For years the Sentra has been a compact sedan that feels bigger inside that it actually is. How Nissan has done this for so long is a bit of mystery. The simple reality is this car has offered owners a much more upscale feeling than most other compact sedans and given them the pride of having a very stylish sedan that looks and feels much more expensive than its price tag suggests. When compared to the Dodge Dart there is a great deal more interior space and when placed side by side with the Ford Focus the Sentra shows up with more rear seat leg room, both of which are very important to owners of these compact sedans.
In many compact sedans the price is kept low by stripping the car down and not offering many technology features to be enjoyed. The Sentra does not go to this length to keep the price affordable. Instead this car is affordable and still offers an infotainment system for the owner to full enjoy. When a sporty handling compact car is the one that is called for, the Sentra makes a great choice.
For 2015 the Sentra adds several improvements to the car. Standard features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and cruise control have all been added to make the ride more enjoyable. The SV trim add and Intelligent Key, a review camera and a new Style Package. The SR adds heated front seats and some features from the previous Driver’s Package. The Sentra has some excellent features already aboard that other compacts don’t offer such as the NissanConnect app-based infotainment system and easy fill tire alerts which let the driver know when the tire is full by honking the horn when the correct tire pressure has been reached.
Meant mostly as a daily commuter, and virtually every Sentra on the road is used for this purpose, the Sentra offers a comfortable ride with great handling to give occupants an enjoyable ride along the daily commute to and from the workplace. The steering system is weighted expertly and mates well with the suspension to avoid and body shift when going through turns and curves. This allows the feeling of a smooth and upscale ride to be enjoyed by everyone in the vehicle so they can relax.
One of the only knocks on the Sentra, and most likely where Nissan saved money in order to offer this car at the price and in this class is in the engine compartment. Only one engine is offered on the Sentra and it is one that could really use a shot of caffeine on a cold and dreary morning. This engine is a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 130 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque. There are two choices for the transmission, a continuously variable automatic or a six-speed manual. There are three possible fuel numbers depending on what the engine is attached to with 27 city/36 hwy mpg being the results for the manual transmission and 29 city/39 hwy mpg for the automatic. The third set of numbers is for the FE+ trim which adds some aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires bringing the fuel numbers to a an even 30 city/40 hwy mpg.
The interior of the Sentra is where the most pleasure can be had. This interior makes a statement to pamper and coddle busy workers after a long day at work. With a bevy of soft and enticing materials throughout the cabin the Sentra offers comfort in every seat. The driver will enjoy the high end controls in an affordable vehicle from the electroluminescent gauges and contoured curves across the dashboard. Add the upgraded technology and the driver is in a virtual cockpit of control rather than just a compact commuter car. In the rear seat there is plenty of legroom and a generous amount of head room for taller occupants to feel comfortable when they are riding along.
The exterior of the Sentra is appealing and not overdone. With a handsome style that is just a bit sportier than most sedan the Sentra is a car that has become very enticing to many consumer. Add some upscale features such as LED headlight accents and taillights to the car and the Sentra looks like it might belong in a class higher than it actually is. A chrome grill shows off shiny front teeth of the car and when an upper trim is chosen the car features alloy wheels to give a more dynamic and alluring overall look to the Sentra.
The Sentra is a unique vehicle in that it does not offer optional features at all. Instead each trim has all equipment for that level already included as standard fare. The trim level equipment begins with the base S model that offers a six-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, a four-speaker audio system, electroluminescent gauges, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, automatic headlights, keyless entry, cloth seats, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, a four-way adjustable steering wheel, 16-inch wheels and six airbags and electronic stability and traction control. The SL model adds a moonroof, leather seats, heated front seats, rear disc brakes, 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic headlights. The FE+ trim only adds a few touches as mentioned previously with its only purpose to add a little more fuel efficiency.
The pricing of the Nissan Sentra begins at a very enjoyable and reasonable $17,500. Moving up to the top of the line the price stays easily affordable at the $23,500 price to allow even a fully loaded model to be enjoyed by almost everyone. With the only real downfall being the engine, which is just a little slow on the acceleration, this is and has always been an excellent commuter car for many owners to enjoy their ride to and from the workplace. With the upscale interior this is car most owners won’t mind driving on a long commute.