Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2010 Nissan Sentra. It competes with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
<v Narrator>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com. This is the Nissan Sentra. It's Nissan's compact car.
It's not always top of mind when talking about models in this segment, but I think it deserves to be because it's fuel-efficient, offers a refined four-cylinder powertrain, and has a lot of features for the money. If you're looking at a compact car, fuel economy's probably high on your priority list, and the Sentra delivers. It gets 26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway with the automatic transmission, which is comparable to what you're gonna find in a competing Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla with an automatic. But it delivers its power in a refined way, too. It's very smooth off the line and it has good power there. That's partly because it uses a continuously-variable automatic transmission, which is unique in this class. The Sentra's cabin materials have aged pretty well, but there are a couple things I take issue with in the cabin. First one is, there's no telescoping steering wheel, which if you're a taller driver, you're going to want one when driving this car. Second is, the digital readout for the fuel and engine temperature is very bright and very orange, and you can't lower the intensity without turning on the headlights. That said, the cabin does offer upscale features for relatively little money. There's a leather package, which our car has, which is $700, and a built-in navigation system, which is just $400; a little more than you're gonna have to spend on a portable system, so it's the right way to go to compete with that type of technology. Like a lot of other small cars, if you're gonna be carrying adults in the front and back of the Sentra, it may be a tight squeeze. But what separates this model from others in this class is its unique folding design and what it gives you in cargo versatility. It requires an extra step, and that's flipping up the seat cushion before folding the back rest. But once you've done that, you have a really large pass-through from the trunk to the interior of the car for carrying pretty large items. The Sentra isn't as big of a seller as a Civic or Corolla, but this model here offers a lot of value. When you factor in its average reliability and good crash-test performance, it's definitely a model you need to have on your shopping list if you're looking for a small car. <v Narrator>For more car-related news, go to cars.com, or our blog, kickingtires.net.