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2020 Nissan Sentra: Taking a Stand for Sedans

Competes with: Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla

Looks like: A 5:8-scale version of Nissan’s Altima mid-size sedan

Powertrain: 149-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with continuously variable automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late January 2020

American automakers are abandoning the compact-car class, but overseas brands continue to invest in the segment. The latest proof of this is the redesigned 2020 Nissan Sentra, which is making its debut ahead of the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show media preview.

Related: More 2019 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Riding on a new platform and powered by a new four-cylinder engine, the 2020 Sentra has sharper exterior lines, a more distinctive interior and more standard active safety features. Available in S, SV and SR trim levels, the 2020 Sentra is scheduled to hit dealerships in late January.

Exterior

Lower and wider than its predecessor, the 2020 Sentra also has crisper exterior styling that evokes its bigger sibling, the mid-size Altima. Both sedans have smooth body sides, distinctive versions of Nissan’s V-Motion grille and a blacked-out section on the rear roof pillars that’s designed to give the roof a floating appearance.

2020 Nissan Sentra

The base S trim level comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels and covers, automatic headlights with high-beam assist and remote keyless entry. The mid-level SV model adds 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The high-end SR, meanwhile, has 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a dark-chrome grille, black mirror caps with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler, side sill extensions, a chrome exhaust tip, and LED headlights, daytime running lights and foglights.

Interior

The redesigned Sentra’s all-new interior gets some eye-catching styling touches, such as circular center air vents as well as class-up features like an available tablet-style 8-inch center touchscreen. Front bucket seats and a rear bench provide seating for up to five people.

2020 Nissan Sentra

The S trim includes push-button start, cloth upholstery and a 7-inch touchscreen. Choosing the SV model offers the option of the larger 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. SV models also get dual-zone automatic air conditioning, higher-grade cloth upholstery and adaptive cruise control. SR versions add sport cloth upholstery and orange accent stitching. Leather upholstery is available.

Under the Hood

Power comes from a new 149-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Nissan didn’t say whether the 188-hp turbo four-cylinder available in the prior-generation Sentra would be offered in the 2020 model. An independent rear suspension replaces the old Sentra’s torsion-beam setup, and the 2020 Sentra also gets a new electric power steering system.

Safety

Standard active safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and rear automatic braking; a rear door alert and driver-drowsiness monitor are also standard. A 360-degree camera system is available.

2020 Nissan Sentra

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