2022 Hyundai Elantra vs Nissan Sentra
With fuel prices and the cost of living on the rise, a compact sedan now proves to be an especially sensible choice. The 2022 Hyundai Elantra and the 2022 Nissan Sentra are two of the segment’s most appealing options. Both of these cars put a big emphasis on value.
The Elantra was already a solid pick. However, Hyundai has further bolstered its lineup by introducing a new high-performance N trim. Few models in the class offer as much driving enjoyment.
Nissan has updated the Sentra’s lineup by offering two new optional packages. Drivers who desire a blacked-out look will be interested in the Midnight Edition package. Meanwhile, the All-Weather package will appeal to commuters who experience cold winters.
It’s definitely a close match between the 2022 Hyundai Elantra and the 2022 Nissan Sentra. In this head-to-head evaluation, we’ll find out which one of these popular models is a cut above.
Far more powertrain options are available for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra. The majority of people are likely to stick with the car’s standard four-cylinder engine. It presses out a decent 147 horsepower. A continuous variable transmission helps drivers to conserve more fuel. With a 0-60 mph time of 8.4 seconds, the Elantra is just quick enough to satisfy most commuters.
Elantra buyers who desire an even more efficient performance will be interested in the hybrid models. They are rated to push out 139 horsepower, which results in a 0-60 mph time of around 8.7 seconds. Unlike many other hybrids, the Elantra Hybrid features a six-speed automatic transmission as opposed to a CVT. According to some testers, this feature helps promote a more engaging driving experience.
Folks seeking a sportier drive will lean towards the more stimulating Elantra N Line. Its turbocharged engine pushes out just over 200 horsepower. The extra muscle translates to a noticeably swifter 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds. While the N Line trim’s six-speed manual transmission is quite fun, some drivers will prefer the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
New for the 2022 model year is the track-inspired Elantra N. It dials up the fun with a larger turbo four-cylinder engine, which develops 276 horsepower. Both a six-speed manual gearbox and an eight-speed automatic transmission are offered. When launched from a stop, the Elantra N can scamper to 60 mph in as quickly as 5.1 seconds.
Just a single powertrain is offered on the 2022 Nissan Sentra. This sedan’s four-cylinder engine develops 149 horsepower. Although the Sentra does not offer a manual transmission, its continuously variable transmission is a smoother performer. While the Sentra’s accelerates well enough to get the job done, drivers shouldn’t expect an adrenaline rush. Road tests show this sedan clocks an average 0-60 mph time of around 8.5 seconds.
The Elantra definitely has the ability to deliver a more entertaining driving experience. Both the Elantra N Line and the Elantra N offer a fun commute. A high-performance exhaust also comes equipped on the N model, which brings more excitement.
Both of these sedans have the potential to deliver good gas mileage. However, the new Elantra is especially frugal. Drivers who stick with the car’s base engine can look forward to getting up to a government-estimated 33 mpg town/43 mpg freeway. When equipped with a hybrid powertrain, this sedan can return up to a combined 54 mpg.
While the Elantra N Line is rated to deliver up to 28 mpg town/36 mpg town, fuel economy estimates for the high-performance Elantra N stand at 22 mpg town/31 mpg freeway. Remember, overall efficiency will vary depending upon whether buyers choose a manual or automatic transmission. It’s also important to note that Hyundai engineers the racy N model to run on premium gasoline.
Although the Sentra may not offer a hybrid powertrain, most drivers will be more than pleased with its efficiency. It’s rated by the EPA to return up to 29 mpg town/39 mpg freeway.
Like the 2022 Hyundai Elantra, the 2022 Nissan Sentra sends power to the front wheels. Folks living in snow-prone areas will be out of luck. These cars are more suitable for drivers who don’t usually experience rough winters.
When it comes to braking, the Elantra proves to be a standout performer. Its 60-0 mph stopping distance of 113 feet is among the shortest in the segment. However, larger brakes and more aggressive tires enable the Elantra N to come to a halt in only 105 feet. By comparison, tests show the Nissan Sentra has a 60-0 mph stopping distance of 124 feet. Keep in mind that only the Sentra’s higher trim levels receive rear disc brakes for greater stopping power.
The Hyundai Elantra has an above-average reliability rating. Most owners don’t report any serious mechanical issues. Fortunately, car shoppers can expect the Nissan Sentra to be just as dependable in the long run.
In regard to warranty coverage, the Elantra has a clear advantage over the Sentra. Hyundai’s powertrain warranty lasts for up to 100,000 miles. By comparison, Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Sentra for 60,000 miles. Elantra buyers will also enjoy a 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which outclasses the Sentra’s 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Commuters will have no issues with the standard Elantra’s driving dynamics. However, drivers shouldn’t expect to be wowed by the sedan’s handling. Its basic torsion beam suspension is meant to cut manufacturing costs. Trims equipped with a multi-link rear suspension feel more balanced. Sportier tuning makes the Elantra N Line even more fun to drive.
Serious driving enthusiasts will want the high-performance Elantra N. It comes equipped with quite a few track-inspired goodies, including an electronic front differential and an electronically adjustable suspension. This trim’s upgraded steering system also makes drivers feel more connected to the road.
Despite not offering a true performance trim, the 2022 Nissan Sentra manages to deliver a pleasant driving experience. Unlike the Elantra, it comes standard with a multi-link rear suspension. This more sophisticated suspension setup definitely helps promote better handling. A feature called Intelligent Trace Control also enhances the car’s stability when maneuvering around curves. The only notable drawback is the Sentra’s less communicative steering system.
The 2022 Hyundai Elantra rides fairly well for a value-priced commuter car. Even its standard suspension effectively absorbs harsh road vibrations. It settles quickly upon encountering larger bumps. Most people consider the Nissan Sentra’s overall ride quality to be a step above. Nissan’s Active Ride Control technology comes standard, which helps keep things smooth when traveling over washboard road surfaces.
In terms of interior quietness, the Elantra is about average for the class. As you increase speed on the interstate, wind noise tends to heighten. However, passengers will be able to have a normal conversation without needing to raise their voices. Expect the Sentra’s cabin to remain a bit more hushed. Although drivers may hear some road noise, it’s not very intrusive.
The Elantra offers drivers good outward visibility. Drivers will be able to see well when making turns. Rear outward visibility is not as good. The downward slope of the car’s roofline creates some noticeably blind spots. Meanwhile, there are just a few small blind spots to the rear of the Sentra. A broad windshield also helps the Sentra to offer driver’s a good view of the roadway.
Although the Elantra is a compact model, it has a good amount of interior space. It provides 38 inches of rear legroom, which bests the Sentra’s 37.4 inches of legroom. Both cars are a good fit for smaller families.
Although the Sentra provides an impressive 44 inches of legroom in the front, it does not boast as much front headroom. Of these two sedans, the Sentra has the comfiest front seats. Nissan’s fatigue-reducing Zero Gravity seats provide excellent support throughout the day.
Hyundai equips the Elantra with a standard 8.0-inch touch display. It’s logical and simple to use. While buyers can upgrade to a larger 10.25-inch HD screen, only the standard unit provides wireless smartphone integration. Car reviewers rave about how well the Elantra’s available voice activation system performs. Furthermore, only the Elantra offers a digital gauge cluster.
Nissan’s infotainment system is equally easy to operate. Physical controls enable drivers to make quick adjustments to the climate and stereo system settings. While the base model receives a 7.0-inch touchscreen, every other trim comes equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
Like the 2022 Nissan Sentra, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra received a five-star overall safety rating from the federal government. However, a higher front-passenger crash score gives the Elantra a slight advantage. Both of these sedans are also recognized as an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Unfortunately, their standard headlights earned a “Poor” rating from this organization.
Some of the Sentra’s standard safety tech includes forward/reverse automatic braking and blind-spot warning. A few additional safety features come standard on the Elantra. When traffic is approaching from the side, Safe Exit Assist can automatically lock the rear doors. On the other hand, driver attention warning monitors for signs of drowsiness.
As expected, both cars feature a backup camera as standard equipment. However, only the Sentra offers a surround-view camera system. Along with this multi-camera system comes Moving Object Detection technology, thus giving drivers more security in crowded parking areas,
Which Has the Best Value?
Both of the cars are affordable. Prices for the 2022 Hyundai Elantra begin at around $19,850. Meanwhile, Nissan gives the Sentra a starting price of $19,510. While these entry-level models are similarly equipped, a much longer factory warranty gives the Elantra an edge in terms of value.
Folks seeking a plusher drive will likely be comparing the Elantra Limited and the Sentra SR. While the Sentra SR has a listed MSRP of $22,400, the Elantra Limited retails at $25,950. Keep in mind that only the Elantra Limited comes standard with a Bose premium audio system, heated front seats, and a sunroof. To get these features, Sentra SR buyers must purchase an optional SR Premium package.
Which is Better?
When equipped with their base engines, these cars are closely matched. They both are affordable and inexpensive to service. However, the 2022 Nissan Sentra offers a better ride and has a nicer interior. Many test drivers also find Nissan’s Zero Gravity front seats to offer the most comfort. On the other hand, it’s hard to beat Hyundai’s lengthy warranty package.
Driving enthusiasts who yearn for more performance will be much happier with the 2022 Hyundai Elantra. While the Elantra N Line is fun enough for most people, the all-new N model is especially exciting. It rivals the performance of sports sedans that carry a more expensive price tag.
Only the Elantra can be equipped with a hybrid powertrain, which can return up to 56 mpg. While the Sentra is quite good on gas, it’s certainly not as efficient as the hybrid-powered Elantra.
Car shoppers who want an extremely stylish commuter car that provides outstanding comfort may favor the Sentra. However, performance-hungry drivers should pick the Elantra. Although some people like the Elantra's edgy exterior styling, others find its front fascia to be a bit too polarizing.