Last post on Nov 03, 2012 at 7:10 PM
You are in the Nissan Sentra
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Sentra, Future Vehicle, Sedan
#10 of 12 Re: '13 Sentra Released Today in US [dodgeman07]
Nov 02, 2012 (8:20 am)
Likely it will be the larger interior (esp. back seat) and upscale interior bits that will pull people in.
Probably won't be the ride/drive. C/D savaged that in their review. Praised the interior trim (compared it to an Infiniti) but complained about steering feel, ride, acceleration etc. They even said the new car felt less solid than the old one. And FE was poor (24 mpg average) but they noted they trash cars. Still, 24 mpg is not a good omen.
We'll probably see a LOT of these on rental car lots. Which is fine with me, will probably make a decent rental. I already get Sentra rentals a lot. Not something I'd want to own, based on what I know now.
#11 of 12 Test drive
Nov 03, 2012 (9:42 am)
I drove a 2013 Sentra SV today while at my local Nissan dealership for maintenance on my 2010 Sentra 2.0S (oil/filter, inspections, tire rotation, hand wash + interior vacuum = $14.99, suchadeal). Here's my impressions:
* Steering feel is improved over the old Sentra. The disconnected steering feel was my #1 gripe about the old Sentra, and I was glad to see Nissan addressed this. The main difference I found was, driving down the highway, the car tracked straight without constant inputs from me--much firmer feel than before.
* Fuel economy also seems improved, albeit it was not a long test drive. However, I averaged 38.8 mpg per the computer on a mix of suburban streets (with some stop and go) and a freeway driving at ~60 mph. I used my usual light foot, keeping revs as low as possible. At 60, they were a bit over 1500 rpm, about the same as on my 2010. I have no doubt that with a light foot, the EPA numbers can be met if not exceeded. However, with the low power and torque, I expect that those with a heavier foot could have trouble hitting the EPA numbers.
* Power was... well, let's just say the couple times I did push it, there was a lot of noise and not much action. Since I am easy on the pedal, that wouldn't be an issue for me, but could be for others.
* Cabin was quiet while cruising on the highway, with only thumps from tar strips etc. intruding. Engine was muted, as long as you're cruising and not accelerating.
* Ride seemed a little firmer than on my 2010. That showed up in less body lean in cloverleafs and turns (good), and noticing small bumps more (bad). Overall I think the new ride is a good tradeoff, as I think the old Sentra leans too much.
* The interior is well-executed overall, especially the dash which I think is one of the nicest looking in the class, and door panels with rich-looking pulls and REALLY thick armrest cushions--elbows appreciated them! Plusses include a more flexible multi-display with a handy control on the steering wheel, nicely padded dash, and a good-looking and feeling wheel. But Nissan ditched some features I like on the old Sentra, such as the clever adjustable cup holders, the HUGE glove box, and the simple and large tri-rotary HVAC controls (replaced by two small knobs and several buttons). Also, on the SV there's no iPod plug as on my 2010 S, just an aux input. The radio is really basic compared to some competitors, with a small display. And, no Bluetooth on this nearly $19,000 car, unlike several competitors for similar bucks.
* Driving position and comfort were acceptable but not great. The seat didn't feel as comfortable as in my 2010--I felt as if I were sitting ON the seat vs. IN the seat. But thigh support was OK, and the wheel seemed to telescope further than on my 2010. Fabric (kind of a velour) seemed durable and was grippy.
* Back seat leg room is improved over the old Sentra, with plenty of knee room in my sit-behind-myself test (I'm 5'9"), but my feet were stopped by the seat bottom earlier than I'd like, so I didn't have as much thigh support as I wanted. Headroom was fine for me in back. Nice cushy armrests back there as up front. A couple of odd cut-outs in the back of the center console that didn't seem to be good for holding anything, but more like "let's fill these holes with cutouts vs. covers".
* Exterior-wise, I thought the car (in dark grey) looked good, more upscale than the rather odd looking old Sentra. The descriptions of a baby Altima are apt I think. The LED driving lamps and tail lamps look cool. The plastic wheel covers aren't as good looking as those on my 2010, but they're good enough to not make me shell out the extra bucks for alloys. Also, Nissan addressed another gripe I had on the old Sentra: the exterior mirrors fold now!
* Trunk looked roomy, with an honest-to-goodness spare tire (space-saver type) under the cover. And there's a remote trunk release now (yay!). But one big let-down compared to my 2010: the back seat bottom doesn't fold forward to provide a flat load floor as on my 2010. Instead, the seatback simply flops forward, with a big step-up between the trunk and seat back. The seat backs are relatively flat, at least. A bit of cost-cutting there (maybe weight-cutting too). I really liked the fold-flat feature and it was pretty rare in this class of sedans--usually only see it on hatchbacks, and then not many hatchbacks.
Overall, I think it's an improvement over the previous Sentra. Should get excellent fuel economy when driven with a light foot, steering is improved, nice looking car inside and out, and Nissan addressed some of my gripes from the previous generation. But I don't think it will be any fun to drive (not that the old Sentra is fun to drive, but I'm looking for something more fun to drive for my next car). And the biggest problem for me is, it doesn't come in a hatchback (duh). Since I can get a more-fun-to-drive hatch with excellent fuel economy for about the same money as the Sentra, and with some features not on the Sentra SV such as Bluetooth and USB port, I think I'll pass on this one.
#12 of 12 Re: Test drive [backy]
Nov 03, 2012 (7:10 pm)
Nice review. Thank you. The SL interior looks straight out of an Infiniti. Gorgeous and best in class IMO.
I'm not sold on CVTs yet but they are getting better and better.