Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra is a compact car produced by Japanese automaker Nissan Motors; however, it sells under a different name in Japan. The Sentra once classified as a subcompact sedan, but Nissan has redesigned the car and increased the interior volume. Now the Nissan Sentra classifies in the United States as a midsize sedan.

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About the Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra earns a good reputation for its reliability and consistency. The ride; however, lacks a bit in the way of comfort. The suspension does not do its best job at dampening the bumps in the road, and the handling remains mediocre. This does not deter buyers, as they continue to make the Sentra a brisk seller. The two-liter, 140-horsepower engine saves money on fuel costs by helping the sedan average 34 mpg on the highway.

Nissan Sentra Features

The 2012 Nissan Sentra offers six trim levels with a healthy cache of standard features. The trims levels include: Base, 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, and SE-R. Nissan also offers an SE-R Spec V model. The SE-R Spec V model serves as a sporty version of the SE-R trim and it adds more power, larger brakes, higher-performance tires, and a stiffer suspension system. It comes with a good number of standard safety features and it receives four out of five stars for crash protection.

The interior of the 2012 Nissan Sentra offers plenty of space in the front seats, but it lacks legroom in the rear seats. The dashboard keeps things simple and easy to read and understand. The navigation system, however, consists of a small screen that may be difficult to see. The CVT produces a remarkable level of noise while driving and accelerating.

Nissan Sentra Evolution

The first generation of the Nissan Sentra arrived in the United States in May 1982 to replace the Datsun 210. It comes in four body styles, including a two-door sedan, four-door sedan, five-door wagon, and three-door hatchback coupe. It marks the second car to be marketed in the United States under the Nissan nameplate and with a model name instead of a number. The Sentra represents the first Nissan to use a front-engine, front drive layout and come equipped with a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, single overhead cam engine. It uses either a four-speed manual, five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission with a lock-up torque converter.

This generation has the same body styles as the first generation. The B12 Nissan Sentra chassis first saw production in 1985 in most parts of the world, but did not reach the U.S. until 1986. In 1989, Nissan made some minor changes to the body style to make the Sentra coupe and sedan larger. It also receives new headlights and taillights. Nissan moved the logo to the center of the front grille. In 1990, Nissan added safety features, such as electrically retracted front shoulder belts and three-point harnesses for the rear passengers.

The Sentra uses a standard fuel-injected, 110-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine. The available trims include the base model, E, XE, GXE, SE, and Limited Edition. The GXE and Limited Edition come with power accessories, and the XE, SE, and SE-R feature standard alloy wheels. The B13 Sentra SE-R marks the first car to receive Nissan's SR20DE engine, which produces 140 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 7.6 seconds and it comes outfitted with a MacPherson strut independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

In 1995, the Sentra changed from an independent rear suspension to a torsion beam suspension and employed a 1.6-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine and a Variable Intake Valve Timing Control System (NVTCS). It has the standard five-speed manual transmission and a fuel economy averaging 35 mpg highway. The available trims include Base, XE, GXE, GLE, SE, and SE Limited. Some of the available standard features include 13-inch steel wheels, vinyl seats, and rear headrests. Nissan offers a variety of optional packages that include features such as keyless entry, a rear spoiler, a moonroof, and a trunk pass-through.

The Sentra received a redesigned and re-launched in 2000. The upgrade caused the Sentra to change from a subcompact to a compact sedan. Previous Sentra models remain very similar to their Japanese-market B-series Nissan Sunny twins, but with the redesign, the B15 Sentra becomes its own sedan. The Sentra SE with the SR20DE Roller rocker motor, which produces 145 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque, marked the premier Sentra trim from 2000 to 2001; then the SE-R trim returned in 2002.

Nissan introduced the sixth generation Sentra at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January where it classified as a midsize sedan by the EPA, due to Nissan increasing the interior passenger and cargo volume to 110 cubic feet. The Sentra grows in every dimension from the previous models. The Sentra received a facelift in 2010 that consisted of replacing the grille, headlights, and taillights and revising the lower fascia. The truck features additional chrome trim and the sides have new moldings. New trim lines balance out the prices. Nissan also revamps the trims and options packages.

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