Despite winning North American Car of the Year, the new Honda Civic didn’t impress Consumer Reports as much as the 2022 Nissan Sentra impressed the site. When it comes to affordable vehicles under $25,000, the Sentra is one of the best small cars.
So what makes the Nissan Sentra better than the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and all the other compact cars on the list? Here’s what Consumer Reports says.
What Makes the 2022 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reports’ Favorite?
With an overall score of 77 out of 100, the 2022 Nissan Sentra ranks second out of seven compact cars in the “Best New Cars Under $25,000 According to Consumer Reports” category. CR reviewers have a high opinion of the Sentra thanks to the gas mileage they got in their model’s test drive.
According to consumer reports, their 2022 Sentra got 32 mpg combined and a whopping 44 mpg on the highway. CR testers appreciate its comfortable ride and nimble handling. Additionally, the car’s leather-wrapped seats and abundance of rear legroom pleasantly surprised reviewers.
Starting prices range from $19,000 for the S trim to $22,200 for the SR, making the 2022 Nissan Sentra one of the most affordable compact models.
For that price, buyers get plenty of standard features. They include Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver aids, such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
How the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic Compare to the Nissan Sentra
The 2022 Toyota Corolla received an overall CR score of 73, enough to rank it fourth on CR’s list of best new cars under $25,000. Consumer Reports testers got an impressive 48 mpg total in the hybrid version. Otherwise, the standard model got 33 mpg combined.
The Corolla also offers excellent reliability and nimble handling. But its rear seat doesn’t have as much legroom as the Sentra, nor is it as easily accessible. The 2022 Corolla starts at $20,175 to $28,460.
The 2022 Honda Civic scored slightly lower, with 70 points, putting it in sixth place on the list of cars under $25,000. Like the others, it also offers excellent fuel economy, with a combined 33 mpg rating. Other perks include the choice between a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a more powerful 1.5-liter turbo-four. Plus, it has Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.
However, Consumer Reports testers thought the Civic’s ride was stiff and road noise was overwhelming, making long drives a bit of a headache. The Touring version is much quieter but costs a lot more, around $29,850, which is about $7,000 more than the base model and excluding it from the list of best cars under $25,000.
Other Compact Cars on Consumer Reports’ Best Vehicles Under $25,000 List
The top-rated compact car in Consumer Reports’ roundup is the 2022 Subaru Impreza, which scored a total of 81, four points ahead of the 2022 Nissan Sentra.
As for fuel economy, the Impreza can get around 30 mpg combined. That’s impressive for a standard all-wheel-drive car. As for the price, expect to pay between $18,795 and $26,395.
One spot below the Nissan Sentra is third place for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra with 76 overall. Its greatest asset is undoubtedly its fuel economy. For just $19,950 to $33,400 depending on trim level, the Elantra gets up to 48 mpg combined.
The Volkswagen Jetta scored a 73 from CR. As for fuel economy, it can hit 54 mpg on the highway but only 21 mpg in the city. This model is quite affordable, ranging from $20,195 to $27,795.
Last on the list is the Mazda3 with a score of 69. It’s sportier than the others, so its gas mileage is a bit lower, at 30 mpg combined. Expect to pay around $20,800 for the base model and $34,400 for the highest trim.
Overall, the 2022 Nissan Sentra has a lot to offer buyers looking for a compact car. It’s among the best under $25,000. Plus, you’ll save money at the pump, especially when compared to similarly priced rivals.
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