2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Hyundai Elantra

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  • 2021 Nissan Sentra

    A grey 2021 Nissan Sentra S is angled left.

    Starting at


    2021 Hyundai Elantra

    Starting at


    146Torque (lb-ft)132
    StandardAutomatic Braking (Rear)Optional
    14.3Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)14.2

    In a world that's seemingly filled to the brim with SUVs, it's nice to see two sedans that are breaking barriers when it comes to everyday travel. The Nissan Sentra and the Hyundai Elantra are two alluring compact cars that are not only turning heads with their beauty but impressing with their performance and features. Although both trusty transporters are ideal for many drivers, one seems to go all out when it comes to giving the people what they want, and as we compare the 2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Hyundai Elantra, you may come to find that you're gravitating toward one option more than the other.

    We're putting these two travelers to the test in the areas of design, performance, and safety to find which sedan is ready to deliver a ride unlike anything you've ever experienced before, and if you're in the market for a new car, you may want to pay close attention. Let's discover how the Sentra and Elantra stack up against each other and which is ready to unleash its excellence to give you more during your journey.

  • Design

    An orange 2021 Nissan Sentra is shown parked in a modern gallery during a 2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Hyundai Elantra comparison.

    Both the 2021 Nissan Sentra and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra have clever designs that are filled with sweeping curves and polished features. Although both sedans showcase absolute boldness, one stands apart from the rest, leaving drivers in awe of its sheer style and dazzling appearance. Explore how the Sentra and Elantra are ready to take you on the ride of a lifetime, wrapped in unmatched style and modern sophistication.

    Designer Appeal

    Don't let its small stature fool you; the 2021 Sentra is loaded with trendy design elements and features to make your ride the best one yet. From the outside, you'll notice its expertly crafted design, marked by contemporary elements, like aluminum-alloy wheels, sleek LED lighting, and let's not forget its chiseled designer body. As you work your way into its interior, you'll notice its modern appeal, accentuated with available quilted leather materials, Zero Gravity front seats, optional sunroof, and more elegant appointments throughout.

    Loads of space greet you inside the Sentra as you take in the wonder of its interior cabin, and with 60/40-split rear seats, an easy-load trunk, and convenient storage options nestled all over, handling anything in the Sentra is an absolute breeze. From its stylish features to its unmatched convenience, it's hard to beat the Sentra when it comes to having it all in a vehicle.

    To say the 2021 Elantra's design is interesting is an understatement. Although it's sporting a new look for the 2021 model year, you can expect to find more exterior curves than ever before, but a rather boring interior cabin. Its audacious styling on the outside and minimalist vibes on the inside tend to confuse car shoppers. There's not a lot to take in here, as you'll find that Hyundai chose to scale back its interior design for the Elantra to feature a plain look with options to upgrade. You can choose the N Line model for a little more style, like leather-trimmed sport seats, a driver-centric cockpit, and exclusive badging, but be prepared to pay extra for it.

    Our Top Pick

    If you're looking at both of these sedans side-by-side, you'll notice that one just appeals more. Although Hyundai is obviously trying to stand out from the crowd, the weird design of the Elantra is difficult to look past, and if you're not willing to go that bold with your vehicle, we don't blame you. That's why our vehicle choice, when it comes to design, is the 2021 Sentra due to its fabulous designer elements, unrivaled convenience features, and overall good looks. When you're traveling in the Sentra, you know you'll arrive anywhere in style, and when design is on your mind, the Sentra proves that it's a showstopper.

  • Performance

    A red 2021 Nissan Sentra shows a close up of the front grille.

    How your vehicle drives is perhaps the most important aspect to take into consideration while car shopping. Comfortability, safety, and efficiency top the list when it comes to finding the right sedan for your travels. Comparing the 2021 Nissan Sentra and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, you'll find that both do a good job of giving you what you want behind the wheel, but one sedan just does it better. See which vehicle pulls ahead in the area of performance.

    The Drive

    When you're seated inside the cozy cabin of the Nissan Sentra, you'll love the fact that you're able to remain comfortable with its smooth handling and undeniable responsiveness. Equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which provides the Sentra with 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque, you're able to pull away from the line easily and quickly.

    The Sentra's continuously variable transmission adds to its appeal by offering increased efficiency during your journey, with the Sentra able to get up to 29 MPG in the city and an astounding 39 MPG on the highway. Perfect for any driver, whether you're a frequent commuter, road trip warrior, or daily errand-runner, the Sentra shows that it can perform with some of the best cars on the road. When you want to drive comfortably, the Sentra delivers an inspiring ride.

    The 2021 Hyundai Elantra comes standard with a lethargic four-cylinder engine that delivers an acceptable 147 horsepower but only 132 lb-ft of torque. Although you do have the choice to upgrade to a more capable engine, it is only available on the sport-oriented N-Line trim, and rest assured that you'll be paying more for it.

    If you can get past its slow acceleration, you'll find that it does offer up nice gas mileage, with most trims getting 31 MPG city and 41 MPG highway, which is a positive for the Elantra, one of the few. For those who want to feel a little excitement during their travels, however, the standard Elantra won't be the car to provide that to you, so if that's on your wishlist, it's best to look elsewhere.

    Top Performer

    Although the Elantra gets slightly better gas mileage than many of its rivals, there's just no looking past the disappointing performance of its half-asleep base engine. You'll need to upgrade to its performance-oriented N Line model if you want to feel any excitement during your drive - but for its over $24,000 price tag, you could find yourself behind the wheel of a much more comfortable Nissan Altima.

    When you want a vehicle that wows right from the start, the Sentra proves that it's ready to appeal to any driver and any budget. Nice acceleration, great gas mileage, and an overall smooth ride make the Sentra a go-to pick for drivers near and far. Don't settle when you're searching for the right sedan for your travels because when you choose the Sentra, you're able to enjoy a thrilling and efficient ride with no strings attached.

  • Safety

    The interior of a 2021 Nissan Sentra shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    Safety ranks at the top of the list for virtually every driver, and the car you choose has the potential to help you stay as secure and confident as possible on the road. Not every sedan has the safety features you're looking for, and many will make you pay extra for them, which is why it's important not to compromise when it comes to the safety of you and your passengers. Comparing the 2021 Nissan Sentra and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, you'll find that both cars offer top safety features, so which one should you choose? Let us help you decide.

    Top-Level Safety

    Earning top honors from the NHTSA in crash testing, the 2021 Sentra is no stranger to being at the head of the class for safety. With Nissan's famous Safety Shield 360 technology standard across all models, the Sentra not only allows you to be the best possible driver, but it also helps you stay confident in any driving and parking situation.

    From standard Rear Cross Traffic Alert to help when you're backing up to standard Lane Departure Warning to help you stay safely in your lane during your daily commute, Nissan has your back. And with the most advanced driver assist technology on your side, including the available Intelligent Around View Monitor to provide you with a better view of your surroundings, traveling anywhere is not only safer, but it's also easier.

    The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has also earned a five-star rating from the NHTSA and also comes with its own set of safety systems, available through Hyundai SmartSense. You'll find a fine selection of standard features, as well as available upgrades to enhance your drive even more, making the Elantra a solid choice if you're searching for a safe sedan. But unlike Nissan, Hyundai forces you to pay extra for crucial safety features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and rear automatic braking.

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