2019 is the final model year for the Toyota Corolla sedan in its respective generation.
The 2019 Nissan Sentra gets some much-needed tech updates.
The Corolla has some advantages over the Sentra, but the Nissan is the more affordable of the two.
The Toyota Corolla and the Nissan Sentra are two compact sedans that are a little long in the tooth for the 2019 model year. Granted, the Corolla has a new hatchback variant, but for the purpose of this comparison, we’re going to focus on the sedan, which is in its final model year before an all-new 2020 Corolla sedan arrives. The Sentra has been mostly unchanged since 2013 and the Corolla since 2014 and there’s been some very tough new competition in this segment since then.
That said, the Corolla and the Sentra both have a lot to offer for shoppers looking for an affordable compact car. Let’s take a closer look at what’s similar, what’s different, and which is better between the 2019 Toyota Corolla and the 2019 Nissan Sentra.
The Sentra and the Corolla both compete on the bigger side of the compact car segment, almost reaching midsize dimensions. They’re almost identical in size, so if you’re shopping for both cars and you’re thinking about which one will take up more room in your garage, there won’t be any noticeable difference. They also both have styling that is somewhat understated, but they both look modern and attractive.
Since both of these cars are big for their segment, they’re both pretty roomy on the inside. The Corolla leads its class in back seat legroom with space that rivals midsize sedans. Seriously, the Corolla sedan is huge in the back so don’t hesitate to use it as a family car. Both of these cars are roomy and comfortable, but the back of the Toyota has about four more inches of legroom than the Nissan. See the 2019 Toyota Corolla models for sale near you
The interior design and materials are a little cheap in the lower trims of both of these sedans but can get nicer in the higher trims if you have some extra room in your budget. They’re both available with luxuries, which include heated front seats, a moonroof, premium audio and more. See the 2019 Nissan Sentra models for sale near you
The Corolla has one engine available and the Sentra has two. Both cars come with front-wheel drive as the only drivetrain option.
2019 Toyota Corolla Engine
1.8-liter inline four; 132 horsepower, 128 lb-ft of torque; up to 30 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway
2019 Nissan Sentra Engines
1.8-liter inline four; 130 hp, 125 lb-ft of torque; 29 mpg city/37 mpg hwy
1.6-liter turbocharged inline four; 188 hp, 177 lb-ft of torque; 27 mpg city/33 mpg hwy
The base engines in both the Corolla and the Sentra are pretty lack-luster in terms of performance, but they return respectable fuel economy. The fuel economy rating for the Corolla that you see above is only achievable with the Eco trim, while most models are rated at 28 mpg city/36 mpg hwy, which are very similar to the ratings for the base engine of the Sentra.
Upgrading to the turbocharged engine in the Sentra gives is a very nice bump in performance, but obviously, there’s a fuel economy penalty that comes along with it. A new change for the 2019 model is the manual transmission option has been dropped from the Sentra SR Turbo, which is unfortunate for enthusiasts who prefer to shift their own gears. You can still get a turbo manual Sentra, but only in the NISMO trim, which is a little pricey.
On the note of transmissions, both cars are available with a manual with the base engine, but most examples you’ll find are equipped with a CVT automatic, which improves fuel economy.
Features and Technology
The Nissan Sentra gets a much needed technological update for 2019 with a 7-in touchscreen with Bluetooth and a rearview camera now being the standard infotainment system. It’s intuitive and user-friendly and for the first time ever, the Sentra is available with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This is a big advantage considering the 2019 Corolla does not have either of these smartphone connectivity features available on any trim.
Where the Corolla does shine is in safety technology. Every 2019 Corolla sedan comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) driver assistance technology suite, which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. The Sentra comes standard with automatic high beams and available options include automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert.
When it comes to infotainment tech, the Sentra has the Corolla beat with its Android Auto and Apple CarPlay availability. However, when it comes to safety tech, the Corolla has an advantage with standard TSS-P.
The Nissan Sentra is more affordable than the Toyota Corolla, but which one is a better value is debatable. The Sentra starts at $18,785 and the Corolla starts at $19,630 (both of those numbers include destination charges). They both get into the low-$20k range in their more luxurious trims like the Sentra SL and the Corolla XSE.
The Sentra might have the lower starting price, but the turbo variants are a little expensive. For example, the most affordable Sentra you can get with the optional turbocharged engine is the SR Turbo model at $23,565 and the sporty NISMO trim will set you back at least $26,835. The turbo engine is pretty good, but not good enough to justify those prices.
The Toyota Corolla has a few notable shortcomings like an underwhelming engine and no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay capability, but we think it’s a more well-rounded compact than the Sentra. The pricing scale for the Corolla makes a little more sense and we love the fact that every model comes standard with TSS-P. We’re also big fans of that back seat, which boosts its versatility as a practical family vehicle at a very affordable price point. The Sentra’s infotainment system got a nice update for 2019, but the Corolla still gets our recommendation. Find a Toyota Corolla for sale or Find a Nissan Sentra for sale