2007 Nissan Sentra vs 2007 Toyota Corolla

sarge15sarge15 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Nissan
(I asked a related question on Sentra reliability here: http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f16dc4b/0)

We are considering these two vehicles, but I would like to know from real-world owners what your opinions are on these two vehicles. We need a replacement for our 98 Prizm (Corolla) that has been rock-solid mechanically since we bought it six years ago. Our needs/wants are, in generally decreasing order of importance:

(1) Reliability / dependability (Corolla historically dominates here)

(2) Safety (Sentra slightly better per safercar.gov)

(3) Comfort (long-distance driving, i.e. 2500+ miles round trip a couple times a year, wife with hip problems, both feel comparable)

(4) Room (for comfort and for luggage etc for these trips -- we love the Sentra for this)

Both are right in our price range, $15-17K, but I'd like to avoid a long-term repair cycle, which is what I'm worried about given the Sentra's past history. Other than that, we really like the car.

Thanks for any advice!


  • grobigrobi Member Posts: 3
    Don't buy it is my advise. Two hours after i picked it up from the dealer i couldn't take the key from ignition. It took them 10 days to repair it and three hours after i picked it up from the garage it manifested another problem so i had it towed.
    When they towed it they didn't even call me so for amoment i thought the juck got stolen, that would be actually quite a relief.
    In nearly two weeks i drove less than 4 hours and i'm still driving rental.
    Nissan customer support in the face of an obvious lemon was abomination.
    I should have bought Mazda 3 s touring, that's my advise.
    Good luck,
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    1. you are correct. long term reliability is hard to say on the sentra, as it's only a year old. But, I couldn't imagine it being better than a corolla. Toyota just dominates in that area. However, quality on toyota products has slipped in the last year or two. probably still more reliable than the sentra. An extended warranty can mitigate that though.

    2. yes, the sentra is a bit (not significantly) better.

    3&4. the sentra has more interior and trunk room than almost any vechile in this class, deffinitly more so than the corolla.

    A couple things you didn't list:

    1. you'll get the sentra a lot cheaper than the corolla. they haven't been selling as well as nissan would like (in part because of the very popular altima and versa), but you'll get a much better deal on a sentra. the dealer will probably be willing to go below invoice, and nissan has some good incentives.

    2. The corolla will get better gas milage

    It's really a pretty tough call. the new sentra hasn't had a whole lot of problems, none that I can think of. but it's new, long term data isn't available, and it probably won't beat a toyota anyway. If you want to take the chance on long term reliability (I don't think it's a big gamble, I'm on my third nissan without ever having a major problem), wan't more room, and save a couple grand; then the sentra would be a good fit. IMO, the reliability factor and better millage is about the only thing the corolla has on the sentra. styling, is of course, subjective.
  • grobigrobi Member Posts: 3
    You misundestood me. I've leased that Nissan 10 days ago, and 99% of time it's been in repair. I'm still driving rental replacement car. Either Kia Spectra-5 or Mazda-3 should be my choices, both of which excell in reliability, definitely above Nissan. Kia seems to be still underpriced comparing to other better established manufacturers and all mechanics rave about it..
    I definitely made a huge mistake taking Nissan. If it breakes down the third time, i am going to arbitrary commission reporting it as a lemon and cancelling the transaction.
    Go with Kia if money is an issue, if not, take Mazda. I tried Corolla and jjumped out within seconds. It's so tiny, it's ridiculous.
  • gclkiptgclkipt Member Posts: 2
    In March 2007 we purchased a 07 Sentra SL, we now have 8000 miles on the car and it has been a great and comfortable car. The car is basically for my wife, who has arthritus in her legs, hips and shoulders and she agrees that this is a small car that she feels very comfortable in. I cannot say anything bad about the Corolla, however, we did look at it and she said she was more comfortable in the Sentra.

    Hope this helps!
  • grobigrobi Member Posts: 3
    I agree, Sentra, expecially the new one, is twice the size of Corolla. Corolla is, i believe, greatly overpriced too. Reliabilitywise Corolla might be better though.
    Corolla is incredibly small by my standards. New Sentra should be qualified as medium sized car, it's incredibly spacious + 60/40 back setas split, and new varaible transmission is the future, i would never go back to a car with standard shifting transmission, not after i tried the new system.
    Comparable cars might be under apreciated Kia and Hyunday.
    Might second choice to Sentra would be Kia Spectra5. I heard that Hyunday offer much greater bang for the back than cars 10k more expensive.
    Next time i will definitely give those two other manufactureres a shot.
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