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  • James Flammang
    Contributing Editor - January 19, 2016

    2016 Nissan Sentra OVERVIEW

    A longtime participant in the compact-sedan segment, the Nissan Sentra remains an appealing choice for the economy-oriented buyer. In addition to good fuel efficiency, you get plenty of rear seat space -- an attribute that’s lacking in a number of compact (and larger) sedans. Value-priced option packages are another bonus, at least for upper trim levels.

    What's New for 2016

    Sentras gained a mild refresh for the 2016 model year, including revised exterior styling and newly available active-safety technology, such as blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. The new front fascia is clearly influenced by larger Nissan models, including the Maxima. Highlights include a V-shaped chrome grille, boomerang-shaped headlights and taillamps, and new 17-inch alloy wheel design. Upper trims get LED headlights.

    Nissan Sentra

    Choosing Your Nissan Sentra

    All Sentras continue to come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Those who like to shift for themselves can still have a six-speed manual gearbox -- but only on the base S model, where a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. All other trim levels come with the CVT as standard equipment. With CVT, fuel economy is estimated at 29 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway (32 mpg combined).

    Five trim levels are available:


    The base S starts out at $16,780 (plus destination charge) with the manual transmission and $17,630 with the CVT. Each comes with a considerable amount of equipment for the price. Standard features include automatic headlights, chrome door handles, cruise control, air conditioning, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and remote keyless entry. The four-speaker audio system has a CD player, MP3 capability, and USB port. Also standard are power windows and door locks, a tilt/telescopic steering column, power mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

    FE+ S

    For the economy-minded, the FE+ S boosts estimated fuel economy to a combined 34 mpg, and goes for $18,030. The CVT is standard, as are low-rolling-resistance tires, a rear deck-lid spoiler, and deflectors for the rear tires and underbody.

    Neither the S nor the FE+ S trim level has any option packages available.


    Building on the S and starting at $18,550, the SV adds higher-end features like premium cloth seating, rearview camera, SiriusXM capability, Bluetooth streaming audio, NissanConnect with mobile apps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Siri Eyes Free voice recognition, keyless entry, and a rearview monitor. The six-speaker audio system has a 5-inch display screen.

    Three SV option packages are offered:

    • Style Package adds a moonroof and 16-inch alloy wheels.
    • All Weather Pacakage adds heated mirrors and front seats.
    • Driver's Assist Package includes navigation, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.


    The sport-oriented SR has premium sport cloth seats with heat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, mirror-mounted LED turn signals, foglamps, heated power mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, chrome exhaust tips, LED headlights, and an SR-exclusive sport body kit, grille, and spoilers. These extra features push the price to $20,410.

    An SR Premium Package adds a moonroof, leather seating, NissanConnect with navigation, Bose eight-speaker sound system, HomeLink universal remote, blind-spot monitoring, and much more.


    The $22,170 SL has features like 17-inch 10-spoke aluminum wheels, navigation with a 15.8-inch touchscreen, leather-appointed upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirror, and a power driver’s seat.

    An SL Premium Package adds a moonroof, eight-speaker Bose audio, and illuminated vanity mirrors.

    CarsDirect Tip

    In our view, a mid-range S or SV offers the best value for the Sentra's target buyer. We can't fault Nissan for putting so much into the SR and SL, for only a few thousand dollars more. Still, their prices almost push the Sentra into competition with more premium-level competitors.

    Get your price on a Nissan Sentra »

    Read our review on the Nissan Sentra »

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