2019 Nissan Sentra

Starting Price: $19,375 | Price yours

Above Average: Fuel economy, big trunk, available turbocharged engine, standard automatic emergency braking

Below Average: Acceleration with base engine

Consensus: A sporty small sedan with compelling features, excellent fuel economy and decent resale all at a reasonable price.



2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Starting Price:  $18,870 | Price yours

Above Average: Smooth ride, available diesel engine, infotainment, fuel economy

Below Average: No manual transmission, advanced driver assists only offered on most expensive trims

Consensus: A small car with a big car ride, an excellent infotainment system and an available diesel engine giving it hybrid-like fuel economy.


The Nissan Sentra and Chevy Cruze offer similar size cabins with seating for five. The Sentra has a slightly larger trunk, but the Cruze also offers a hatchback model with superior cargo space. The Chevrolet’s base engine offers more horsepower than the compact Nissan’s engine, as well as a high-mileage diesel option, the only such engine in this class. The Sentra delivers a sportier ride, the Cruze a more comfortable one. The Chevy’s audio/infotainment system is superior to that of the Sentra, although both cars offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Emergency braking is standard on all automatic equipped Sentras, whereas the Cruze only offers its most advanced driver assists on the most expensive trim. Both cars score well in crash testing and reliability, but the Sentra holds a slight edge in the area of resale.

Nissan Sentra Advantages

Turning radius, rear-seat legroom, trunk space, standard automatic emergency braking, available manual transmission, optional 188-hp turbocharged engine

Chevrolet Cruze Advantages

Available hatchback, available diesel, front-seat headroom, standard horsepower, infotainment with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot


Fuel economy, interior dimensions, safety and reliability, crash-test scores, Apple CarPlay and Android auto, advanced driver assist systems

Final Recommendation

If you’re looking for the best fuel economy in a compact sedan, the Chevrolet Cruze diesel is the clear winner. However, for the price, the Nissan Sentra offers more features, standard automatic emergency braking and the option of a manual transmission, plus better resale values.

  2019 Nissan Sentra 2019 Chevrolet Cruze
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.8-liter I4 1.4-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 124 hp @ 6,000 rpm 153 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 125 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm 177 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,000 rpm
Transmission Continously Variable 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 32 mpg (29 city, 37 hwy) 32 mpg (28 city, 38 hwy)
Also Available 6-spd manual, 1.6-liter turbo 1.6L turbodiesel, 9-spd auto
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 182.1 inches 183.7 inches
Width 69.3 inches 70.5 inches
Height 58.9 inches 57.4 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, Front 39.4 inches 38.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.7 inches 37.3 inches
Legroom, Front 42.5 inches 42.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.4 inches 36.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 54.7 inches 54.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.9 inches 53.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 95.5 cu. ft. 94.0 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.1 cu. ft. 14.8 cu. ft.
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