Nissan Sentra Vs. Nissan Versa: Two Small Sedans With Space to Spare

By Justin Cupler | March 7th, 2019

You know you want a Nissan. May we be the first to say “great decision!” But you’re unsure if the subcompact 2019 Nissan Versa is enough car for you or if you need to upgrade to the larger and better-equipped 2019 Nissan Sentra. To help you make the right decision, we took a deep dive into both models to find out what type of buyer would prefer each. Continue reading to find out is the compact Sentra or subcompact Vera is right for you.

Exterior

The Nissan Sentra went through its last redesign in 2013, but its looks are still relatively fresh and mature. It features sleek lines and few angles to keep things tame, but it also shows off a little style with its boomerang-style headlights and sharp V-Motion grille. Plus, the Nissan Sentra NISMO adds a dash of sportiness to this toned-down sedan.

The Nissan Versa last went through a redesign in 2012, making its looks a year older than the Sentra. The 2019 Versa’s looks are far more dated than the Sentra and lacks anything to make it stand out, including the lack of a V-Motion grille. That said, the Versa has its sights set on folks focused more on budget than style with its super-low $12,360* base price, which is over $5,000 lower than the base 2019 Sentra.

2019 Nissan Sentra and 2019 Honda Civic have small footprints. The Sentra is 182.1 to 183.6 inches long, 69.3 inches wide, and 58.9 to 59 inches tall. The Sentra rides atop a 106.3-inch wheelbase and weighs 2,851 to 3,090 pounds.

The 2019 Nissan Versa is significantly smaller than the Sentra at 175.4 inches long and 66.7 inches wide, but it’s taller at 59.6 inches. Its wheelbase is also shorter at 102.4 inches, and it is lighter at 2,395 to 2,494 pounds.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • Sharper, more modern looks
  • Sporty NISMO trim
  • More premium options

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Simple, understated look
  • Tight parking spaces are no problem

Interior

As older statesmen in the small-sedan segment, the 2019 Nissan Sentra and 2019 Nissan Versa have older-looking interiors. That said, the Sentra dresses things up with its available 370Z-inspired steering wheel, standard 7-inch touchscreen, and sporty NISMO touches.

The Versa looks like it’s frozen in time with its older-style center stack and basic controls. While the younger crowd may find this too basic, the older crowd may like the simplicity and prefer this setup to all the complex touchscreens and functions of today’s cars.

 

On the tech side, the Sentra comes out ahead with its larger standard touchscreen, more accessible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and optional navigation.

Sentra’s front seats offers 39.4 inches of headroom, 42.5 inches of legroom, 50.9 inches of hip room, and 54.7 inches of shoulder room. The Versa’s higher roofline gives it an extra 0.4 inches of headroom, but it falls short in legroom by 0.7 inches, hip room by 2.8 inches, and 3 inches in shoulder room.

 

Nissan Sentra’s rear seats offer 36.7 inches of headroom, 37.4 inches of legroom, 50.1 inches of hip room, and 53.9 inches of shoulder room. The 2019 Nissan Versa’s rear seats are tighter, coming up 0.1 inches short in headroom, 0.4 inches short in legroom, 3.9 inches short in hip room, and 2 inches of shoulder room.

 

In its trunk, the 2019 Sentra has 15.1 cubic feet. Despite being so much smaller than the Sentra, the 2019 Nissan Versa’s trunk is only slightly smaller at 14.9 cubic feet.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • More modern interior
  • More accessible Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Sporty touches in NISMO model

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Basic interior caters to buyers looking for something simple
  • More front seat headroom

Performance

The 2019 Nissan Sentra comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 124 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. This adds up to a 9.5-second 0-to-60 time.

SR Turbo and NISMO models swap in a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. In the SR Turbo trim, this engine pairs with a standard CVT, but the NISMO model comes with a standard six-speed manual or an optional CVT. This engine adds up to a seven-second 0-to-60 seven seconds.

 

The NISMO and SR Turbo models not only have more power, but they are also better in the corners. The SR Turbo adds a specially tuned suspension and steering systems, and V-rated rubber. The NISMO model adds even tighter suspension and steering systems, and Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sport tires. In independent testing, the SR Turbo held 0.84 Gs on the skid pad to the NISMO’s 0.88 Gs.

The 2019 Nissan Versa comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission or optional CVT. Though the power is much lower than the Sentra’s, the lighter Versa takes just 9.2 second to hit 60 mph, making it 0.3 seconds quicker than the base Sentra.

 

Fuel economy is huge in these family sedans, and it shows with both models’ good ratings. The 2019 Nissan Sentra with the 1.8-liter engine gets up to 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined**. Moving into the SR Turbo model nets you up to 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined**. The range-topping NISMO model gets up to 25 mpg city, 31 highway, and 27 combined**.

 

The 2019 Versa comes up a little light in fuel economy at up to 27 mpg city, 36 highway, and 30 combined.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • Zippy NISMO model
  • Superior base fuel economy

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Base model is quicker to 60 mph than base Sentra

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Sentra is available in six trim levels: S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, SL, and NISMO. Their starting prices range from $17,790* to $25,840*.

 

The 2019 Nissan Versa has four trim levels — S, S Plus, SV, and SV Special Edition — and their starting prices range from $12,360* to $16,790*.

2019 Nissan Sentra Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $17,790*

  • 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Speed-sensitive electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Auto-on/off halogen headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Rearview camera
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • Cloth seating
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Silver interior trim
  • AM/FM audio system with four speakers
  • USB port
  • Auxiliary audio input jack

 

SV: $19,090*

  • All S features, plus
  • CVT
  • Active understeer control
  • 16-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Fine-vision electroluminescent gauges
  • Nissan Intelligent KEy with keyless ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Sliding front armrest
  • Rear-seat center armrest
  • Premium cloth seating
  • 370Z-inspired steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Piano-black interior trim
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Dual-USB rear charging ports
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system with Easy-Fill Alert
  • Security system

 

SR: $20,590*

  • All SV features, plus
  • Rear disc brakes
  • 17-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • LED low-beam projector headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Sport rear fascia
  • Lower-body side-sill extension
  • Chrome exhaust finisher
  • Rear spoiler with integrated LED brake lights
  • Heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Premium sport cloth seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Sport interior trim

 

SR Turbo: $22,570*

  • All SR features, plus
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • CVT with manual-shift mode
  • Larger disc brakes
  • SR-tuned sport suspension
  • Power sunroof

 

SL: $23,020*

  • All SV features, plus
  • Rear disc brakes
  • 17-inch five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • LED low-beam headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Heated mirrors with LED turn signals
  • Power moonroof
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-speaker Bose premium audio system
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

NISMO: $25,840*

  • All SR Turbo features, plus
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • NISMO-tuned suspension and steering
  • 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires
  • LED daytime running lights
  • NISMO body kit
  • NISMO chrome exhaust tips
  • NISMO black outside mirrors
  • NISMO badging
  • NISMO tachometer
  • NISMO sport front seats with additional bolstering
  • NISMO synthetic suede seat trim
  • NISMO signature red stitching
  • NISMO Alcantara-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • NISMO leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Carbon-fiber-look interior trim
  • Black headliner
  • Bose premium audio system with eight speakers

2019 Nissan Versa Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $12,360

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Chrome-accented multi-reflector halogen headlights
  • Power, body-color mirrors
  • Chrome-accented grille
  • Black door handles
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Air conditioning
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • One 12-volt power outlet
  • Cloth seating
  • Silver-accented steering wheel
  • Black trim
  • Rearview camera

 

S Plus: $14,500

  • All S features, plus
  • CVT
  • Rear-tire air deflectors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Cruise control

 

SV: $15,990

  • All S Plus features, plus
  • Chrome door handles
  • Fine-vision electroluminescent gauges
  • Outside temperature display
  • Keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows with driver’s side one-touch down
  • Driver’s seat armrest
  • Upgraded cloth seating
  • Cloth door accent
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Silver accents on dash, vents, shift knob, and shifter surround
  • Chrome inside door handles and center vents

 

SV Special Edition: $16,790

  • 15-inch six-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • NissanConnect with 7-inch display
  • SiriusXM
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Nissan Intelligent Key with keyless ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Piano-black trim
  • Easy-fill tire alert
  • Nissan vehicle immobilizer

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Sentra?

Buyers who need more than just the basics and will pay for it will prefer the extra features and style of the Sentra. Plus, adventurous buyers looking for a more exciting ride will appreciate the peppy SR Turbo and NISMO models.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Versa?

The 2019 Nissan Versa is one of the cheapest new cars on the market today at $12,360*, and there is very little sacrifice in room despite the big price difference. Plus, buyers looking for something simpler will prefer the reserved exterior and simpler tech features inside the Versa.

 

Not sure if the 2019 Nissan Sentra or 2019 Nissan Versa is best for you and your family? Head down to Nissan of Bradenton serving the Sarasota and St. Petersburg areas to test drive both and see which you prefer. Whether you prefer the smaller Versa, more tech-heavy Sentra, or the Zippy Sentra NISMO, you can find them all at our Bradenton new-car showroom. Check out our online inventory to pick a few Sentra and Versa models you like, then call our Tampa area new-car dealership to schedule a test drive.

 

* All prices are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP excludes destination and handling charges, tax, title, license, and options. Dealer sets actual price.

** Actual mileage may vary