Saturday, August 09, 2014

Nissan Sentra Test Drive

 The Sentra is one of these cars you really don't notice around.
Actually, just like most compact sedans, Like the Civic, Corolla etc...
So I must admit, I wasn't too exited to be getting one for a whole week.

It looks fine. Nothing original or ugly either. Pretty much like a smaller Altima.

 Same thing inside. There is nothing wrong. But also nothing you remember.

Everything is well finished. (The doors feel surprisingly solid when you close them.)
It is comfortable and pleasant.
(Although, for my taste, there is just too much fake wood everywhere.)
The Bose stereo in my test car (SL) sounded very good. (Although not as goos as VW's Fender system.)
The one thing that bothered me was the seating position. Which in its lowest setting, still felt too high for me.
 At first, it really felt like a "gutless wonder". The combination of 130 engine and CVT transmission isn't going to be much fun.
But once you give up on going fast. You realize how smooth and quiet everything is.

Like... Like a car for old people.
This was almost a revelation. The Sentra works great as a car for older people looking for a compact sedan.
Everything is better when you don't push it.
Even the fake wood makes sense now! Even the higher seating position.

So after a couple of days, I started seeing the car for what it really is.
Very quiet, smooth, solid. Nothing looks or feels too modern.

They might not want to say it, but the Sentra is a perfect car for older people.
(Which is at odd with their TV adds)

It's more like a small Camry. It does everything very well. If you're not trying to push it.

So in that sense, I have to give it credit. A conservative car for an older, more conservative crowd.
With just enough tech so older folks won't feel too "out of the loop".

(It would be interesting to find out what the actual demographic for this car is.)

My SL test car was pretty loaded, except for leather seats. And it was still just $22 630.
Including sunroof, Nav, Bose etc...

This is really good. Pretty much the same as a base Altima. For a car that is still roomy enough for most people.


Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but almost all cars are for old people these days. Everything is ultra-quiet, boring, dopey looking, automatic transmission, soft, compliant and cushy dominates, and the colors aren’t vibrant, but rather drab. Am no 20 something any more, but I am so turned off by almost new cars that I really almost don’t want to buy a thing until I have to due to a breakdown. It’s all a bunch of boring garbage.

Vince Burlapp said...

Unfortunately, I agree...

Anonymous said...

What confuses me the most is Nissan knows they have a vanilla Corolla fighter but still refuses to market a SE-R model for enthusiasts. Even Honda is very low key with the present Civic SI. Yet VW is showing off Golf R's and GTI's in hopes that people just buy a Golf, regardless of the trim level. Have the Japanese given up on small performance sedans?

Anonymous said...

It looks nice on the road, and if it is refined, as you are suggesting Vince, that is icing on the cake. It is an econobox after all. And you do not have to be an old fart to appreciate a quiet cabin especially if you commute to work and you do not live with your parents....

Anonymous said...

Used to be a huge Nissan enthusiast. Not anymore.So sad at what they've become.

Anonymous said...

These may appeal to elderly people, but at the end of the day a company is known for the products they produce. Nissans mainstream sedans are all mediocre. The Sentra is a brand new design but is clearly outdated and completely outgunned by the competition. The Altima used to be the sporty alternative to the Camry, but today is nearly as frumpy as the Camry. The Maxima is, well, truly sad.

On a positive note, they have the Rogue and the GT-R as a halo. But that's about it today.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Nissan is building mediocre cars and it still sells a shitload of them.

Anonymous said...

looooove Nissan, selling well, that means something and they are beautiful and well built. why am i saying this, because I am the proud owner of the all new rogue. it's my third nissan btw.

JeiThom said...

I've seen a lot of loaded Sentras with nice wheel/tires & LED lights. And the interior is ridiculously spacious. Though b/c most people won't stop by a dealership & sit in a copy, they really won't know what they're missing. It's an understated small car that does its job keeps quiet.

I did want a Maxima years ago, but it seems Nissan has forgotten about. You can option it with powered rear shades & some other lessor-known lux bits...but it's just gotten old. It's still a hoot to drive though when optioned with the larger wide wheels & the exhaust sounds great too. But as the Altima keeps getting larger, whats to happen with the Maxima? Turbo V6, AWD, slicker fascias I hope.