The Sentra is all-new for 2013. Looking a bit like a baby Altima.
But I am not sure it works. Squeezing the Altima design onto a smaller platform isn’t the best idea. It does look weird and heavy from some angles.
To make matter worse, my SR test car had horrible looking side skirts and spoilers.
Reminding me of a 1980’s Pontiac more than an all-new 2013 design.
And the horrible looking “Metallic blue” (No fancy names here) didn’t help.
My personal opinion: the new Sentra is one of the ugliest cars in its class.
Inside, things are much better. Even though there is quite a bit of wannabe carbon fiber plastic around in the SR version.
The dash design flows very nicely and is very pleasant to look at. Everything is solid and well made.
The Bose stereo sounds very good. The worse part is the seats. They are too flat to be comfortable. And the lower back is pushing you out too much.
As I mentioned before, the 1st thing I noticed was how rough and noisy the engine was when I picked the car up right after returning the smooth Jetta Hybrid.
It is not horrible, I mostly got used to it after a couple of days. Still, not as smooth and quiet as the previous generation.
I usually like Nissan CVTs, but not this one. It is exactly what people don’t like about CVT . Slow to react, the engine revs up but nothing much happens.
The car does feel slow.
The problem is mostly corrected by using the “sport” setting. (The switch is oddly placed under the dash to the left of the steering wheel). But then, the revs are really noisy. The Sentra is best driven as a slow car. Don’t push it (at all) and things are smooth and quiet enough.
The power train is really not as good as what you can find in the Jetta, Cruze or most of the competition. Plus, at idle, you do feel vibrations through the driver seat. You can even see the passenger seat shake a bit when empty. Not the best feeling…
The Sentra is rated at 30/38 MPG.
Which is pretty much what I got. And those are good numbers.
My test SR model with a few options (Driver package, GPS, Premium package) was about $22 500. Which is pretty average.
And that’s what you basically get. An average car. Which will be good enough for many. Over 200 000 people every year I am sure.
For me, I feel life is too short to drive cars like these on a regular basis....