2015 Nissan Sentra SL Review By John Heilig
THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Reviewed Model: 2015 Nissan Sentra SL
Engine: 1.8-liter DOHC I-4
Horsepower/Torque: 130 hp @ 6,000 rpm/128 lb.-ft. @ 3,600 rpm
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Length x Width x Height: 182.1 x 69.3 x 58.9 in.
Cargo: 15.1 cu. ft. (rear seats up)
Economy: 30 mpg city/39 mpg highway/30.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gal
Curb Weight: 2,862 lbs.
Sticker: $23,660 (includes $810 destination, $3,210 options)
The Bottom Line: The Nissan Sentra is a capable small mid-size sedan. It did everything I asked of it. Handling is good, but the engine is somewhat noisy.
I must admit I was surprised when I read the Monroney label and discovered that the Nissan Sentra is classified as a mid-size sedan. Driving the Sentra, it feels more like a compact – a large compact to be sure. But the EPA classifies the Sentra as a mid-size, and who am I to argue with the EPA?
When people asked me about the Sentra my standard reply is that it a very good small car. There’s nothing outstanding about the Sentra, but there’s nothing outstandingly bad, either.
There is adequate power from the 1.8-liter inline four. Horsepower is listed at 130, and that’s about what it feels like. Since the Sentra only weighs 2,862 pounds, that isn’t a lot of metal to push around. However, the engine always emits a buzz, even when just cruising along. Nissan had added additional sound deadening this year, but it could use even more.
As with most CVT transmissions, shifting is smooth. The tranny gets the power to the front wheels well. The transmission has “ECO” and “Sport” modes.
Handling is good. I tried the Sentra on my two hillclimb handling courses and it passed both with flying colors. There is some lag accelerating out of tight corners, but that’s really only a problem if you’re racing.
The heated front seats are comfortable. There’s an arm rest/center console that is located almost too far back to be useful as an arm rest. It’s small, but it has 12-volt, USB and AUX plugs inside.
The flat rear seat has good leg and knee room, which may be why the EPA up-rated the Sentra. There’s good visibility in the back, and the grey upholstery and headliner contribute to an airy feeling. The pull-down arm rest in the rear has a pair of cupholders and it more practical than the one up front.
Interior surfaces are soft touch throughout, which gives a luxury impression. In addition, there is tasteful wood trim as well.
The key fob has a remote trunk release that leads to a good trunk. In addition, the rear seat backs fold to increase cargo capacity. The trunk has tie-downs to secure cargo, and although nthere is the capability, our tester had no cargo net.
The Audio system has the usual array of suspects, and the heater/air conditioner worked well and we used both in a week of crazy weather.
There are cupholders and water bottle spaces in the doors. I like the fact that the door pulls have bottoms, which makes them convenient for storing keys, a necessity with pushbutton start and stop.
A fairly standard tachometer-information panel-speedometer array comprises the instrument panel. The smart wheel has cruise control switches on the right and an assortment of con trolls on the left for audio, telephone and to scroll through the information panel menu.
Sentra is a fully capable compact car, I don’t care what the EPA says. While the engine is buzzy, it isn’t enough to detract from the general quality of the car.
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