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

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.

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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.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1842 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Smooth experience, was able to communicate succinctly and arrived early to the appointment. Thoroughly completed the 50-point check and gave me his professional opinion. His report on the vehicle reflected knowledge on the vehicle, along with giving me his own estimate on the pricing. Definitely helped me with my purchase.
Audi A4 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Corona, California
Chris was great. He was early to the appointment, very communicative (responsive almost immediately for text and calls). He did a pre-purchase inspection for me on a car, and I was not able to attend the inspection. He was extremely honest with his feedback regarding both the car and the quality of the sale in general. I'm not a "car-person" and I felt like I could ask him anything and everything and not worry about coming across as stupid. I felt much better about my purchase after he was able to look at the car and give me his report.

Anderson

26 years of experience
65 reviews
Anderson
26 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
Anderson was great! I was unsure about my purchase because of the year and the condition. Anderson's inspection really put everything into perspective. Thank you!
Land Rover LR4 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Neck, New York
Anderson is amazing! A previous mechanic was no-call/no-show through this site when I was at the dealership, so I was skeptical of the service. However, but I'm glad I gave it another go and Anderson came through the next day! HUGE thanks to him for arriving early, being thorough, and most importantly, communicating with me as I was not able to be in-person for the inspection. Thank you, Anderson!

Jason

14 years of experience
215 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Dodge Charger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Carteret, New Jersey
Jason came on time, explained the procedure and immediately started the pre-purchase inspection on my 2012 Dodge Charger. Very thorough, very knowledgeable! I’ll be using YourMechanic for the suggested maintenance and repairs.
Nissan Rogue - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Linden, New Jersey
I truly appreciate Jason’s professionalism and the fact that he was quite detailed in his inspection of my vehicle. As a result, I now feel much more confident in my purchase and will utilize Jason’s services in the future.

Pierre

8 years of experience
109 reviews
Pierre
8 years of experience
Subaru Impreza - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Revere, Massachusetts
My husband and I had Pierre take a look at a car for us before we bought it. He was super communicative with us, letting us know that he was running behind and would be a little late. When he did the inspection the guys at dealership were very impressed by Pierre and his thoroughness. After his inspection he gave us a full list of what he found and his professional opinion on the vehicle. Pierre's assessment gave us the confidence to purchase the car.
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Arlington, Massachusetts
Was running a bit late but called well ahead to let me know. Extremely professional, would recommend to anybody in the area. 10/10

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