Santa Monica, California—If the car did die in the United States, Nissan has yet to get a memo. In 2020, Nissan Sentra is about to reach dealers with the same brand new Versa. Just last year, Nissan refurbished the Maxima and launched the sixth-generation mid-size Altima. This is happening as sales of four-door cars continue to decline, and some brands are eliminating cars to focus on hot crossovers.
Although Sentra is the best-selling model ever made by an automaker, and Nissan has sold more than 200,000 units a year since 2015, it ’s kind to say that the previous generation of home sheet metal, plastic interiors and a weak 1.8-liter The engine was uninspired. This time, things are different. The new-generation, eighth-generation compact sedan looks, drives, and feels like Nissan’s design and engineering team is proud of their work.
For starters, it no longer looks like it was designed in the dark. With a ruler. Like Altima and the new Versa, Sentra now adopts most of the styles of the current Maxima introduced since 2016. not quite. A bit busy tasting? Maybe. But it’s not boring, and thankfully it loses all of its vertical narrowness and fluffy proportions.
There is no doubt that it is full of power, the new appearance has widened the car by 2.2 inches, the roof has been lowered by 2.0 inches, and the wheelbase has been extended by half an inch.
Its height is 182.7 inches, which is also about half an inch longer than before, but it is still nearly 10 inches shorter than Altima. Nissan even offers two two-tone options that can paint the top Super Black for the most popular effects currently available.
In addition, great efforts have been made to upgrade Sentra’s interior. The driver’s seat is a bit lower than before, providing a more sporty driving position, and a thick flat-bottom steering wheel is standard. Its new seat is more comfortable and has more radical support.
The rear seat space remains unchanged and still lags behind the Honda Civic, a luxury sedan of this class, with its trunk reduced from 15.1 cubic feet to 14.3 cubic feet. This is bigger than the Toyota Corolla’s trunk, but smaller than the Civic. 60/40 split folding rear seats are standard.
All materials have also been fundamentally improved. Dash is no longer a black plastic ocean, and its new design has knurled climate control knobs and round air-conditioning vents, just like if you were on a Mercedes or Kia Stinger. The basic Sentra S comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen, while the SV and SR have 8-inch units. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the series. The only internal fault is the car’s foot parking brake, which is outdated even at this price.
The 2020 Sentra now features a separate rear suspension on the new platform. Only devices sold in China can cause the beam axis to disrupt the recent Sentras’ handling, driving, and response.
Stephen Soley, Nissan’s project development manager, began adjusting the 2020 Sentra from early 2017. “From an overall control perspective, we aimed at Honda Civic.” “But from a noise, vibration, and harsh perspective, for those goals, we focused on Volkswagen Golf.”
There is also a new steering system, which is standard on all three interior levels. This is the first Sentra to use a dual-gear electric power steering system in Altima. It improves steering effort at higher speeds, which improves feedback and control.
Despite the heavy workload around town, it feels good when pushing a car through corners and has the same steering speed as the Altima at 15.3: 1. Solly said that this is also for golf, and the steering feel has improved fundamentally.
Chassis hardware and adjustments are the same in all respects, with a few exceptions. The basic Sentra S is equipped with a 9-inch rear drum brake, while the SV and SR have four-wheel brake discs with exhausted 10-inch rotors on the rear wheels. Wheels and all-season tires are specific to trim levels. The Sentra S and SV use 16-inch rubber (17-inch tires are provided on the SV), while the SR is 18s.
Our SR test bike, riding on 215 / 45R18 Hankook Kinergy GT tires, showed impressive grip and responsiveness on the hills above Malibu, California. Although 61% of the SV’s 3,084 pounds are in the front, the Sentra’s sense of balance and understeer are mild.
The active understeer control system gently applies the internal front brakes when cornering, is standard on all trim levels, and conducts business in stealth. Although its braking performance is satisfactory inside and outside the city, the pedal action is still a bit mushy.
Sentra’s aggressive chassis adjustments will surprise some. With a 22.2 mm front swing bar and a 26.5 mm rear swing bar, this class of products has a very high roll stiffness and is very sturdy. With 18-inch tires, it’s comfortable to ride, but definitely sportier than plush. Sentra has a new lower center of gravity and a wider 2.4-inch track, and when you toss it around, especially at faster full-open corners, it absorbs bumps in the middle of the corners well, so it feels Stable and stable. The interior is delicate and elegant, but not too isolated.
“The outgoing Sentra is not the most exciting, so we want to overcompensate by adding performance and personality,” Soley said.
Engine displacement and power also increased. Each Sentra now gets the same naturally aspirated all-aluminum DOHC 2.0-liter continuously variable transmission as the Rogue Sport.
Compared to last year’s 1.8-liter engine, the engine has 149 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 146 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine generates 20% more power and 17% more torque. In addition, it is smoother at mid-range power between 3,000 rpm and 5,000 rpm.
In order to obtain greater impact, Nissan also shortened the final transmission ratio of Sentra from 3.517: 1 to 5.250: 1, and readjusted the CVT to improve response speed. It will no longer make you beg for downshifting, and although it is still a rubber band, its gear changes are more natural than ever. Sport mode enhances the engine’s throttle response and readjusts the gearbox to maintain a lower transmission ratio for longer periods with partial throttle.
Unfortunately, CVTs are still an interesting killer in cars that could have been classified dynamically and well. At full throttle, it upshifts each virtual gear at 5800 rpm, well below the engine’s 6400 rpm peak power or 6600 rpm redline. In the hills, the timing of its ratio change is poor. Manual control of the “gears” can help, but there is neither a paddle shifter nor a manual door. A six-speed manual will be available for the Sentra S in Canada and Mexico, but not in the United States.
Despite the larger engine, more power, and an average weight gain of about 150 pounds, Sentra’s EPA fuel economy is estimated to be about the same as last year-29 miles per gallon city and 39 mpg on the highway. SR’s additional 44-pound tires and 18-inch tires reduced these numbers to 28 mpg cities and 37 mpg highways.
The base price of the Sentra S is now $ 20,015, which is only $ 400 more than last year. The price of the SV is $ 21,195, which is a better price, while the price of the SR is $ 22,355. For just $ 25,325, our load-loaded SR test car comes with two-tone paint and Premium Package, which includes a sunroof, heated seats, and heated steering wheel.
Each interior level is equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning for steering wheel vibration, high beam assist system and automatic rear braking.
According to Nissan Motor Corporation, the car has sold more than 6 million units in the U.S. since 1982, and 78% of U.S. drivers without cars will consider buying one, and that number jumped to 18 86% between the ages of 34. Of course, if current market trends continue, most consumers will buy SUVs.
But for those who do think the sedan is right for them, the all-new 2020 Nissan Sentra is worth a try. There is undeniable evidence that Nissan can still make attractive small cars when needed.