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, four-speaker audio system, and rearview camera. If you upgrade to continuously variable transmission (CVT), they throw in forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. There are four more trims, culminating in the trim-topping SL that's priced to sell at $21,990.
The 2018 Toyota Corolla is about sixteen hundred dollars more, starting at $18,550. The Corolla comes standard with rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB port, six-speaker audio system, voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, steering wheel-mounted controls, Toyota's Safety Sense, and Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen. The Corolla has the same number of trims as the Sentra, topping out at the Corolla XSE, starting at $22,730.
Interior: 2018 Nissan Sentra
The 2018 Nissan Sentra is spacious for a compact sedan. The Sentra seats five passengers in roomy, comfortable seats. Adults will find the front or back seat big enough. The cabin is whisper-quiet and everything is clutter-free, with plenty of soft-touch plastics. The rear cargo space is a whopping 15.1 cubic feet, unheard of in a compact.
The 2018 Toyota Corolla also has plenty of room in front and back seat for adults. Like the Sentra, the Corolla is clean and quiet. The dash-mounted ventilation looks a bit like propellers or windmills, but you can be the judge of that look. The cargo space is smaller, coming in at about 13 cubic feet. It's close here, but with more trunk space and slightly better styling, the Nissan Sentra wins this category.
Driving Impressions: 2018 Nissan Sentra
All Sentras have superb handling and smooth ride. If you're just interested in a commuter car, this Nissan is more than enough to maneuver city streets on the way to work. But if you want sporty dynamics and an engine to match, take a look at the Sentra SR Turbo, which offers a turbocharged 188-horsepower four-cylinder engine with CVT automatic transmission and a manual shift mode. That's plenty of power for a compact car.
The Toyota Corolla also shuttles you to and from work with ease, with capable handling and suspension. Under the hood, there's a 123-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It's powerful, even if some have found it inconsistent at high RPMs. There's no designated sporty option, and nothing beyond the base engine, so this category goes to the Sentra as well.
If you want something with plenty of space, plenty of power and a low price point, consider the 2018 Nissan Sentra.