Why Are Nissan Sentras So Cheap? (Explained)

Why are Nissan Sentras so cheap? Talking of Nissan Sentras being cheap, that’s a used one you’re referring to. Brand new Nissan Sentras are not really “cheap” – they are not too “expensive” either, just priced competitively.

However, the Nissan Sentra series have received several backlashes and critic reviews for pretty many years, and all the bad reports were related to the CVT-based engine. The newer models from 2019 seem much better and have high reliability ratings.

If you’re buying a used Nissan Sentra, it is important to inspect the engine and powertrain before concluding the deal thoroughly. Yes, the design and build of Sentras are “dope” attractive, but the engine is usually the main problem – and you should be concerned about that.

Facts About Nissan Sentra

Sentra is a series of full-size sedans offered by the Japanese automaker, Nissan. This series has been in production since 1982 and has experienced many changes over time.

Other names of Nissan Sentras are Nissan Sunny (1982–2006), Nissan Tsuru (1992–2017) in Mexico, Nissan Pulsar (2013–2017), and Nissan Sylphy (2013–present).

Although newer models of the Nissan Sentra are classified as “Sedans” by many people, they are officially classified as “Compact” cars. Nissan Sentras are built with the latest in-car technologies for each year’s model, and they are pretty spacious to contain up to 5 passengers.

Also, Nissan Sentras are predicted to last up to 300,000 miles if maintained properly. Generally, newer models of Sentras rank above average in terms of reliability, performance, and depreciation value.

If you’re getting a used Sentra, you could get it at a cheap price; brand new Sentras are still available at relatively cheap prices compared with similar cars from Toyota and Honda.

Why Are Nissan Sentras So Cheap?

Nissan Sentras are cheap because the company seems to focus on making affordable cars than “Durable” cars.

Sentras produced over the last 20 years – although they are not entirely bad – but didn’t match the performance and durability of competing models from Toyota and Honda – talking of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

But, Nissan Sentras look pretty much attractive – more attractive than most other cars you could compare it with within its category. One thing is for sure, Nissan knows how to make cars that are more attractive than what you get from Toyota and Honda.

Older Sentras have been linked with constant transmission failure. The CVT-based transmissions installed in the old Sentras are a pretty piece of “junk.”

They are not reliable and expensive to repair or replace. In addition, most Sentra owners (and Nissan owners in general) complain that the CVT engine breaks down even before 80k miles.

Basically, a new car should run smoothly for at least 100k miles before needing a major repair; but this is not the case with Nissan Sentras as they break down earlier – with fewer miles.

The unreliability of the Sentras CVT transmission, and the drivetrain in general, is the major reason why Nissan Sentras are sold cheaply. 

But, make no mistakes. Not all models of the Nissan Sentra are totally unreliable. The 2017 – 2022 models are pretty decent; they are not just good-looking; they have higher predictable reliability than most other sedans within their various classes.

Is Nissan Sentra Expensive To Fix?

Sentras are not expensive to maintain or fix (when there’s a faulty component). According to RepairPal, the average cost of maintaining a Sentra is $491 annually, which is below the average of $526 for compact cars, of which the Sentras officially fall in to.

However, while Nissan Sentras are not expensive to maintain, the frequency at which they require a repair is the major turn-off for many people who wish to buy a model.

Related Questions

Are Nissan Sentras Reliable?

The continuously variable transmission (CVT)  in older Nissan Sentras is not reliable; it breaks down easily and has been complained about by pretty many Sentra owners. But, notwithstanding, Sentras have a decent reliability rating across popular auto review websites.

What Problems Do Nissan Sentra Have?

The most common issue with Sentras is the unreliable Jacto Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Other components that make up the drivetrain, such as the crankshaft, also usually fail. Actually, when the CVT starts ti fail, you may experience fluid leaks, overheating, and other signs of a failing transmission.

What Nissan Sentra Years Are The Worst?

According to reports submitted on fora and other online platforms, the worst Nissan Sentra years are 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. These models are alleged to be very unreliable. On the other hand, other model years are pretty decent and more reliable, especially the newer ones.

Are Nissan Sentras Still Good Cars?

Although the 2022 Nissan Sentra still came with the infamous Jacto CVT, it still looked good and purposely. Nissan Sentras look very attractive and come with every decent feature you’d love to see in a modern sedan or subcompact car, but then, the Jacto CVT isn’t yet “perfected.”


So, why are Nissan Sentras so cheap? Firstly, Nissan cars are relatively cheaper than similar models from competing brands.

But, particularly, used Sentras are cheap because quite many people see them as “Unreliable” subcompact/sedan cars. Notwithstanding, Nissan cars are really fun to drive, and they come with a lot of useful features.

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