2017 Nissan Sentra – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

SAMSUNG CSCThe Sentra Keeps It Simple

The typical lifestyle of a modern city civilian is Grab’n Go, and the small car perfectly fits. That’s not to say there’s no room for the more traditional approach to the compact sedan transportation. After all, it’s America we’re talking about, and it ain’t just food portions that’s supersized. With that said, the Nissan Sentra still leaves plenty of room for those that refuse to downsize.

Other than the new introduction of the SR Turbo, the 2017 Nissan Sentra has remained relatively the same while offered in 6 model in the for of S 6MT, S Xtronic, SV, SR and SL. Improvements and enhancements have also made it through all models that include better cabin noise insulation from thicker front and rear glass windshields and expanded capacity in the interior.

Modern Design Cues

Exterior styling is continuously polished to keep up with its more mature Altima and Maxima siblings within the sedan fleet. Despite the Sentra being in the bottom of the pack, there are plenty of good design cues. Standard on all models include a bold front fascia, grille, fenders, hood and signature boomerang-shaped headlights. LED low-beam headlights with LED signature accents are offered on Sentra SR and Sentra SL grades. The boomerang-shaped rear tail lights give a nice flare of excitement; though slightly ruined by knowingly a copy cat of the Lexus design books.

Looks of athleticism is elevated with the Sentra SR model with the help of larger 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher.

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There’s not much happening on the inside and the overall grade is in a get’r done mentality. Seating material is kept with simple leather and the overall interior is decorated with miles of cheaper grade plastic. There is a 11.7″ infotainment display for all your media and navigation needs, but the user interface and responsiveness could be improved.

The Drive

All models across the standard Sentra line gets a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with the option of mating to a Xtronic transmission with sub-planetary gearbox or a 6-speed manual transmission in the S and SR Turbo model. The SR Turbo model comes with slightly higher tech in the powertrain side with a 1.6L direct injection turbo charged gasoline engine, and that produces 188 horsepower and 177 lb.ft of torque. Design upgrades have also made it into the 2017 model with
integrated stabilizer bars in the rear suspensions, and incorporating high frequency shock absorbers for added ride comfort and handling.

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It takes a bit of waiting to get the Sentra to react, and the 6 speed manual transmission is generally pretty slow to respond, but the overall clutch and gear engagement has a very good and solid feel, which adds to the driving enthusiasm category. That; however, doesn’t correlate well with its handling capability. There’s not much aspects of performance when cornering and the steering precision and grip doesn’t inspire confidence in this realm. At 188 horsepower, there’s not much to expect anyways, but the 6 speed manual transmission available in the S and SR Turbo model gives you more finer control throughout its power band. Ride comfort is decent, but is more or less for what you expect from a lower tier compact sedan.

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Its lower 188 horsepower output is compromised by a scoring excellent fuel efficiency of 31/39 mpg in the city and highway respectively. Our overall road test scored in at 29 mpg for mixed city and highway driving over the course of a week.

The SR Turbo price tag on our tester comes in at $26,898 and that includes the 1.6L direct injected turbo charged engine, 6-speed manual transmission, vented front disc brakes, upgraded independent rear strut suspensions and torsional rear beam axle and integrated rear stabilizer bar.

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Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Nissan Sentra
  • Model : Nissan Sentra SR Turbo
  • Vehicle Type : Compact Sedan
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3
  • Powertrain Configuration : FWD
  • Engine : 1.6L Direct Injected Turbo Charged Engine
  • Transmission : 6 speed manual
  • Fuel Economy: 30/34/39 mpg city, highway, and combined

Pros

  • Modern styling
  • Engaging driving experience
  • Excellent fuel economy

Cons

  • Cheap quality plastic interior
  • Basic ride quality