Although Nissan has worked to improve its lineup and offers stylish vehicles at competitive prices, the Toyota Corolla surpasses the Sentra with its reputation, service and a strong legacy of more than 34 million units sold since the nameplate was first introduced in the 1960s. When comparing the 2014 Toyota Corolla vs. Nissan Sentra, Corolla beats the Sentra in overall value and its standard and available options.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla offers more of the standard features drivers want, like Entune Audio and the Star Safety System, as well as a wide range of affordable options that aren’t available on the 2014 Nissan Sentra. In addition, Toyota includes a robust maintenance plan and roadside assistance with every new Corolla purchase. Meanwhile, Nissan only offers maintenance plans at an extra cost to the buyer, and doesn’t offer any roadside assistance services. Below is a closer look at the Toyota Corolla vs. Nissan Sentra comparison.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2014 Toyota Corolla gives drivers a 1.8L 4-cylinder dual overhead camshaft engine with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission. It features lightweight pistons and a cooling water jacket spacer that surrounds the cylinder walls, which allows for a lighter and more compact engine design. Additionally, the Corolla’s engine automatically adjusts valve timing to allow for more efficient operation while maintaining maximum power. Overall, the engine produces 132 hp and 128 lb.-ft. of torque.

Similarly, the 2014 Nissan Sentra features an available 1.8L 4-cylinder engine and an Xtronic CVT® for smooth shifting, but cannot be outfitted with a six-speed manual transmission like the Corolla can. Overall, the Sentra engine produces 128 lb.-ft. of torque and 130 hp, a little less than Corolla 132 hp. While the Sentra SV appears to gain a tiny bit of ground in the fuel economy category (39 highway MPG vs. Corolla LE’s 38 highway MPG), Corolla’s Valvematic technology available on the LE Eco offers an impressive 42 hwy MPG that you can’t get with any of the Sentra grades.

Interior Space

Inside, both the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra provide ample space for the driver and four passengers, plus their belongings. However, the Corolla edges out the Sentra in overall passenger volume – and offers more front hip and shoulder room, making the Corolla more comfortable for drivers and front-seat passengers.

Exterior Styling

The Corolla has been redesigned with a new chiseled look for 2014 that gives it a sleeker presence, improved aerodynamics and better fuel economy, as well as standard light-emitting diode (LED) headlights and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Like the Corolla, the 2014 Sentra has also been redesigned. This year’s model is two inches longer than previous models, plus it has lost 150 lbs. and has been given a cleaner, more modern look by changing the design of the Sentra’s grille and updating it with wrap-around headlights and taillights. With both cars recently redesigned, the Toyota Corolla vs. Nissan Sentra comparison is truly an apples-to-apples proposition.

Braking Performance

The Nissan Sentra features a 4-wheel anti-lock disc braking system (front disc brakes and rear drum brakes). Meanwhile, the Toyota Corolla offers drivers power-assisted ventilated 10.8-inch front disc brakes and 9-inch rear drum brakes, with a 4-wheel anti-lock disc braking system available on the Corolla S. To enhance the vehicles’ safety, the automakers each offer their own unique safety system to protect the driver and passengers. Nissan features its own Advanced Airbag System, as well as the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), and pipe-style steel side-door guard beams, among other things. To keep its occupants safe, Toyota has outfitted the Corolla with its Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control, as well as Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and more.

Audio System

In the Corolla vs. Sentra comparison, both vehicles offer AM/FM radio, a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. However, the Corolla LE also boasts USB/iPod® connectivity ports and the Entune audio system, which includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, six speakers, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone calling, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. Additionally, an integrated backup camera comes standard on all Corolla LE, S and LE Eco grades. As for the Sentra, its onboard entertainment system includes four speakers, MP3/WMA CD playback capability, a radio data system (RDS), and speed-sensitive volume control.

Connectivity

The Corolla offers the optional Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite, which features the Entune4 Multimedia Bundle with a 6.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen with split-screen display, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, HD Radio, HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, AM/FM cache radio, SiriusXM Radio with a 90-day All Access trial and Gracenote® album cover art. In order to get a similar package, Sentra customers would need to purchase at least the SV model, and then invest in an optional upgrade. This upgrade would give the owner all of the basics, plus six speakers (instead of four), access to SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a 4.3-inch QVGA color monitor, among other things. In this Corolla vs. Sentra comparison the winner is clear – Corolla.

More Features

The Corolla offers wide range of standard and optional features that are either unavailable on many (or all) of the Sentra models offered by Nissan, or available only as upgrades on the higher-end models in the Sentra family. For instance, when you purchase a new Corolla, it will come with ToyotaCare, which includes a no-cost factory-scheduled maintenance program for two years or 25,000 miles, as well as 24-hour roadside assistance for two years with unlimited miles. Nissan only offers maintenance as part of a buy-up plan. Both companies offer a range of trim packages and options, so it’s easy to find the right vehicle to suit your life and your style – but only Toyota includes more of the options you want without an upcharge.

Summary

Introduced in the United States in mid-1982, the Nissan Sentra has been a fixture in the American compact car segment for more than 30 years. Although the Sentra has, for more than 30 years, maintained a significant presence in the US market, it’s the Toyota Corolla that continues to lead the compact category. Of course, both vehicles have seen a myriad of changes over the years – from designs and options to safety features and technology – delivering value for the money each and every year. However, when comparing the vehicles point to point, the 2014 Toyota Corolla comes out on top – featuring more of the standard features drivers want, like Entune Audio and the Star Safety System, a robust maintenance plan at no extra cost, roadside assistance, plus a wide range of affordable options that aren’t available on the 2014 Nissan Sentra.

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