The Sentra has been one of Nissan’s longest-running nameplates, but the last generation of the iconic name ran for a little too long. Thankfully Nissan decided to give its highest selling sedan a makeover before the year was out. The new 2020 Sentra gets an overall redesign and now sports the family grille like the Versa and the Maxima. Unlike a lot of manufacturers, Nissan is betting big on the sedan market and it is evident in the Sentra. It now comes with a single powertrain option of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT gearbox. The manual transmission has been given the miss altogether. All the mechanicals and the interiors however have received significant updates. For example, the steering is now speed-sensitive and it’s more spacious than before.
The cabin materials have received a significant update as well. The leather upholstery looks like it’s from a segment above and it also comes with a host of safety features as standard. The prices for the Sentra start from $19,090 for the S variant and go up to $21,430. In the US market, the Sentra rivals other established nameplates like Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte.
Pros/ Great color palette / Premium upholstery / Zero Gravity seats
Cons/Joy-sapping CVT / Sad-sack base model infotainment / A turbocharged Spec-V would be cool
Bottom Line/The new 2020 Sentra is worthy of being a serious contender among the Corolla and the Civic
Table of contents
Nissan Sentra Pricing
With the Sentra, Nissan has kept things rather simple. It is available in three variants only, namely, the S, SV and SR priced at $19,090, $20,270 and $21,430 respectively. The base S variant is $410 more expensive than the outgoing base model but now comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a CVT gearbox as standard along with a host of standard safety features as well.
Nissan Sentra Features
Compared to the old Sentra, and even some of its competition, the cabin of the new Sentra seems to be in a league of its own. The interior has received a significant update in terms space, materials and convenience features. The list is exhaustive and can be confusing at times but we will try to keep it as simple as possible. The S variant is clearly the most bare-bones. It comes with cloth seats, no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but still you do get Nissan’s 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system from the outgoing Sentra.
You do, however, get the whole safety suite that Nissan has made standard across the Sentra lineup. The safety suite includes, apart from the standard airbags and traction control and such and such, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, rear auto braking, and lane-departure warning system.
The leatherette seats are limited to the top of the line SR variant only but can be had with the SR variant as part of the premium package which is $2,460 extra. The SV and SR variants also get the electrically adjustable front seats as optional extras, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and an 8.0-inch multitouch infotainment touchscreen system. The Bose 8-speaker system though is optional on the SR trim only.
Nissan Sentra Recommended Trim
The best among the lot and our recommendation would be the SR variant without the premium package. Priced at $20,270, the SV trim comes with heated side mirrors, stout cloth seats, the 8.0-inch infotainment system, and a bucketful of USB ports plus keyless ignition.
Nissan Sentra vs Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is a true blue no-nonsense city commuter and it makes no claims of being anything else. It is a car that is spacious, with a good quality cabin and enough space to ferry four people around in comfort. The design of the new-gen Corolla is striking and quite youthful and the bulletproof reliability is unparalleled. The only challenge it faces is that it is a rather common sight on the road. It is the sensible choice but not for someone who is looking to stand out in a crowd, criteria, the Sentra can hope to fulfill.
Nissan Sentra vs Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is the segment leader and has been so for time immemorial. The sheer number of trims and body styles available with the nameplate sing volumes about the confidence Honda has on its Civic brand. So the Sentra does have an uphill fight on its hands, especially with just one powertrain option. But its superior interior quality, the standard safety equipment, and a lower starting price should work in the Sentra’s favor.
Nissan Sentra vs Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai has always stood out from the competition thanks to the features it offers at a lower price compared to the other cars in its segments. And the Elantra is no exception. It does skimp on the premium factor compared to the Sentra but is still a solid choice of car for anyone looking for a feature-rich sedan on a budget.
|Engine /||2.0L 4-cylinder|
|Transmission /||Continuously variable automatic|
|Fuel Economy (mpg) /||29 city, 39 highway, 33 combined (S, SV); 28 city, 37 highway, 32 combined (SR)|
|Price Range /||$19,090 - $21,430|
Our Final Verdict
Nissan sold almost 174,000 Sentras in 2019 alone which made it one of Nissan’s bestselling models this year. And this was despite the current model’s ageing design and lackluster feature list. The new Sentra gets significant updates to its design profile and its feature list. It now boasts of a new infotainment system and a host of safety features as a standard which combined with a premium and upmarket interior makes a compelling case for the car. The CVT only powertrain might dampen the spirits of a few buyers but anyone looking for a striking, spacious and feature-rich sedan can consider the Sentra as a key contender.3.5