North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Fiesta VS 2017 Nissan Sentra Near Jasper, GA

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2017 Ford Fiesta

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2017 Nissan Sentra

Safety Comparison

The Fiesta (except S) offers optional 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:







5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

246 lbs.

305 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

70 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars




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:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

413 lbs.

569 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

17 inches




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.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fiesta 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Sentra (130 HP engine) (automatics tested):




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 SFE 3 cyl. Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Sentra Manual with its standard engine (31 city/41 hwy vs. 27 city/35 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 much shorter than the Sentra:





70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

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.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fiesta Sedan has 1.1 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more rear headroom than the Sentra.

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 $6 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

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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