In January, Nissan started production on a slightly revised version of its Nissan Sentra lineup. All Sentras with the continuously variable automatic transmission now get 26/34 mpg city/highway, an improvement on the previous version’s 25/33 mpg. To get the mileage recertified with the EPA, Nissan had to change the trim designation of CVT-equipped trim levels, adding an FE — for Fuel Efficiency — to them. Yesterday, the company announced the addition of an entirely new trim level, the FE SR. That makes the current Sentra lineup look like this:
- Sentra FE 2.0
- Sentra 2.0 S
- Sentra FE 2.0 S
- Sentra FE 2.0 SR
- Sentra FE 2.0 SL
There are also high-performance SE-R models that, along with the manual 2.0 S trim, have not seen any mileage gains.
The tricky part about the FE designation is that there are no badges on the cars to distinguish them from 2009 models produced before January, which have the old mileage. You must look at the vehicle’s sticker to see the FE designation or the new mileage numbers to confirm which model you’re looking at. However, all Sentras — excluding the SE-R — have the same $2,250 cash-back offer through March 31.
The Sentra FE 2.0 SR, however, doesn’t go on sale until April 17 and no cash back has been announced for it. It gets the same starting price as a regular Sentra FE 2.0 S, at $17,760 (not including a $695 destination charge), but adds a Sports Appearance Package that includes front and rear bumper treatments similar to the SE-R’s, a rear spoiler, and a different grille, headlights and taillights, along with 16-inch aluminum wheels. It also comes in the same exclusive SE-R colors. Basically, it’s a lot of show without the SE-R’s extra go.