Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Sentra VS 2017 Volkswagen Jetta Near San Antonio, TX

Responsive image

2017 Nissan Sentra

Responsive image

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Sentra as “Superior.” The Jetta scores only 2 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Sentra and the Jetta 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Volkswagen Jetta:







4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Stress

305 lbs.

342 lbs.

Neck Compression

70 lbs.

87 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

195/290 lbs.

734/639 lbs.

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

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 Volkswagen Jetta:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Abdominal Force

184 G’s

223 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

58 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

17 inches

18 inches




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

515 lbs.

720 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 77 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 13th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Sentra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Jetta requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Sentra stops shorter than the Jetta:





60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 Jetta doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sentra’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Jetta (106.3 inches vs. 104.4 inches).

The Sentra SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Jetta 1.4T SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Sentra’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Jetta’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.4 feet). The Sentra’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Jetta GLI’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Jetta (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 Jetta is rated a Compact.

The Sentra has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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 Jetta’s liftover is 28.2 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

Consumer Reports rated the Sentra’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Jetta’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 Jetta has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/GLI.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Jetta because it costs $216 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Jetta, including $427 less for a water pump, $314 less for an alternator, $6 less for front brake pads, $326 less for a starter, $57 less for fuel injection, $245 less for front struts, $8 less for a timing belt/chain and $121 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by 33% during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.