By Cars.com EditorsMay 22, 2012
About the video
The Nissan Sentra is getting a little long in the tooth, according to Cars.com Industry Analyst Kelsey Mays.
(rock music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com, here with a pretty common sight, the 2012 Nissan Sentra, a car that's been mostly unchanged since late 2006.
It's not the most appealing car inside or out, but there are a few reasons you might want to take a look, especially if you can get a good deal on it. We'll show you why. The Sentra inside is still a pretty comfortable car. Our test car's cloth seats have decent amounts of padding and a nice high seating position with good thigh support. The driver's seat goes back just barely far enough for me. I'm about six feet tall. The steering wheel, however, doesn't telescope. We wish it had a telescoping adjustment and maybe came back a little farther and the seat came back a little bit farther. It'd be better for tall drivers. Visibility? Okay. The side mirrors, pretty decent size, but you've got kind of A-pillars and kind of thick C-pillars. That hurts your over-the-shoulder blind-spot visibility. Now, storage room. Pretty good story here. You've got a decent amount of space here in the center console, a little bin here below the shifter. There's a little cubby here above the center controls. Lots of storage space there. And in case you needed it, there's an absolutely huge glove compartment. Actually, this is how big it is. If you actually needed to store shoes in your glove compartment, you wouldn't have a problem with it in the Sentra. Backseat has reasonable room, and the trunk's a decent, roughly 13 cubic feet. The problem is if you need to fold the back seat, not so great. It's really kind of a old-school, outdated set up. You gotta push these cushions and tumble them forward first, so that you can put the seats down then. The problem is that the seats don't really fit here. And so you've got to remove the head restraints, which are... ...a whole other pain in the neck, and now you can get them down. Once you do that, a pretty good size opening between the trunk and the back seat. The Sentra does benefit from pretty good drivability, though. It has a comfortable ride and a responsive CVT automatic transmission in our test car, which pairs well with the two-liter four cylinder. Unfortunately, the combination doesn't provide for very good gas mileage. EPA ratings with our combination are 27 miles per gallon city and 34 miles per gallon highway, which are well short of the 40-mile-per-gallon competition like the Hyundai Elantra and some versions of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze. There's a redesign to Sentra coming later this year, but the outgoing car still might be worth a look. You'll pay a little bit more for gas than you would in some of its competitors. And certain features like that folding rear seat are getting pretty outdated. Reliability is a little bit above average, and crash tests are so-so, but really a lot of other cars in this class get very high marks in both categories. Here's the kicker, though. As the new car starts coming in, and Nissan dealers are looking to clear out inventory of the old Sentra, you might be able to find some pretty good deals. So if the price is right, the old Sentra might still be worth a gander. <v Announcer>For more car-related news, go to cars.com or our blog, KickingTires.net.