The Nissan Sentra sits between the subcompact Versa and the midsize Altima. Regular Sentras come in base 2.0, 2.0 S and 2.0 SL trim levels. The Nissan Sentra is an alternative to the likes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
(Skip to details on the SE-R and SE-R Spec V)
New for 2009
For 2009, the Sentra gets a redesigned rear trunklid, new cloth seat trims, standard automatic door locks and an available MP3 compatible radio for 2.0 S and 2.0 SL models.
From the grille material to the high-mounted clear-lens taillights, the Sentra looks like a smaller version of the Altima.
The Sentra is on the larger side of compact class. It's nearly 180 inches long and 70.5 inches wide, which is larger than its competitors.
- Available 15- or 16-inch tires
- Available fog lamps (standard on S and SL)
- Optional powered moonroof (on S and SL)
- Power mirrors (on S and SL)
The Sentra offers some innovative features for a compact, including rear cupholders that can hold 32-ounce cups and 20-ounce bottles; high-mounted front-seatback pockets for backseat passengers; and a configurable partition in the trunk that can form two compartments, one of which Nissan describes as "hidden."
The Sentra stands taller than conventional compacts. This trend improves forward visibility and entry and exit from the car by increasing the minimum seat height. A 60/40-split folding backseat is standard. Overall, there's about 98 cubic feet of passenger volume and 13.1 cu. ft. of trunk space. Just like its exterior, the Sentra's interior bests the competition.
- Available suede-like cloth or leather-appointed seats
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard power windows and locks
- Cruise control and steering-wheel-mounted controls (standard on S and SL)
- Keyless ignition system (optional S, standard on SL)
- XM Satellite Radio (optional S, standard on SL)
Under the Hood
The Sentra is powered by a single powertrain and two transmission options.
- 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with 147 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission
- Electronic drive-by-wire throttle
Standard safety features include:
- Standard side-impact airbags
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Available security system (optional 2.0, standard on S and SL)
- Available four-wheel antilock braking system (optional 2.0, standard on S and SL)
Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V
The Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V are two sporty variants. The SE-R is built for mainstream consumers who want a sportier feel; the Spec V is geared toward the enthusiast crowd.
Both of the SE-Rs are distinguished from the regular Sentra by exterior enhancements, including different nose and tail treatments, side sill extensions and a rear spoiler. The SE-R boasts numerous interior upgrades, including an oil pressure gauge, lateral G-force meter and cloth sport seats embroidered with the SE-R designation. The SE-R Spec V adds red seat belts.
The Sentra's MacPherson strut front suspension and, particularly, the semi-independent torsion-beam rear suspension are unlikely to please sport enthusiasts, but performance, not construction, is what matters most. The Spec V has a firmer suspension and larger brakes with rear discs.
- 200-hp, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder with 180 pounds-feet of torque (Spec V only)
- 177-hp, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder with 172 pounds-feet of torque (SE-R only)
- Six-speed manual transmission (Spec V only)
- Continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters (SE-R only)
- Standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
- Standard active head restraints and antilock braking system
- Optional 340-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||December 5, 2008|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||October 29, 2008|
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