How Many Miles Will a Nissan Sentra Last?

Nisan Sentra has been in production since 1982 and is an affordable option for small families. With a starting price of around $20,000, the Sentra boasts plenty of cabin space, state-of-the-art technology, and great drivability. The Nissan Sentra can last between 250,000 and 300,000 miles provided it is well maintained and driven sensibly. For the average driver doing 15,000 miles a year, this equals 16 to 20 years of service before major repairs are required.

History of Nissan Sentra

Nissan is known for making reliable and popular cars. However the same might not be able to be said by the Nissan Sentra, because these car models can have problems before it reaches 100,000 miles. 

2005 Nissan Sentra
Source: Toyota Gatineau

The 2005 Sentra had the main problem category of the engine system, with the second top category complaint dealing with the fuel system. The top complaints regarding the engine deal with the blown head gasket, the check engine light coming on, the car idling rough, the car stalling and the engine light flickering, the crank sensor going bad, the engine misfiring, and the starter blowing. The typical repair cost for these issues comes out to around $1,310 and occurs at around 77,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the head gasket. 

The fuel system problems focus on the fuel pumping out, the gas tank ventilation not being able to pump gas, and the car having an evaporative leak, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $400 and occurring at around 83,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the fuel pump.

The 2013 Sentra had the most complaints regarding the transmission, with the most NHTSA complaints focusing on the brake system. The top user complaints focusing on the transmission center on the revving and jerking while shifting, transmission failure, the CVT tiramisu in failure, the shifter locking up, and the bearings wearing out. The typical repair cost for these transmission issues focus on $3,400 and occurs at around 74,000 miles. 

The NHTSA complaints regarding the brakes system focus on the brake failure, noise from the brakes, the electronic stability control, the hydraulic service brakes, and the traction control system. The typical repair cost of the brake issues is around $3,000 and occurs at around 44,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the mastery cylinder.

Nissan Sentra 2014
Source: The Car Connection

The top category of complaints about the 2014 Sentra focuses on transmission, with the most NHTSA complaints focusing on the drivetrain. The top user complaints of the transmission focus on the transmission failure, the poor CVT response, the loss of acceleration, the slipping and clunking of the transmission, the transmission slipping, and the car vibrating at idle. The typical repair cost for the 2014 transmission problems comes out to around $3,540 and occurs at around 80,00 miles, with the most common solution being a transmission replacement. 

The NHTSA concerns focus on the powertrain, with users stating that the car RPMs can fluctuate, the car can jerk while accelerating, the car shuddering and having a hard time accelerating, the car making whining noises during use, and the car stuttering while driving.  

The Nissan Sentra hadn’t earned great reliability ratings from Consumer Reports over the past several years. Analyzing the 2010 through 2019 models, CR gave each a 1 out of 5 for owner satisfaction. Aside from the 2012 model and a few years when CR made no reliability verdict, the consumer site also gave many Sentra models a 1 out of 5 in predicted reliability. 

The three years mentioned above are the worst models of Nissan Sentra. If you are planning on purchasing one, it is better to stay away from these years. There is no way to predict what might go wrong with a car. But often, the stats don’t lie.


Nissan Sentra of Present

Nissan Sentra 2021
Source: nissanusa

The Nissan Sentra has faced criticism over the past decade. But the brand has made tremendous strides in revamping its compact sedan to make it better than ever. Those efforts paid off in the 2020 and 2021 Nissan Sentra, as both model years scored much better in reliability than past iterations.

Sentra earned the #12 ranking in the Compact Cars category, and also earned the #25 ranking in the Small Cars category based on its rankings. It also earned a 6.9 out of 10 in the US News Scorecard, with the Sentra earning a 7.2 in the critics’ rating, the performance rating earning a 6.2, the interior rating earning a 6.4 out of 10, the safety earning a 9.6, and the JD Power Reliability ranking earning a 2.5 out of 5. 

The pros of the new Nissan Sentra include the various standard active safety features that keep the car reliable and the occupants safe and also the modern interior design that is nice inside of the vehicle. The cons of the Nissan Sentra involve the cramped rear headroom, the uninspiring engine and the lack of performance in the transmission, and the hard-to-use infotainment system. 

As with any car, the longevity of a vehicle is dependent on the owner and there are many variables at play, however, based on research data, we can say that the Sentra can last a long time, with the right care and attention. There is evidence to suggest that a Sentra can last upwards of 250,000 miles and can even last up to 300,000 miles. For the average daily driver that means more than 16 years of use of service. 

That paints an abysmal picture, especially when wondering how many miles a Sentra will last. Nissan’s longtime compact sedan saw a complete redesign in 2020, and the 2021 model has earned predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings of three out of 5. A 3 still isn’t exciting, but it’s a definite improvement over its scores over the past decade. 

Of course, the lifespan of the car is completely dependent on the driver, how they drive, and also how often and how well they maintain the car. It’s important to note, that proper maintenance is also a requirement of warranty coverage and lease agreements. Sentra owners should also have their vehicle booked in for preventative maintenance at factory-recommended intervals to run properly.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Nissan Sentra

Taking care of your Nissan Sentra will ensure it lasts longer and has a high resale value. Here’s how you can keep your Sentra in tip-top condition:

  • Practice responsible driving: Try not to overdrive your Sentra. This does not simply mean using it excessively, but not driving it in a rough manner. Keep your driving style smooth and calm to reduce strain on the car.
  • Keep up to date with maintenance: Do not miss scheduled services. Try to follow your maintenance plan as closely as possible to ensure that all components on your car are running effectively.
  • Fix any issues as soon as possible: Some small problems can lead to bigger problems. For example, a worn-out brake disc can result in a failure which can cause an accident with severe damage to the car. Try to fix everything as soon as it comes up, no matter how small the problem may seem.
  • Clean regularly: Particular when exposed to salt, keeping your car clean can have an enormous positive impact on rust reduction.

Should You Buy Nissan Sentra?

Nissan Sentra’s problems are many. But the car can not be judged by the problems. It has been in the market for almost 3 decades and problems should be expected. It is not like other cars do not have any problems of their own. Like every car, the Nissan Sentra has its pros and cons.


Looking from the outside, the Nissan Sentra might not be that appealing. But on the inside, it is a whole another story that could easily turn the tides for this Japanese machine. For starters, the boot space with a capacity of 510 liters is already one of the best in the segment. Thanks to the 2.7-meter length on offer, it gives ample legroom in the rear. As for the seats, the comfort offered is hard to match. It could keep you cozy even in the longest drives.

The fuel economy should also be mentioned. In city traffic, it could run up to 29 miles per gallon. On the highway or the empty streets, it is a different story altogether. Per gallon, you could get up to 39 miles on average.


Other than the fact that it has a lot of problematic models, there are a few more things to be considered.

The looks of a Nissan Sentra aren’t the best. With newer cars arriving with sharp, edgy, bold, muscular, and jaw-dropping silhouettes, the Nissan Sentra is found nowhere near the top picks.

The engine power is also not that good. With a measly 130 horsepower from its 1.6-liter engine, it is at the bottom of the list when it comes to power.

If you do decide to buy a Nissan Sentra, you cannot overlook the problematic models. While some can be overlooked, it is best to stay away from 2005, 2013, and 2014 model years. They are plagued with a ton of issues and repairs are very pricey.

The Nissan Sentra is, without a doubt, a great sedan. But the competition such as the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla and many others just might be better. It is best to do your research about the other options before settling with the Nissan Sentra.

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