I recently test drove the 2020 Nissan Sentra SR CVT. The newly designed eighth generation is a fresh and crisp approach to this model. With an MSRP starting at $21,650 this car is gunning for top position in its class. Even on Nissan’s official site they boast how it compares to the 3 series BMW.
The highlights for me were the exterior design, this blows away all other generations of the Sentra. The interior is way nicer than the MSRP and overall this is a great commuter car. The car looks sharp, has a good mix of acceleration and gas mileage, it handles more like a sports car than a sedan and is fun to drive with plenty of space for 4 passengers.
The New Sporty look is great but does Nissan deliver on the driving experience? I say it does, all things considered. Acceleration was adequate for 149 horsepower and a 2.0 Liter 4 Cylinder DOHC engine. In my opinion It’s a good balance of efficiency and power. The handling is way better than previous generations of the Sentra. I believe Nissan will take some customers from other manufacturers and force a few to step up their game in the compact sedan class.
The redesign didn’t stop with the exterior. The Sentra cabin is comfortable and suitable for daily driving or a weekend getaway. I noticed the D shaped steering wheel right away. The seats are comfortable and everything is within reach. The steering wheel has controls that allow you to access a lot of vehicle information and entertainment.
One thing I really liked about the Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control was the vents. Especially considering my time with the Sentra was during record breaking Arizona heat. There is a lot of control over the direction of the vents which is something I value.
The entertainment center has an 8 inch color display and multi-touch control. There are 2 USB ports in the front and one in the back.
My test vehicle had the lighting package which has that cool factor and it also has some practical purposes too. It includes external ground lighting and internal ambient lighting. Friends commented on how much they liked it and I do too.
As previously mentioned, Nissan completely redesigned this 8th Generation Sentra. The V shape Grille flows naturally into the LED headlights . A lower, wider stance gives more of a sporty appearance and is also a reason it handles corners better than its predecessors. Nissan definitely took a bold, new direction on the exterior design. The SR version comes with 18 in Alloy wheels and the Black painted exterior (heated) mirrors look great in contrast with the White Exterior color.
Engine / Powertrain
The 2020 Nissan Sentra comes standard with a Front Wheel Drive 2.0-liter Direct Injection Gasoline™ (DIG) DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine on all versions. Combined with Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) the Engine produces 149 HP at 6,400 RPM. Nissan did well with the blend of power and efficiency. Active Grille Shutters open and close to assist with fuel efficiency and the Sentra gets 29 MPG City / 39 MPG Highway.
Nissan calls it’s safety feature package which comes standard on all Sentra. It’s a suite of 6 technologies combined to provide extra confidence. Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection monitors your speed and distance between you and the car ahead, and can let you know if you need to slow down.Blind Spot Warning helps keep an eye on the blind spot area and gives you a heads up if it detects a vehicle hiding there. Rear Cross Traffic Alert watches around the rear of your Sentra and can warn you about cars it detects creeping up on you from either side. You can read about the other three safety features here at the link below.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra redesign was from the ground up and it’s a huge leap from other generations. It’s a good car for the daily commute and might make traffic a little more bearable since it is fun to drive and handles better than the typical sedan. I think Nissan delivers on value higher than the MSRP and the features that are standard on all versions make the Sentra a serious competitor in the compact sedan class. There is a wealth of information on the official website including the consumer reports road test report. Follow the link below to compare versions and additional information.