The Nissan Sentra has been a mainstay of the compact-car segment for 35 years and seven generations. Unfortunately, today’s model is not really one of the class leaders.
Massively upping the fun factor, Nissan just revealed its new Sentra SR Turbo model here at the Miami Auto Show. This pint-sized bruiser is powered by a pumped-up 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. With a turbocharger, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing onboard, it delivers an impressive 188 horses along with 177 lb-ft of peak torque. Power is up by 50 percent compared to run-of-the-mill Sentras, so yeah, it should be pretty quick.
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In typical Nissan fashion, a continuously variable automatic transmission is offered, but proving it understands the performance market, a six-speed manual gearbox will be offered for purists who still prefer rowing their own.
ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Sentra Review
Aside from the power boost, engineers enhanced numerous other parts of the car to ensure it’s ready to handle that generous stable of horses.
The body structure has been bulked up in the cowl area, its steering system retuned for less effort at low speeds and more feedback on twisting roads, the front springs are 10 percent stiffer and the dampers at all four corners have been retuned, though it remains to be seen how much more fun this chassis will provide since it still features an antiquated torsion beam at the rear.
Improving the SR Turbo’s refinement, engineers increased the thickness of its window glass for a quieter interior. They also improved in-cabin storage space by making the center console nearly twice as large.
As for creature comfort, this car features a standard power-sliding moonroof, LED low-beam headlamps and accent lights, plus keyless entry with push-button ignition.
Dressing things up are unique sill extensions, a rear spoiler with an integrated CHMSL – that is, a center high-mounted stop lamp – and unique 17-inch wheels with all-season tires.
So, there you go. That’s a quick look at the new Nissan Sentra SR Turbo. It looks like a great update to this otherwise aging small car. I look forward to testing it in the coming months, which is when it should go on sale. Pricing information has not been made available at this time.
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