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Review: 2022 Nissan Sentra SR - Second Best Value In The Segment But Our First Choice

The best value in the segment is the Sentra SV. However, here’s why the SR with a lot of packages and options may be the better choice for you.

When Torque News had a chance to test then then-all-new 2020 Nissan Sentra SV two years ago it knocked our socks off. We had just driven a premium European sedan the same size but twice the price. We liked the base Sentra better! From that point forward, the Sentra SV became our benchmark for the best value in the midsize car segment. This week we tested a two-year newer, much higher-specification trim of that same Sentra and have decided we would likely opt for this one if we could afford the payments.

Image of 2022 Nissan Sentra by John Goreham2022 Nissan Sentra SR - What Is It?
The Sentra SR is a roomy-five passenger sedan. This car is about the same size as an Altima from a decade ago, and the EPA officially calls it “midsize.” It has 96 cubic feet of passenger volume and 14 cu ft of trunk capacity. That’s about the same size as a Tesla Model 3, a car that costs about 60% more.

2022 Nissan Sentra SR - What Does It Cost? What Is The Warranty? Can I actually Get One?
The Nissan Sentra line starts at about $21K. The SV we tested for $21,400 has increased in price due to inflation and questionable U.S. monetary policy to just under $23K. The top-trim SR starts at $24K. We tested an SR with a long list of packages and individual options that grew the price to $27,270. All of these price approximations include destination charges, but you should expect to pay dealer markups for documentation fees, things like paint protection, and possibly a market price adjustment.

Nissan offers the industry-standard warranty of 3-years or 36K comprehensive and 5-Year 60K powertrain warranty. Maintenance is not included. Hyundai, Toyota, and other brands offer longer warranties and/or more included maintenance.

Call a few local dealers before you head out to see if any inventory is available. We used Nissan’s inventory search tool, which told us that 61 Sentras were available in stock within 25 miles of our home base.

Image of 2022 Nissan Sentra by John Goreham2022 Nissan Sentra SR - The Drive
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Sentra SR’s driving experience is its off-the-line torque. As we mentioned in our test of two years back, the Sentra SR has a more satisfying launch in normal traffic than cars costing literally twice its price. Would that translate to a better “0-60 MPH time?” No. Those pricey models have expensive engines that generate power in the part of the rev band most of us never use. They sure look good on paper though. The $47K Tesla Model 3 does have that same satisfying torque. Perhaps a bit more.

Due to late-winter weather, we didn’t have a chance to take the Sentra to the mountains for some fun touring. We did use it in downtown greater Boston, on the highway, and on some suburban drives. In every scenario, the Sentra was enjoyable to drive. Handling is as it should be in a sedan this size, shape, and price point. Braking was particularly good.

During one rainy evening, we hit a monster pot-hole cleverly hiding under a puddle. The impact made us think we would be walking home, but after we inspected the Sentra, the tire was undamaged and it still tracked straight as an arrow down the road. If we’d been in one of those pricey sports sedans with the ultra-low profile tires, I’m certain a tire would have been damaged. As is often the case, one gets more when one spends less in this car segment.

Image of 2022 Nissan Sentra by John Goreham2022 Nissan Sentra SR - Infotainment and Interior Features
Our SR trim with the Premium Package came with power-adjustable heated seats and a heated steering wheel. The infotainment system featured wired Android Auto and Apple Car Play and a large, easy-to-operate touchscreen. The steering wheel controls meant that we barely needed to touch that screen. The Premium Package upgraded the audio to a Bose system that was fantastic.

2022 Nissan Sentra SR - What’s Missing?
At this price point of under $28K, nothing was missing from the Sentra SR that we would expect or feel is really needed. It even has a spare tire. We would prefer wireless phone mirroring, and that is an option one can find in the similarly-priced Hyundai Elantra. That was about it. AWD is not an option, so an Altima might be your best bet if you need it and can afford it.

2022 Nissan Sentra SR - Conclusion
We feel that the Nissan Sentra is one of the best choices in this very competitive segment. The Sentra is a Top Safety Pick, so any parent helping a child to find a great car can feel safe knowing that it matches the score of the similarly-sized BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. Nissan offers a great price point across the Sentra line, and our top-trim SR tester offered key features like a heated steering wheel you cannot find in many models for tens of thousands more. The ride quality was great and we were impressed with the vehicle’s durability over broken up New England roads. Finally, in normal driving, the torque off of the line is exemplary. Based on our testing, we can confidently say that Nissan has moved the Sentra forward among its peers in one of America’s toughest segments.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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