2020 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla : Here Is Our Verdict

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 03/04/21 •  4 min read

The Nissan Sentra and the Toyota Corolla are two compact cars that have been the best-selling cars in their respective brands for more than 3 decades.

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The Corolla is very diverse with an availability of more than one engine, many trims, and a hatchback version, along with a hybrid one. Here’s a comparison of the 2020 Nissan Sentra and the 2020 Toyota Corolla: 

2020 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla:

Engine and Performance

The 2020 Sentra has a 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 149 horsepower, paired to a CVT, and with FWD. While the power is less, the vehicle has a good power-to-weight ratio. The brakes are non-stiff and firm.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla has two engines available, but the more powerful one is only available on two trims. Acceleration is not reasonable. The Corolla hatchback’s base engine is a 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 that is also available on the SE and XSE sedans.

The Corolla hybrid uses a 1.8-liter inline-4, but also has two electric motors to make 121-hp. The Corolla has either a 6-speed manual or a CVT.

Interior

The 2020 Sentra’s base trim is not luxurious; however, it does have a 7-inch display screen, a decent stereo, and many safety features. Moving up the trims adds on a larger screen display, smartphone app integration, a six-speaker audio system, and more USB ports.

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The 2020 Toyota Corolla’s base trim is similarly equipped to the Nissan’s, but there’s only one USB port, the display screen is smaller, and Android Auto isn’t available at all. 

Ride and Comfort

The 2020 Sentra steers with precision, and handles nicely around turns. The 2020 Toyota Corolla doesn’t perform well around tight turns, due to its low grip. 

Passenger and Cargo Space

Headroom is decent in both cars. The Sentra’s rear seats are spacious to fit taller people, and it comes with increased legroom. The Nissan’s trunk is vast, offering an above-average storage of 14.3 cubic feet. In the Corolla, front seat accommodations are better than many SUVs, but the rear seats have poor headroom. For more space, the hatchback performs better at 18 cubic feet compared to 13.1 in the Corolla sedan.

Safety and Fuel Economy

The Nissan Sentra comes standard with many active safety features, like automatic emergency braking front and rear blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, high beam assist, and a driver attention monitor.

The 2020 Corolla also has many standard safety features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, and active lane control. 

2020 Nissan Sentra vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla
2020 Nissan Sentra | Wikimedia

In the Corolla, fuel economy is 29/39/33 mpg in S and SV trims; and 28/37/32 mpg in the SR. There’s also a Corolla hybrid rated at 53/52/52 mpg. The manual gives 28/37/31 mpg.

With a CVT, the Corolla gets 32/42/36 mpg; but in the XSE trim with the CVT, fuel average falls to 30/38/33 mpg.

Price and Warranty

The 2020 Nissan Sentra has been priced around $19,090 to $21,430. The 2020 Corolla, which has more trims, has been priced from $19,600 to $25,550.

Protection for both the Nissan and the Toyota include a 3-year/36,000-mile basic coverage and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage, whichever milestone is achieved first in both the cases.

Final Verdict

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is the better of the two, but not just because it is safer. Both the cars have great gas mileage, are reliable, and come with plenty of driver assistance technology in the compact car class. However, the Corolla falls in terms of performance, driving experience and spaciousness in the rear. 

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.