Nissan
Sentra
2012
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USED 2012 Nissan Sentra FOR SALE NEAR ME

72 vehicles within 100 miles of
Zac Estrada
Automotive Editor - January 12, 2012

Expert Rating

4.0 (Excellent)
MPG
25 City / 32 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2012 Nissan Sentra OVERVIEW

The base Sentra 2.0 starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 140 horsepower, six-speed manual or optional Xtronic CVT transmission, 15-inch wheels, air conditioning, four- speaker audio system with AUX input, power windows and locks, a tilt steering wheel and a split-folding rear seat.

The 2.0 S adds power outside mirrors, remote keyless entry, six- speaker audio system with iPod integration, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and a trip computer.

The 2.0 SR sports up the styling with 16-inch alloy wheels, a body kit package and special grille treatment as well as darkened headlight and taillight lenses.

The 2.0 SL includes more technology and luxury features, like Bluetooth, keyless entry and start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB input, a larger color screen for the audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio.

The performance-minded SE-R boasts a stronger, 2.5-liter four cylinder with 177 horsepower. It also adds disc brakes on all four corners, 17-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters for the CVT transmission, specially bolstered front sport seats and a sports-tuned suspension.

The SE-R Spec V takes it up another notch with a 200 horsepower version of the 2.5, along with a six-speed manual transmission, a lowered ride height and different springs, summer tires, larger brakes and more structural bracing.

Let's look at the competition. The Honda Civic is fuel-efficient and the Si performance version is faster and better to drive, but feels cheap inside. The Ford Focus offers a versatile hatchback and feels much more premium, but can get downright expensive. The Toyota Corolla is frugal and spacious, but doesn't offer any performance option. The Hyundai Elantra is better priced and more stylish, but also lacks any engine options.

While its design is several years old, the Sentra makes sense for buyers in this segment who want something comfortable and priced well, rather than the latest piece of automotive technology. Base versions are rather well-equipped and the SE-R and Spec V models add some performance alternatives that are more aggressive than competitors' sporting models that are usually just cosmetic packages for standard versions. The Sentra is worth a test drive against fresher competition.

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