Which Nissan Sentra Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Nissan Sentra is a line of vehicles produced since 1982 by Japanese manufacturer Nissan. It was formerly classed as a subcompact automobile, however, after the 2000 model, it was categorized as a compact car.

Nissan Sentra has some bad years which made this series unreliable to many users. On the contrary, many people loved to use this compact car.

The truth is, if you buy any car from the worst years of Nissan Sentra you will definitely regret it. Hence, in this article, I will tell you about the worst year of this series so that you can avoid them.

Nissan Sentra Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Nissan Sentra has several years of worst cars. They are bugged with lots of problems including engine malfunction, bad electric system, etc. Here is the list:

  • 2004 Nissan Sentra: Engine problem, premature brake wear, paint fading is quite common in this model.
  • 2005 Nissan Sentra: The 2005 Sentra has engine and fuel system problem, bad AC.
  • 2008 Nissan Sentra: Wheel and hub problems and also transmission problem are main issues of Sentra 2008.
  • 2012 Nissan Sentra: Transmission and steering problem are very common in this model.
  • 2013 Nissan Sentra: Safety issues, transmission and brake problem are mostly seen in this model.
  • 2014 Nissan Sentra: Transmission problem, engine issues, brake and safety problem are reported by users.

Worst Years of Nissan Sentra

Nissan Sentra has the 2014 model which is the worst among the other models of Sentra.

According to Carcomplaints, this model has over 500 complaints which are mostly about the transmission and engine. You should not buy this due to many major and minor issues.

What Makes These Nissan Sentra Years Worth Avoiding?

There are several issues complicating things in the above-mentioned model years. Here are the details on each of the year’s problems-

2004 Nissan Sentra Problems:

This is the first year of Nissan Sentra with many problems. The first and most reported one is the engine-related problem. A blown head gasket is among the highest reported issues.

The engine is hard to start and may need more than one crank to start. Due to a bad engine, the oil consumption is quite high in Nissan Sentra 2004. 

This model also has premature brake wear leading to a safety matter. When the brake is pressed there is a clanking noise coming from it. Brake locked up for a few drivers on the road. It is very dangerous when it happens. 

This car has some body paint and interior accessories problems as well. It will be wise to avoid this old model for all the negative sides.

2005 Nissan Sentra Problems:

Again, in this new 2005 Nissan Sentra, the engine problems were prevalent. The same blown head gasket problem was reported the most. Other than this engine problem, without any problem the ‘check engine light’ illuminating was also reported. Idle roughing or engine stalling are also mentioned by a few drivers.

A new problem came with this model. It is the fuel system problem. Fuel pump out of order or it cannot pump oil at all was quite annoying and needed a fix from a repair shop or dealers causing extra bucks for the drivers.

AC and engine cooling system going bad is another reason you should avoid this car. If you live in a hot climate area, AC going bad is quite disturbing.

2008 Nissan Sentra Problems:

The 2008 Nissan Sentra has a slew of issues, including many safety recalls and consumer complaints. Due to its loss of dependability, safety problems, and some defective parts, this car is one of the worst model years. 

The engine problem was somewhat resolved by Nissan. On the other hand, the wheel and hub problems were found in this 2008 Sentra. Tires having low pressure is common in this car. Rims getting rusty very early and rims failing are reported by some users.

The Sentra 2008 has also transmission problems. Transmission failure with grumbling noises was found by drivers. There were reports of a bad Air conditioner with several minor problems in the interior accessories.

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems:

The 2012 Sentra has some major problems with its transmission. People said that their cars’ transmission was failing and due to that problem, the gear shifting was malfunctioning along with handling and steering went bad. 

The steering problem was another main drawback of Sentra 2012. You can not move it smoothly and accurately.

Due to steering problems drivers encounter some difficulties like the car pulled to one side, clunking noise from the steering when turning, etc.

Few complaints were made about windshield and transmission problems. 

This Sentra 2012 is not worthy of buying with the expensive repairing cost and maintenance. 

2013 Nissan Sentra Problems:

Sentra 2013 had 6 recalls because of some safety concerns. This is quite alarming as safety comes first.

This car also has transmission problems causing revving and jerking, transmission failure, not shifting, etc. The major portion of complaints was about this kind of situation.

The brake problem was also reported by many drivers who could not use it properly due to brake failure, noises from the brake, etc.

Some users have also said that they had engine problems once in a while and that needed repairing which was costly. Hence, it is wise to avoid the Nissan Sentra 2013 model.

2014 Nissan Sentra Problems:

People who have used the Sentra 2014 model reported that this car is one of the worst ones. The transmission doesn’t even last 100,000 miles and gets worse. It has poor CVT response along with loss of acceleration. During slow stops, the car vibrates a lot.

Some other problems were also found in the engine system and brake. Engine failure and brake premature wear were the most common problems faced by many drivers.

The Sentra 2014 model was recalled 5 times by NHTSA due to some safety concerns. One of the main safety issues was the airbag not coming out timely or at all.

Even the seat belt had problems with attaching and detaching! It is so unreliable that you should not buy this model.

Which Nissan Sentra Years are Safe to Buy?

In case you are looking for a reliable Nissan Sentra because of the nice look, there is some great year model that you should check out. 

2020 Nissan Sentra:

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a fantastic car for you. The redesigned style, incredible tech packed inside, improved basic safety systems, driver assistance functions, and so much more are the key reasons why people adore this car so much.

This vehicle’s four-cylinder engine is particularly well praised because of its power and flawless operation on the road.

That’s not all; the gas economy is excellent, the handling is excellent, and the increased cargo area is capable of hauling large stuff.

No one has complained about this car; therefore, it must have fewer issues. However, practically all automotive review websites give them excellent scores for both dependability and safety.

2021 Nissan Sentra:

Nissan Sentra 2021 is a joy to drive. The well-tuned structure immediately smooths out any road imperfections. The inside of the Sentra has been given a makeover by Nissan. It’s a well-thought-out and well-executed design. 

The controls in the 2021 Nissan Sentra’s interior are simple and intuitive for drivers. It’s all within the driver’s reach, all the buttons needed for the driving or enjoyment.

While driving, you’ll be able to feel the difference as the four engines and CVT transmit the power to the car’s rear axles.

This car cruises around at a comfortable pace, neither too fast nor too slow, which is nice since a sluggish car can be a real pain.

It will be a great buy for you without a question.


Nissan Sentra is an excellent and remarkable compact car with many advanced features within the budget. It provides lots of amazing models with superb quality. If you just avoid the worst year of the Sentra, you can get something that will be a great companion for your road trips!

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