Competes with: Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra Sport
Looks like: The non-turbo SR's more athletically inclined identical twin
Drivetrain: 188-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a continuously variable automatic or six-speed manual transmission
Hits dealerships: TBA
CARS.COM — Having made big improvements to styling and safety features with the Sentra's 2016 refresh, Nissan is now hoping to get the popular compact sedan up to speed in acceleration and handling.
Related: 2016 Nissan Sentra Review
The 2017 Sentra SR Turbo takes the best of the regular SR, amps up its under-the-hood oomph and adjusts the body structure, steering, brakes and suspension to accommodate the boost.
Beyond turbo badging and SR-specific 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the new model is nearly identical to the previous year's refreshed SR — though Nissan says the body structure has been enhanced to handle its newfound athleticism. A standard power sliding moonroof with tilt feature has also been added.
Otherwise, like its tamer sibling, the SR Turbo gets Nissan's signature V-Motion grille also found on the Altima and Maxima sedans, boomerang-shaped LED headlights with LED accents, lower-body side sill extensions, a rear spoiler with an integrated LED brake light, fog lights, chrome exhaust finisher and heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals.
In-cabin upgrades for 2017 extend to all Sentra models, which Nissan says include thicker front and rear window glass for enhanced soundproofing, as well as front center-console storage space that has doubled in volume. SR and SR Turbo models also get a sport interior trim featuring sport cloth seats, a driver-side seatback pocket and heated front seats. And like all Sentra SV, SR and SL trims, the SR Turbo gets a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist display in the center of the gauge cluster, as well as standard Siri Eyes Free voice-command capability.
Other interior features include a soft-touch instrument panel and door-mounted armrests, keyless entry, push-button start and a backup camera. The SR Turbo Premium package adds leather seating, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a premium eight-speaker Bose stereo system. Also available are the NissanConnect multimedia system with navigation, mobile apps and a 5.8-inch touch-screen.
Under the Hood
Herein lies the SR Turbo's real allure. Nissan has equipped the sedan with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine it says is good for 188 hp and 177 pounds-feet of torque — a 52 percent and 42 percent boost, respectively, over the 1.8-liter naturally aspirated power plant of the 2017 Sentra SR. The automaker says it also revised the steering and added larger front disc brakes, a new CVT (a six-speed manual is also available) and unique suspension tuning.
The catch is that owners will now have to fill up with premium fuel rather than the regular unleaded recommendation for the regular SR.
Advanced safety features come with the SR Turbo Premium package, the lone option group. They include blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.