Lengthy an also-ran, right this moment’s Sentra is healthful and surprisingly trendy.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

It has been a very long time because the Nissan Sentra might be thought-about not only a “cool automotive,” however a genuinely good automotive. Fortunately, the parents contained in the Japanese automaker have hashed out a successful method with putting seems, a lofty options checklist and a cushty bundle with worth in addition. Some rivals could have an edge right here or there, however by and huge, the Sentra is squarely again within the sport.

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Fairly trendy in its personal rightSeriously comfy seats for lengthy drivesLots of options for a good value

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Scatterbrained transmissionDated infotainment

There’s one thing inherently charming about this little compact. Proper from the beginning, the 2021 Nissan Sentra oozes an attraction all its personal. It would not appear to be one other engaging automotive, the sedan is solely its personal factor. If something, there’s numerous mini-Maxima happening right here, somewhat than shrunken Altima, which I feel is an excellent factor. Nissan’s V-Movement grille sits proudly up entrance with chrome and black accents connecting to edgy headlights. This Sentra SR trim boasts the non-obligatory Premium Bundle, which amongst options we’ll speak about later, provides sharp LED headlamps and premium daytime working lights, too. At evening, they provide numerous perspective, and my tester even sports activities underglow lights. Sure, like, manufacturing unit stuff straight out of a Quick and Livid flick. The non-obligatory lighting bundle tosses some white lights beneath, which look actually nice paired with this tester’s two-tone Electrical Blue Metallic and black paint scheme.

Out again, household ties to the Altima are extra clear with the same taillight therapy, although the Sentra nonetheless rocks its personal look with a widened stance and this SR trim’s sportier single exhaust outlet. A small spoiler continues to flirt with the food regimen Quick and Livid attraction, and 18-inch alloy wheels assist fill the fashionable profile in.

These seems do not essentially translate to sporty efficiency, however the Sentra’s wholly able to serving as a stupendous each day driver. Beneath the hood is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four engine matched with Nissan’s XTronic repeatedly variable transmission, which incorporates simulated “shifts” to assist drivers attempt to neglect it isn’t a CVT. It is not fooling anybody, I promise. In reality, I discovered CVT to be the bottom level of the Sentra’s whole bundle whereas zipping round. From a cease, the XTronic invitations a surge of low-end torque. Whereas snappy, the momentum created can really feel like a case of the cart getting forward of the horse. The “shift factors” stay scattered, too. Embrace the CVT and let it rev, I say. In any other case, the inline-four hums alongside with out complaints and returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg metropolis, 37 mpg freeway and 32 mpg mixed. The engine’s 149 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque are greater than able to scooting the compact sedan round.

Driving the Sentra stays clean with regards to dealing with, too, due to a brand new multilink impartial rear suspension and shocking sure-footed traits when cornering. The steering surprises as nicely, with a pure weighted really feel. The Honda Civic and Mazda3 cater extra to fanatic drivers, however the Sentra is not certain to the rental lot anymore, buddies.

Pleasingly helpful, however with a modicum of fashion.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

Plopping down inside reveals one ace up the Sentra’s sleeve — actually as you sit down. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are silly cozy and superb for lengthy stints behind the wheel. The inside’s additionally dressed up appropriately within the SR trim with some fake carbon fiber accents, contrasting orange stitching and mushy supplies the place your palms usually relaxation within the cockpit. The flat-bottom steering wheel can also be a pleasant contact and feels at residence right here.

What I like in regards to the Sentra’s inside is how easy it’s. Sure, the Hyundai Elantra wows with an enormous show display screen and digital gauges, however you recognize what? Bodily buttons and analog gauges nonetheless work, they usually work rather well within the Sentra. Every little thing sits inside attain and designers laid all of the controls out in easy style.

There are a few screens to maintain up with the tech style. In between the 2 gauges within the cluster is a 7-inch driver-information display screen that showcases important info clearly, whereas an 8-inch touchscreen on the SR trim handles infotainment duties. The infotainment seems a tad dated and it would not evaluate to sexier shows like within the aforementioned Elantra, nevertheless it works fairly nicely, save for the occasional enter lag. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired) come alongside for the journey, as do baked-in SiriusXM and Bluetooth capabilities. Crank the amount knob and audio funnels by way of an non-obligatory six-speaker Bose audio system. It is an enough improve for individuals who wish to jam behind the wheel, however do not anticipate home-theater-like crispness.

The worth-laden 2021 Nissan Sentra has obtained your again, Jack.

Nissan

Preserving with modern-day tech, Nissan’s Security Defend 360 stories for responsibility as commonplace gear on all Sentras. Automated emergency braking, blind-spot alerts and the standard slew of active-safety gear are all current and accounted for. The out there 360-degree digital camera protection can also be a pleasant bonus for the section. Gladly, these options all work nicely, too — I noticed no hiccups whereas driving the sedan round city and on the freeway. The SR trim additionally consists of non-obligatory adaptive cruise management which will get A-OK marks from me. I did not expertise a single challenge throughout its time energetic.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra makes a powerful case for itself, and never as a result of it merely ticks numerous containers compact automotive consumers search for. With this tester’s $25,910 value after a $925 vacation spot cost, the Sentra SR will not depart you eager for extra gear. Extra inside type? Perhaps, however Nissan’s compact automotive lastly feels prefer it has some character once more to go along with its sturdy worth play. And as SUVs proceed to reign supreme, why not be a bit extra of an individualist and go along with a sedan?

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