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New Nissan Sentra Cars — San Francisco Area

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New 2016 Nissan Sentra

2016 Nissan Sentra Overview

New/Notable:
  • Refreshed for 2016 with new styling and improved cabin materials
  • Carryover engine with a revised CVT
  • Excellent value and new safety technology
Nissan is looking to change the fortunes of the Sentra compact sedan for 2016, hoping to give it enough changes so it can finally overcome the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

The most obvious updates are all found up front; everything forward of the windshield has been redesigned, including a new grille, hood, and headlights which are more aggressive and borrow their styling cues from the larger Altima and Maxima sedans. It’s a big improvement from the previous design which was a too conservative and made the Sentra blend in completely. There are also new wheel designs across the board, and updated taillight designs to complete the look. The SV trim features 16-inch alloy wheels, while moving up to the SR or SL adds 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, and LED running light accents.

Under the hood, the Sentra’s single engine option carries over – a 130-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The manual is only offered on the base S trim level; all other trims come with the CVT standard. For 2016, the CVT has been updated with a strange new feature – simulated gear changes that make it feel more like an automatic, based on feedback Nissan says they received from customers. When we drove the Sentra, it felt very artificial, but it will go unnoticed as you spend more time in the car. Fuel economy ratings are unchanged: 27/36 mpg city/highway for models with the manual and 29/38 mpg for those with the CVT. Nissan also offers a fuel economy oriented version of the S trim (FE+ S) that gets slightly better at 30/40 mpg.

Inside the Sentra also sees improvements – the new steering wheel is borrowed from the 370Z sports car and is much better to the touch (and sized better as well), there are upgraded materials on the dash and touchpoints along the doors, and the instrument panel gets a new LCD screen as well with higher resolution. SV and up trim levels also get a 5-inch touch-screen located in the center console to control the audio and infotainment functions. A power driver’s seat is also now available and the optional leather upholstery has been (thankfully) restyled; the front seats are more comfortable as well now and offer a little more support. Interestingly, while the new audio system does offer Siri Eyes free support for iPhone users, the system is missing Android Auto or Apple Car Play integration – two technologies that are increasingly in demand for new car shoppers. Bluetooth connectivity is standard.

Safety features also get a serious upgrade and the amount of technology that’s bleeding down into cars like the Sentra is impressive. Newly available for the Sentra are blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic braking. The Sentra won a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS for its performance in crash testing.
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