North Georgia Ford Compares 2016 Ford Fiesta VS 2016 Nissan Sentra Near Peoria, AZ

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2016 Ford Fiesta

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VS

2016 Nissan Sentra

Safety Comparison

The Fiesta SE/Titanium has standard SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sentra doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Fiesta and the Sentra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Nissan Sentra:

Fiesta

Sentra

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

148

293

Neck Injury Risk

25%

35.6%

Neck Stress

246 lbs.

305 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

70 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

291

353

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.8 inches

Neck Stress

156 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

118 lbs.

137 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Nissan Sentra:

Fiesta

Sentra

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

413 lbs.

569 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

17 inches

HIC

180

202

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fiesta’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Fiesta has a standard 500-amp battery. The Sentra’s 470-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fiesta 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Sentra (automatics tested):

Fiesta

Sentra

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.5 sec

9.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta Manual 4 cyl. gets better city fuel mileage than the Sentra Manual (28 city/36 hwy vs. 27 city/36 hwy).

The Fiesta has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sentra doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fiesta stops shorter than the Sentra:

Fiesta

Sentra

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fiesta SE/Titanium Sedan has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Sentra, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fiesta’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sentra doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Fiesta may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Nissan Sentra.

The Fiesta Sedan is 8.6 inches shorter than the Sentra, making the Fiesta easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Fiesta Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Sentra doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Fiesta and the Sentra have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fiesta is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Sentra prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fiesta’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Sentra doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Fiesta’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Sentra’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fiesta owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fiesta will cost $440 to $1285 less than the Sentra over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fiesta is less expensive to operate than the Sentra because typical repairs cost much less on the Fiesta than the Sentra, including $25 less for front brake pads, $252 less for fuel injection, $48 less for a fuel pump, $15 less for front struts, $212 less for a timing belt/chain and $7 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fiesta will be $779 to $2100 less than for the Nissan Sentra.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Sentra won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fiesta third among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sentra isn’t in the top three in its category.

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