Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Sentra VS 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Near Boerne, TX

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2017 Nissan Sentra

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2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

Safety Comparison

The Sentra SR/SL offers optional Forward Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Lancer doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Sentra (except S)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Lancer doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Sentra (except S)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Lancer doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the Sentra’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Lancer has a metal gas tank.

Both the Sentra and the Lancer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Lancer:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1/.1 kN

1/.7 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia forces R/L

1.5/.5 kN

2.8/17 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Mitsubishi Lancer:





5 Stars

4 Stars


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Rear Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars




Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

81 G’s

Hip Force

865 lbs.

947 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

515 lbs.

788 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sentra its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2016, a rating granted to only 90 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Lancer is not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty Comparison

The Sentra’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Lancer’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 82 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Sentra (130 HP engine) is faster than the Lancer ES 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

3.6 sec

3.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.7 sec

9.8 sec

Quarter Mile

17.5 sec

17.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Sentra gets better fuel mileage than the Lancer FWD:







1.8 4 cyl. (130 HP)/6-spd. Manual

27 city/35 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Manual


1.8 4 cyl. (124 HP)/CVT

29 city/37 hwy

27 city/34 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 Lancer ES’ standard 60 series tires.

The Sentra SV/SR/SL 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 Lancer doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Sentra has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sentra flat and controlled during cornering. The Lancer ES suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Sentra has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Lancer doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the Lancer (106.3 inches vs. 103.7 inches).

The Sentra SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Lancer pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

For excellent aerodynamics, the Sentra S/SV has standard flush composite headlights. The Lancer has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Lancer (37 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Sentra has 2.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Lancer (95.9 vs. 93.5).

The Sentra has .2 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Lancer.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Sentra has a much larger trunk than the Lancer (15.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Sentra easier. The Sentra’s trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the Lancer’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Sentra has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Lancer doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Lancer’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Sentra’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Intelligent Key standard on the Sentra SV/SR/SL allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mitsubishi Lancer’s available FAST-Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The Sentra has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Lancer has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Sentra has standard extendable sun visors. The Lancer doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Sentra SL’s 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. The Lancer doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sentra SR/SL offers an optional Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Lancer doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard NissanConnect for the Sentra SV/SR/SL allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Lancer doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Sentra owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sentra will cost $620 to $1965 less than the Lancer over a five-year period.

The Sentra will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Sentra will retain 50.53% to 51.54% of its original price after five years, while the Lancer only retains 44.67% to 47.33%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Lancer because typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Lancer, including $331 less for a water pump, $15 less for an alternator, $32 less for front brake pads, $526 less for a starter, $66 less for a fuel pump, $159 less for front struts, $24 less for a timing belt/chain and $651 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Sentra will be $2212 to $4040 less than for the Mitsubishi Lancer.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Mitsubishi Lancer by almost fifteen to one during the 2016 model year.

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