Two 2021 Corolla's parked side by side


  • The Corolla L has more standard active safety features than the Sentra S.
  • Both vehicles have extensive airbag systems.
  • The Corolla received a better NHTSA Overall Front Star Rating than the Sentra.

Day-to-day driving comes with unpredictability. Feel prepared with the Corolla and Sentra's active safety features.

Standard Safety Features

The Corolla L comes standard with a suite of active safety features called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). This includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Road Sign Assist (RSA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

Comparatively, the Sentra S has High Beam Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Intelligent Trace Control. Intelligent Cruise Control is only offered on the Sentra SV and SR models.

Additionally, the Corolla comes with 10 airbags. These include a driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, passenger seat cushion airbag, rear side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags. The 2021 Sentra also has a Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags, seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear seat outboard occupants, driver and front-passenger supplemental knee air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with a rollover sensor for front- and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

Looking at the bigger picture, these sedans are both top-notch safety picks. Based on ratings from the NHTSA, the 2021 Corolla received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating as well as a 5-Star Overall Front Star Rating which combines driver and passenger frontal crash ratings. The Sentra also received a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating, however, it only received 4-Stars for Overall Front Star Rating due to a 3-Star Front Passenger Side ranking.

Black 2021 Corolla driving through the city at night


  • Get better fuel economy ratings when you choose Corolla's available hybrid engine.
  • Choose between a CVT or manual transmission depending on what you want out of your ride in the Corolla SE.
  • Be seen during the day and at night in the Corolla which comes standard with LED lights.

The Corolla offers a traditional gas engine plus an available hybrid engine for even more savings at the pump.

Handling and Horsepower

The base model Corolla L has an EPA-estimated 30/38/33 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. The Sentra S has a similar EPA-estimated 29/39/33 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. What really sets the Corolla apart is the Corolla Hybrid LE, which has an EPA-estimated 53/52/52 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

You also get more options when it comes to transmission type when you go with the Corolla. While the Sentra only offers Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla SE has the option of a Dynamic-Shift Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).

Taking a look under the hood, the Sentra has a standard 2.0L 4-Cylinder engine with 149 horsepower. The Corolla SE, SE Nightshade, SE, XSE, and XSE also have a 2.0L 4-Cylinder engine, but provide more muscle with 169 horsepower.

The 2021 Corolla also comes standard with sleek LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) for better visibility. Conversely, the Sentra S comes with halogen headlights. LED headlights with LED signature Daytime Running Lights are only offered on the Sentra SR.

Interior view of the 2021 Corolla


  • The Corolla has Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM® compatibility. SiriusXM® is standard starting on the Sentra SV and no Sentra model has Amazon Alexa integration.
  • When you want more speakers and multiple USB ports, the Corolla has plenty even at the base level.
  • Make your car a hotspot with the Corolla's trial of Wi-Fi Connect.

When comparing the interior options for the Corolla and Sentra, both offer multiple ways to connect and plug in.

Connectivity Options

The 2021 Corolla L comes standard with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Plus, you can try SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial. The Sentra S has Android Auto™, and Apple CarPlay®, but lacks Amazon Alexa compatibility. If you want standard SiriusXM® Radio with a 3-month subscription, you'd need the Sentra SV and SR.

Have all of these apps at your fingertips with the Corolla L’'s standard 7-in. touchscreen. All models higher than the Corolla L have an 8-in. touchscreen, while the Sentra’s touchscreen maxes out at 7-in.

You also get six speakers standard with the Corolla. To get six speakers in the Sentra, you'd need the SV or SR. Otherwise, the Sentra has four speakers.

Since you may need to charge your devices on the go, the Corolla multimedia system also comes standard with a USB media port and one USB media charge port. The Sentra S has one USB port. For two USB ports and one USB-C port, you'd need to get the Sentra SV or SR.

Stay connected with Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2GB within a 3-month trial. While you get a chance to try out this feature standard with the Corolla, the NissanConnect with Wi-Fi Hotspot is only available on the Sentra SR. You would have to tack on the Premium Package, too, which is $2,270 extra.

Conclusion: Corolla vs. Sentra

Both the Corolla and the Sentra have a variety of active safety features to help you stay safe when driving, but the Corolla takes the safety category with the 5-Star Overall Front Star Rating it earned from the NHTSA . It also has more horsepower, more transmission options, and stellar fuel economy.

  • The Corolla's available hybrid engine gets better fuel economy.
  • LED lights come standard with the Corolla for better visibility during the daytime or nighttime.
  • The Corolla SE comes with an optional CVT or manual transmission, depending on the type of ride you prefer.
  • Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM® compatibility come standard with the Corolla.
  • The Corolla comes standard with more speakers and multiple USB ports, even at the base level.
  • The Corolla comes with a 3-month trial of Wi-Fi Connect that turns your car into a hotspot.