The Nissan Sentra has been a part of the automaker's lineup since 1982, providing stiff competition for other vehicles in the affordable compact sedan segment. While the performance-oriented models aren't up to snuff with competitors, the regular Sentra is surprisingly roomy and has good fuel economy figures, making it an ideal choice for consumers looking for a no-frills daily driver.
What's New for 2018
The Sentra gets various updates for 2018, the most noteworthy being those that bring new technology to the vehicle. Automatic emergency braking is now standard throughout the entire lineup, except on manual transmission models. A rearview camera and a 5.0-inch display come standard on the S trim. The SV trim benefits from 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and dual-zone automatic temperature control. SR 1.8L and SL trims come with adaptive cruise control as standard. The Sentra's list of available packages has been reshuffled, as well, with the previous SL Premium Tech Package coming standard on the SL trim and the previous Nismo Tech Package being standard on Nismo trims.
Choosing Your Nissan Sentra
The Sentra comes with three different engine options. The base engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Stepping up to a higher trim level brings the same engine, but with a different output (124 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque). SR Turbo and Nismo variants feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
The base Sentra S comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard throughout the rest of the lineup. The Nismo trim has a CVT with a Manual Shift Mode as standard and has a six-speed manual gearbox as an option.
Fuel economy figures for the Sentra are competitive with other vehicles in the segment. The most efficient Sentra is rated by the EPA to get 29 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The Nismo trims are the least efficient with a fuel economy rating of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
With the new additions for 2018, the Sentra has a good amount of available safety features. The compact sedan can be fitted with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking.
The Sentra is available in six trims that range from economical to sporty.
The entry-level S trim starts at $17,875 (prices include the $885 destination charge). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while the CVT gearbox is an extra $1,285. Standard exterior features for the S trim include: 16-inch steel wheels, automatic halogen headlights, and power exterior mirrors. On the inside, the S trim features Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, power door locks and windows, cloth seats, and a 5.0-inch color display. There are two available packages for the S trim: the Appearance Package ($495), which adds 16-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and a rear decklid spoiler, and the S Midnight Style Package ($495), which brings black exterior mirrors, bespoke 16-inch black alloy wheels, and a black rear spoiler.
The next step up is the SV trim that costs $19,970. The model gets the 124-hp 1.8-liter engine over the standard model and a CVT as standard. On the outside, the SV trim adds 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The interior of the sedan benefits from more features, including: an advanced drive-assist display with a 5.0-inch color display, Nissan Intelligent Key with push button start, dual-zone automatic temperature control, premium cloth seats, a 370Z-inspired steering wheel, and three USB ports. The SV Premium Package ($990) that brings navigation, SiriusXM, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, NissanConnect mobile apps, and a moonroof. The All-Weather Package ($300) brings heated exterior mirrors and heated front seats to the car.
The SR trim is priced from $21,385 and adds some premium touches over the lower trims. LED low-beam projector headlights, 17-inch wheels, fog lights, a sport rear fascia, lower body side sill extensions, a chrome exhaust finisher, a rear spoiler with an integrated LED brake light, and heated exterior mirrors are standard exterior features. The interior gets premium sport cloth seats, heated front seats, and sport interior trim as standard. There are three available packages for the SR trim. The Technology Package ($1,020) includes navigation, SiriusXM, rear cross-traffic alert, NissanConnect mobile apps, and blind-spot monitoring. The SR Premium Package ($3,560) adds an eight-speaker Bose audio system, HomeLink, SiriusXM, NissanConnect mobile apps, NissanConnect services, and a moonroof. Lastly, the Midnight Edition Package ($495) adds black touches to the sedan, including: a black V-Motion grille, black exterior mirrors, a black license plate finisher, black 17-inch wheels, black trim pieces for the fog lights, a black rear spoiler, and bespoke badges.
The SR Turbo shares a lot of the same features as the SR trim, but brings the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine to the sedan. The trim also benefits from some sport components and has a starting price tag of $23,375. The SR Turbo adds larger brakes and a tuned suspension and steering setup. The exterior doesn't get any changes and the only addition to the interior is a moonroof. The SR Turbo Premium Package ($2,590) adds leather seats, navigation, HomeLink, NissanConnect mobile apps, a six-way power driver's seat, SiriusXM, and a eight-speaker Bose audio system. The Midnight Edition Package ($495) brings the same black accents as on the non-turbo SR.
The SL trim starts at $24,325 and brings some luxurious touches to the Sentra. The SL trim comes with 17-inch wheels on the outside, and navigation, adaptive cruise control, NissanConnect Mobile Apps, Nissan voice recognition, SiriusXM, a HomeLink universal transceiver, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power driver's seat, leather seats, piano black interior trim, a 5.8-inch color touchscreen, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system to the inside of the sedan. There are no available packages for the SL trim.
The range-topping Nismo trim is the sportiest Sentra available. The trim starts at $26,675 and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a CVT is available as a no-price option. The Nismo has all of the same features as the SR Turbo trim, but adds some more performance components including a Nismo-tuned suspension and steering setup, 18-inch Nismo wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires. The exterior also gets some more features over the SR Turbo trim, including: LED daytime running lights, a Nismo aerodynamic body kit, a Nismo chrome exhaust finisher, Nismo black outside mirrors, and Nismo badges. On the inside, it comes with Nismo synthetic suede seat trim, Nismo signature red stitching, a Nismo Alcantara and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Nismo leather-wrapped shift knob, carbon-fiber-like trim, and a black headliner.
The Sentra may not have the chops to go up against other performance-oriented compact cars, but the SR Turbo adds the right amount of sportiness and amenities to be a comfortable and enjoyable daily driver. Consumers wanting something that’s not as sporty should go with the SR trim as it includes tech, convenience, and handsome exterior features. The Technology Package is a good addition to the vehicle, as it adds more tech features at a reasonable price.
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