While the Sentra might look like it can keep up with its sportier brethren, it simply can't deliver on what its body is promising. The base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine only provides 124 hp and 125 lb-ft while the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder only moderately improves on this, producing 188 hp and 177 lb-ft. With such limited power, the sedan takes a sluggish 10 seconds to reach 60 mph with the base engine, while the turbo takes a middling 7.5 seconds. However, its top speed of around 120 mph is comparable to the likes of the Nissan Versa or Toyota Corolla, even if they get there much quicker.
Front-wheel-drive is the standard here, as is a CVT automatic transmission, with a manual only available on the base S trim. Most rivals provide similar setups, but the Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza offer all-wheel-drive as well.
The Nissan Sentra offers a choice of two engines and two transmissions, but these are dependent on trim. The 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine provides 124 hp and 125 lb-ft when paired with the CVT gearbox, and a slightly higher 130 hp and 128 lb-ft when paired with the six-speed manual transmission. The 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides a significantly better 188 hp and 177 lb-ft. The weakness of the 1.8-liter is highlighted by its whines when pushed, meaning the 1.6-liter is the only real option if you don't want to feel like you're riding a three-legged moose. Overall, the engine and transmission setups supply enough power for day-to-day driving around town, assuming you're not in a rush to get anywhere, but overtaking on the highway will be a chore with the hamstrung acceleration on offer.
The Sentra S is available with either the six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT, while the SV, SR, and SL only offer a CVT. The S, SV, SR, and SL all come with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The SR-Turbo and Nismo are equipped with the stronger 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.
|Nissan Sentra Trims||Nissan Sentra Engines||Nissan Sentra Horsepower||Nissan Sentra Transmissions||Nissan Sentra Drivetrains||Nissan Sentra MPG/MPGE|
|S||1.8L Inline-4 Gas||124 hp @ 6000 rpm|
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
|FWD||30 MPG |
|SV||1.8L Inline-4 Gas||124 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||32 MPG|
|SR||1.8L Inline-4 Gas||124 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||32 MPG|
|SR Turbo||1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||188 hp @ 5600 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||29 MPG|
|SL||1.8L Inline-4 Gas||124 hp @ 6000 rpm||Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)||FWD||32 MPG|
Not missing the chance to be absolutely average yet again, the Sentra offers competitive but not outstanding fuel economy. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine has city/highway/combined consumption of 27/35/30 mpg with the six-speed manual gearbox while the CVT has a slightly better 29/37/32 mpg. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is a bit thirstier, managing only 27/33/29 mpg. With a 13.2-gallon tank, the ideal setup of the 1.8-liter engine and a CVT gearbox can achieve around 422 miles to a tank.
|Nissan Sentra Trims||S||SV||SR||SR Turbo||SL|
|Nissan Sentra Tank size||15.1 gal.||15.1 gal.||15.1 gal.||15.1 gal.||15.1 gal.|
|Nissan Sentra Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||27/35||29/37||29/37||27/33||29/37|