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Anyone that is looking for an efficient mode of transportation that also has a lot of valuable interior and safety features should consider getting a compact sedan. Two of the most popular compact sedans available today are the 2021 Hyundai Elantra and 2021 Nissan Sentra. It is important to compare the features of both when you are in the market for a new car.
2021 Hyundai Elantra Powertrain
If you are in the market for a compact sedan that also offers some strong performance, the 2021 Elantra is a great option to consider. While the base engine only provides 147 horsepower, it does have two other options that provide a lot of performance for a vehicle of its size. The Elantra offers a 1.6-liter engine that produces 201 horsepower and the turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces over 275 horsepower. While the base engine option gives adequate acceleration for vehicles in this class, those that want even more should upgrade to the higher engines that offer much more boost than the base option.
While the 2021 Elantra does not have an all-wheel drive option, there are several transmission options to consider. The base transmission is a CVT automatic but you can choose to upgrade to a six-speed manual, a seven-speed automatic or the top eight-speed dual clutch and smooth automatic transmission. The vehicle is considered to handle well and has a good braking system.
Fuel efficiency for the Elantra is considered to be acceptable as well. The base engine will receive a blended fuel efficiency of around 38 MPG. This does decline when you upgrade to the highest engine and make different transmission choices. The most powerful engine will still provide around 29 MPG on a blended basis.
2021 Nissan Sentra Powertrain
The 2021 Nissan Sentra has an engine that is comparable for other vehicles in the same class. It comes with a standard four-cylinder engine that will produce around 150 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This provides an adequate amount of acceleration and is comparable to base engines available in other vehicle classes. The vehicle is automatically paired with front-wheel drive and a CVT automatic transmission. There is not an all-wheel drive option available with the 2021 Sentra in any trim level.
The 2021 Sentra does receive great fuel efficiency that will help to reduce the amount of money spent at the pump. The base engine option receives nearly 40 MPG when driving on the highway and 30 MPG when driving in the city, which is good for the class. The Sentra is also considered an easy vehicle to drive with good handling and responsive braking that will help you to feel safe when driving in any conditioners.
Powertrain Comparison Conclusion
For most drivers, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra provides a better powertrain package. The base engines available between the two cars are comparable but the Elantra will get better fuel efficiency with the base package. Those that want more performance and control will also enjoy the upgradeable engine and transmission options.
2021 Hyundai Elantra Drivability
The Hyundai Elantra has typical space on the interior for those that are looking for a compact vehicle. There is space for up to five people, but larger adults may feel cramped in the back. The Elantra will have standard cloth and manual seats, but they can be upgraded to leather and power seats with the higher trims. The cargo space provides around 14 cubic feet of space but some consider the trunk opening to be too small.
The Elantra has a good mix of interior tech features that can make driving easier and more fun. It has a large and standard eight-inch touchscreen display that will provide a lot of control. This can be automatically connected wirelessly with both the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay platforms, which can be used for entertainment and navigation. There is a larger 10-inch screen as well, but it does not have the same wireless support. Upgraded tech packages also include additional USB ports, navigation and a more impressive audio system.
2021 Nissan Sentra Drivability
The Nissan Sentra is considered spacious for a compact sedan and there is more than enough space to fit five passengers. The Sentra comes standard with cloth upholstery, but it can be upgraded to a synthetic or full leather interior with the higher trim levels. Overall cargo space in the trunk is just over 14 cubic feet of space.
The Sentra comes equipped with a good set of standard interior features that make it easier to drive. This includes the standard seven-inch touchscreen display that can be quickly connected to either an Apple or Android device. Those that choose higher technology packages will enjoy an eight-inch display, an impressive Bose sound system and more USB ports. Overall visibility with the Sentra is good but those concerned about blind spots will also enjoy the blind spot monitoring, which comes standard with all trims.
Drivability Comparison Conclusion
The overall drivability of the Elantra and Sentra is very comparable and the better option will depend on driver preferences. The Sentra tends to provide a bit more interior and cargo space but the Elantra has a stronger package of technology features with both the base and upgraded trims.
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2021 Hyundai Elantra Safety Features and Rating
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has received good overall safety ratings from the rating agencies. The NHTSA has provided the Elantra with a four-star overall rating. This was based on four-star ratings for front driver side safety, overall side ratings and side barrier rear passenger ratings. It did receive five-star ratings in terms of overall side pole resistance. The IIHS has also provided good overall ratings. This includes good ratings in all rating areas, except for the superior front crash prevention rating.
One of the reasons for the good overall safety ratings is the mix of safety features. With the 2021 Elantra, you will receive a package of airbags, an anti-lock braking system and LATCH seat belt anchors. Some of the tech safety features that come standard with the base trim include a rear view camera, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and high-beam assist. All of these can help to keep you alert and safe when behind the wheel.
2021 Nissan Sentra Safety Features and Rating
When it comes to safety, the 2021 Sentra has received great overall ratings. The NHTSA has provided the vehicle with a five-star overall safety rating. This is based on the five-star side crash and rollover resistance ratings and a four-star frontal crash safety rating. The IIHS has also provided good overall ratings including good ratings for crash and rollover resistance.
The 2021 Sentra also has a strong package of standard safety features including various airbags, child safety locks, brake assist and electronic stability control. Some of the standard tech safety features that you will receive standard include the rearview camera, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and even pedestrian detection. Additional upgrades with higher trims include a surround-view parking camera and adaptive cruise control.
Safety Comparison Conclusion
For those that are looking for the safest vehicle possible, both the Elantra and Sentra has received positive ratings and have a good package of safety features that come standard with even the base trim option. The Sentra may be the safer choice as it has the better overall rating from the NHTSA and also has very positive safety reviews and ratings provided by the IIHS.
Which Has the Best Value?
2021 Hyundai Elantra Value
The overall price of the Hyundai Elantra starts with a price of just under $20,000 for the base trim and engine package. Those that are looking for a higher performance engine and want more features included will want to upgrade to the N-Line DCT trim, which has a starting MSRP of just over $25,000. The Limited also has a higher performance engine and seems to have the best value and package of interior and tech features along with a MSRP of $25,400. Overall, the MSRP can vary based on the trim selected as well as other upgradeable features that you may want to enhance the driving experience. The true cost of ownership when factoring all other costs including maintenance and insurance will increase the price by another 25% or more.
Hyundai frequently offers purchase discounts and incentives to those that want to buy a new car. Some of the most recent deals include a 36-month lease for just $169 per month and $2,900 due at the signing, 0% financing for up to a 60-month loan and cash back at close of $2,000. These can vary based on dealership and time when shopping for a car so it is important to check current promotions when shopping to ensure you get the best deal that you can.
2021 Nissan Sentra Value
The Nissan Sentra also provides good value to drivers looking for a new vehicle. The Sentra has a starting MSRP of around $19,500. Those that want to upgrade to the highest trim, which is the SR trim, will receive more interior and luxury features but will see the MSRP increase to closer to $22,000. When including all costs of maintenance, repair and interest charges, the total cost of ownership will end up being closer to $30,000.
There continue to be a variety of great promotions when looking to get a 2021 Sentra. This includes a 36-month lease that will be $209 per month for 36 months with a down payment of around $2,500. There is also a promotion where you can receive 0% financing for up to 60 months along with $500 in cash back incentives. These promotions tend to adjust with time and based on where you are shopping for your Sentra.
Value Comparison Conclusion
Overall, both the Elantra and the Sentra provide great value to vehicle buyers. The base trims are very comparable and the price points are as well, although Hyundai does offer more trim options than Nissan does with the compact sedan. However, Hyundai offers a few different promotions for leasing, financing and cash back that could help you get a better overall deal. While the Elantra’s higher trims cost more, they do come with higher-performance engines and additional transmission options that are not available with the Sentra.
Which is Better?
Overall, it is widely expected that both the 2021 Elantra and 2021 Sentra will be among the best selling vehicles in the compact car class with this model year. For those that are shopping for one, the Hyundai Elantra seems to be the better options based on a few different factors. While the Sentra has slightly better safety rating and more cargo space, the 2021 Elantra comes with more interior features and has higher performance engine options, although they do come with additional cost.