2012 Nissan Sentra vs. 2012 Nissan Altima: Which One Should I Buy?

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection
Service Area

$99.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 4,304 customers who received a Pre-purchase Car Inspection.

When you consider the Nissan Sentra versus the Nissan Altima, you need to realize that you’re crossing between two different classes of vehicle: the Altima is a mid-size sedan while the Sentra is a compact sedan. The differences between the two, even though they come from the same manufacturer, are significant and include a nearly $5,000 difference in base price. Sedans in general are great family cars, built to provide good gas mileage and economy of use and some sense of style while also giving you a little zip in the handling and drive.

Nissans specifically are known for their superior handling, tight design looks, and strong safety ratings and neither of these two vehicles disappoint. Compact cars are much more likely to be chosen by commuters or a college-bound teenager while a mid-size is more family-oriented.

imageDescription
Nissan Altima 2012

Interior Design

The Sentra has an older design language, which is immediately obvious. The Altima brings a curvaceous new form that doesn’t scream “economy” and feels more like a sports car. The Sentra is more attractive as a commuter car as it offers a nice leather wrapped steering wheel, center armrest and plenty of silver plastic trim for a significantly lower (23%) price point than the Altima. The interior of the Altima is what you would expect from the higher class of cars.

Fuel Efficiency

The gas mileage between the two vehicles is nearly the same, even though the Altima is a fair bit larger overall. The combo gas mileage comes out to 27 mpg for each offering, while the city gas mileage is 24 mpg for the Altima and 23 for the Sentra. The Altima is right on the industry average for mid-size sedans while the Sentra is inexplicably lower by 2.5 points than the average for compact sedans. The Altima far outlasts the Sentra when it comes to driving as it offers a significantly larger fuel tank – giving it 112 miles more range than the Sentra for city driving and a whopping 190 miles further for interstate driving!

Driving Feel

The Altima wins again with a 12% higher power-to-weight ratio which gives it better get up and go than the Sentra can offer. Both vehicles have a four wheel drive system, providing excellent startup traction when accelerating from a standstill. Crash test ratings for both vehicles are excellent; these two are great examples of both a mid-size and compact sedan that offer style and value.


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Pre-purchase Car Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

4,304

Rating Summary
4,001
168
34
34
67
4,001
168
34
34
67

Pardeep

20 years of experience
616 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Mustang - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - San Jose, California
He was great. Very familiar and knowledgeable when it came to my older mustang GT. Pleasure to work with and nice. Would love to have him work on the car again as I start repairing and replacing items on my list through your mechanics..
Ford F-150 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fremont, California
Very detailed inspection, very clear report, Pardeep saved us from a big mistake. Thanks. Would use Pardeep again.

Derrick

10 years of experience
33 reviews
Derrick
10 years of experience
Ford Edge - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Vallejo, California
On time, excellent communication & I was very comfortable asking him anything, efficient - instead of waiting for the car sales man made suggestions of what he could do in order to not lose time & get his inspection going. He showed me what he found & explained if he had any concern or why he was not concerned. It was another great experience with yourmechanic.com .
Mazda CX-5 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Berkeley, California
Derrick was early to our appointment and worked efficiently. He was also very pleasant and friendly. I highly recommend him!

Andy

3 years of experience
52 reviews
Andy
3 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fremont, California
Andy is highly competent. Very detailed and gave us comprehensive info on the car. Showed up on time and even waited for us for an hour. Feel terrible about it. Thanks Andy for all your help. Highly recommended.
Nissan Frontier - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - San Jose, California
Andy did a great job inspecting a truck I was thinking about buying. He worked thoroughly and provided me with the information I needed to make an informed decision about the purchase of the vehicle. Andy will be doing the brakes on my girlfriends car tomorrow and expect he'll do a great job with that task as well.

Anderson

26 years of experience
3 reviews
Anderson
26 years of experience
Lincoln MKZ - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
Thanks for looking the Lincoln over. I live in Colorado. and needed it inspected before I purchase it. Would you buy this car if you were in the market for this type of vehicle? Thank you Gary Slaven

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE