The 1995 Nissan Sentra is a practical compact car and makes no effort to disguise that fact. It does not try to have superior performance or to provide luxury or a pretty exterior. What it aims to achieve is to provide a reliable daily-driver with room for two adults, two kids, and the groceries. The engine is mediocre but durable with enough go to allow it to get up to speed and in and out of traffic, but not enough to blow any doors off. It is in a model range stocked with competition, but manages to pull itself close to the top through superior fuel efficiency.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Nissan Sentra, Nissan Sentra XE, Nissan Sentra GXE, Nissan Sentra GLE
1995 marks the start of a new generation of the Nissan Sentra. It gets a number of revisions, the most notable being the exterior styling. The angular features and long trunk have been replaced with curves and a shorter trunk that still maintains the amount of cargo space. The two-door coupe is no longer available, having been deemed its own separate models, the 200SX. Interior space has been increased. The suspension has been changed and a timing chain replaces timing belts, designed to last the life of the engine.
The 1995 Nissan Sentra is smoothed out with curves where there were angles before. Gone is the angular, boxy model of the past. The greenhouse is higher with the rear window having a longer slope, down to a stubbier trunk. Overall, it has a very nondescript appearance, very average and unassuming.
The redesign for the 1995 Nissan Sentra has helped out the interior quite a bit. The head and leg room has increased. The rear seat is still a little on the small side, and fully grown adults may have issues hitting their heads getting in or fitting their legs in with the front seats all the way back. The seats are comfortable for longer rides. The dashboard is well designed, laid out nicely and all very convenient for the driver. The base model and the XE have very limited conveniences and features. In fact, the base version comes with absolutely nothing. If you want a radio or air-conditioning, drivers will need to move up to the XE or higher. Power anything is not available on a model any lower than the GXE.
Performance & Handling
The 1995 Nissan Sentra does not aim to provide the greatest performance in the market. The 115-horsepower four-cylinder engine provides just enough power to move it along at a decent pace. It won't jump off the starting line, but the engine won't lag with a load either. It can cruise comfortably on the highway and doesn't lag going up hills with a full trunk and cabin. However, do not expect it to be able to do much passing on the highway, as it can struggle above 75 mph. Handling is a bit suspect as well. The steering is crisp and the car is extremely maneuverable, but the small wheels allow harsh road conditions or uneven roadways to push and pull the car. The suspension is solid, sometimes on the mushy side. Brakes are adequate, but the limited availability of antilock brakes is disappointing.
All models of the 1995 Nissan Sentra come equipped with driver and passenger front airbags as standard equipment. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are an available feature on the higher end GXE and GLE models but are not an option on the base or XE. It received four stars out of five for driver and passenger safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
EPA Fuel Economy
Nissan Sentra, 1.6-liter four-cylinder, four-speed automatic: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Nissan Sentra, 1.6-liter four-cylinder, five-speed manual: 26/36 mpg city/highway
- Great fuel economy
- Proven reliability
- Low sticker price
You Won't Like
- Lack of any comforts or amenities on low-end models
- Small tires allow for it to get pushed around
Competes in the crowded compact segment.
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