2016 Nissan Sentra SR: A Name Plate That Lasts

February 6, 2016 Updated: February 7, 2016

The first Sentra was introduced in 1982, and it has since then spanned 7 generations and over 34 years with 4 million sales in the U.S. alone. Of those last 10 years, 93 percent are still on the road. Reason: remarkable endurance. There has been a 91.2 percent sales growth since 2012, with over 200,000 units sold last year alone.

Sentra has a new design language called “Energetic Flow,” which calls for some major outside design changes. Examples are a new hood, new fenders, V-Motion grille, and “Boomerang” headlights, making up an attractive front fascia. A new rear fascia with strong lines gives Sentra a bold, attractive look.

The newly refreshed 17-inch alloy wheels design and tail lamps add a new aesthetic look to the fascia.

The Sentra energy is powered by a 1.8 L 4-cylinder engine coupled with Xtronic CVT or 6-speed automatic transmission. All these things help the Sentra in delivering an estimated 29-city/38-highway/32-combined mpg (with the CVT), making the Sentra very competitive in the compact segment. Yet, the Sentra barely does have adequate acceleration.

The new Sentra has many things to ensure occupants comfort. The six-way power adjustable driver’s seat (soft seat fabrics) with 2-way power lumbar support hangs in there for the long haul, helping to keep the driver relaxed and comfortable.

The interior looks sporty and exciting in tone.

There is great rear seat leg room of 37.4 inches, while the trunk could hold most of northern California. The interior looks sporty and exciting in tone, while the front console establishes and encourages access to all the conveniently located technology.

Sentra’s steering was near perfect. It was easier to place the vehicle on the road and through turns with the electronic steering system. Body control was enhanced through re-tuned suspension with revised springs and damper tuning, noticeable especially on rough roads.

The absolute best feature was the improved interior quietness. Re-tuned engine mountings allow less engine noise to be transmitted into the cabin. The dash appeared heavily insulated, floor carpet was denser, and door trim tight because of the use of special design materials. The acoustic windshield sandwiches a special layer in the laminated glass that acts as an additional sound barrier, adding to the quiet of the interior.

Sentra engineers created the Advanced Drive Assist Display. This 5-inch TFT LCD color display in the middle of the cluster gives at a glance, important driver information such as turn-by-turn directions, safety information, fuel statics, caller ID, and multimedia. It is easy to use, understandable, and customizable. However, I would have preferred a little larger screen.

There is a $1,230 Technology Package that includes NissanConnect Services. This feature provides emergency contact assistance, plus remote access through your smart phone to find, lock, unlock, flash lights, and sound the horn. You can even have it track maintenance alerts.

Another notable options package is the SR Premium Package for $2,590. This is a little expensive, but it includes a celestial assembly of sound, safety, entertainment and comfort features like the leather seats, power sliding moonroof, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, Bose Premium Audio System with eight speakers, and auto-dimming rearview mirror, all doing their job.

The MSRP is $20,410 for the SR. Load up on options and you have a fully-featured SR for a little over $25,000.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@sbcglobal.net