2011 Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
vs. 2011 Nissan
Sentra SE-R

2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring

10.0

starting from

$24,105
"Impressive list of luxury options."
edmunds.com | talking about the 3's build-quality
"The Grand Touring gains a sunroof."
edmunds.com | talking about the 3's interior quality

Reasons to buy the Mazda 3 s Grand Touring

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Tighter turning radius
17.1 ft
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Average number of gears
5
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Better suspension
Independent
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Safer for the driver in head-on collisions
5 stars
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R

9.0

Runner-up

Nissan Sentra SE-R

starting from

$20,880

Reasons to buy the Nissan Sentra SE-R

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Has continuously-variable transmission
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Spacious front seats
56.7 ft3
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Paddle shifters
Standard
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Average city fuel efficiency
24 mpg
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 6.6
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring Winner: 3 s Grand Touring
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • Almost the same
  • Almost the same
Performance 10.0 vs 8.7
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring Winner: 3 s Grand Touring
[details]
  • The 3 s Grand Touring needs 2.1x less space to turn, 17.1 ft vs 35.4 ft
  • Almost the same, 5 vs Continuously variable
  • The 3 s Grand Touring's Semi-automatic transmission offers the best driving experience, Semi-automatic transmission vs Automatic transmission
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs 9.1
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring Winner: 3 s Grand Touring
[details]
  • The 3 s Grand Touring has 2.1x less risk of serious injury, 5 stars vs 4 stars
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring Winner: 3 s Grand Touring
[details]
  • The 3 s Grand Touring has 4 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 10 vs 6
  • Have your pick of music from around the world with the 3 s Grand Touring's satellite radio; in the Sentra SE-R, too, but it'll cost
Practicality 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring Winner: 3 s Grand Touring
[details]
  • The 3 s Grand Touring has 6 more cupholders, 8 vs 2
  • Almost the same
  • A single tank lasts around 10% longer, 461 miles vs 435 miles
Cost 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Shorter-lasting basic warranty
  • Shorter basic warranty
Safety Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Road Tests 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Overall 10.0 vs 9.0

Luxury Features

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the 3 s Grand Touring's standard sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Not Available Conveniently adjust your seat with the 3 s Grand Touring's power seats; not available on the Sentra SE-R
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Not Available Leather comes standard on the 3 s Grand Touring; the Sentra SE-R only offers cloth seats

Performance

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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Horsepower 167 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 177 HP @ 6,000 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 5 vs Continuously variable The 3 s Grand Touring has an OK number of gears, while the Sentra SE-R has very few
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Automatic transmission The 3 s Grand Touring's semi-automatic transmission is a rare find for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Standard The Sentra SE-R comes standard with paddle shifters for ultimate driving control; not available on the 3 s Grand Touring
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 18.5 lb/hp vs 17.4 lb/hp The Sentra SE-R has OK performance while the 3 s Grand Touring gives sluggish performance
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 17.1 ft vs 35.4 ft The 3 s Grand Touring turns on a dime, and the Sentra SE-R is comparable to most other vehicles

Crash Test Ratings

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
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Front driver crash test 5 stars vs 4 stars The better is 2.1x safer than the Sentra SE-R
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Driver side crash test 5 stars vs 5 stars Good protection, only 5% chance of serious chest injuries in a crash

Entertainment System

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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Number of speakers 10 vs 6 The 3 s Grand Touring has more speakers, but the Sentra SE-R has very few
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs Yes Both have speed-sensitive volume
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Standard vs Optional Have your pick of music from around the world with the 3 s Grand Touring's satellite radio; in the Sentra SE-R, too, but it'll cost
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Practicality

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 461 miles vs 435 miles Average highway range
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Cargo space 11.8 ft3 vs 13.1 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 50.8 ft3 vs 56.7 ft3 The Sentra SE-R has roomy front seats, but the 3 s Grand Touring is very cramped
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folding rear seats Standard vs Not Available The 3 s Grand Touring's standard folding rear seat will get you extra cargo room; not available on the Sentra SE-R
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 8 vs 2 The 3 s Grand Touring has an absurd number of cupholders, 2 extra in front and 4 extra in rear
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Cost

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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MSRP $24,105 vs $20,880 The Sentra SE-R has a great price and the 3 s Grand Touring is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 22 mpg vs 24 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 36,000 mile Shorter basic warranty
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 3 year Shorter-lasting basic warranty

Safety Features

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Road Tests

Mazda
3 s Grand Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Nissan
Sentra SE-R
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0-60 mph 8.1 seconds vs Unknown
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Braking distance at 60mph 125 ft vs 121 ft The Sentra SE-R has above average braking ability for this class of vehicle, but the 3 s Grand Touring is just OK
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1/4 mile 16.2 s @ 86 mph vs Unknown
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Lateral acceleration 0.87 g vs 0.87 g Both have unremarkable cornering abilities
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Top speed 118 mph vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Mazda 3 i Touring 2011 Mazda 2 Touring 3 i Touring vs 2 Touring
2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 2011 BMW 328i 3 s Grand Touring vs 328i
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring 2012 Mazda 5 Sport 3 i Touring vs 5 Sport
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring 2011 MINI Cooper 3 i Touring vs Cooper
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring 2011 Toyota Prius Four 3 i Touring vs Prius Four
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Nissan Versa SL Sentra vs Versa SL
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Toyota Yaris Sentra vs Yaris
2011 Nissan Sentra 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited Sentra vs Sonata Limited
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Nissan Rogue SV Sentra vs Rogue SV
2011 Nissan Sentra 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS Sentra vs Accent GLS

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