2011 Mazda
3 i Touring
vs. 2011 Nissan
Sentra

2011 Mazda 3 i Touring

10.0

starting from

$19,745
"Energetic 2.5-liter engine."
edmunds.com | talking about the 3's engine
"A five-speed automatic is optional."
edmunds.com | talking about the 3's transmission

Reasons to buy the Mazda 3 i Touring

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Tighter turning radius
17.1 ft
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OK brakes
Disc
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Power mirrors
Standard
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Better suspension
Independent
2011 Nissan Sentra

8.9

Runner-up

Nissan Sentra

starting from

$16,820

Reasons to buy the Nissan Sentra

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Spacious front seats
56.7 ft3
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Lengthy braking distance from 60mph
135 ft
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Average number of gears
6
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OK ground clearance for rough terrain
5.6"
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 5.5
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring Winner: 3 i Touring
[details]
  • The convenience of keyless entry comes standard on the 3 i Touring; not available on the Sentra
Performance 10.0 vs 8.9
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring Winner: 3 i Touring
[details]
  • The 3 i Touring needs 2.1x less space to turn, 17.1 ft vs 35.4 ft
  • The 3 i Touring's Semi-automatic transmission offers the best driving experience, Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission
  • Almost the same, 19.7 lb/hp vs 20.4 lb/hp
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.1
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring Winner: 3 i Touring
[details]
  • The 3 i Touring's stereo compensates for road noise as you speed up
  • Like your tunes? In the 3 i Touring, you can upgrade to satellite radio
  • The 3 i Touring has 2 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 6 vs 4
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs 9.1
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring Winner: 3 i Touring
[details]
  • The 3 i Touring has 2.1x less risk of serious injury, 5 stars vs 4 stars
Practicality 10.0 vs 9.8
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring Winner: 3 i Touring
[details]
  • The 3 i Touring has 4 more cupholders, 8 vs 4
  • A single tank lasts around 10% longer, 479 miles vs 450 miles
Cost 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Inexpensive
  • 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 - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have pokey 1/4 mile times
  • Both have sluggish 0-60 times
  • Both take longer to stop from 60mph
Overall 10.0 vs 8.9

Luxury Features

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Not Available The convenience of keyless entry comes standard on the 3 i Touring; not available on the Sentra
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leather Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a leather interior

Performance

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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Horsepower 148 HP @ 6,500 RPM vs 140 HP @ 5,100 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 5 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission Both the 3 i Touring's semi-automatic transmission and the Sentra 's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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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 19.7 lb/hp vs 20.4 lb/hp Both 3 i Touring and Sentra are sluggish relative to their competitors
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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 i Touring turns on a dime, and the Sentra is comparable to most other vehicles

Entertainment System

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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Number of speakers 6 vs 4 Fewer speakers
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs No The 3 i Touring's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the Sentra does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Not Available Like your tunes? In the 3 i Touring, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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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

Crash Test Ratings

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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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
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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

Practicality

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 479 miles vs 450 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 51.9 ft3 vs 56.7 ft3 The Sentra has roomy front seats and the 3 i Touring is OK
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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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 Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a navigation system
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Cupholders 8 vs 4 The 3 i Touring has an absurd number of cupholders, 2 extra in front and 2 extra in rear
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Cost

Mazda
3 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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MSRP $19,745 vs $16,820 Inexpensive
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In-city gas mileage 24 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 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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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 Drum The 3 i Touring has good brakes for high-performance driving
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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 i Touring
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring
2011 Nissan Sentra Nissan
Sentra
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0-60 mph 9.4 seconds vs 9.7 seconds Both have sluggish 0-60 times
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Braking distance at 60mph 145 ft vs 135 ft Both take longer to stop from 60mph
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1/4 mile 17.2 s @ 83 mph vs 17.5 s @ 80 mph Both have pokey 1/4 mile times
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Lateral acceleration 0.81 g vs Unknown
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Top speed Unknown 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 Sport 2011 MINI Cooper S 3 i Sport vs Cooper S
2011 Mazda 3 i Touring 2011 Toyota Prius Two 3 i Touring vs Prius Two
2011 Mazda 3 i Sport 2012 Nissan Altima 2.5 3 i Sport vs Altima 2.5
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Nissan Versa Sentra vs Versa
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Toyota Yaris Sentra vs Yaris
2011 Nissan Sentra 2012 Nissan Altima 3.5 SR Sentra vs Altima 3.5 SR
2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Toyota Camry Sentra vs Camry
2011 Nissan Sentra 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS Sentra vs Accent GLS

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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