2021 Nissan Sentra review: Not a benchwarmer, not quite a benchmark

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Lengthy an also-ran, present-day Sentra is healthful and incredibly stylish.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

It is really been a extended time since the Nissan Sentra could be viewed as not just a “great motor vehicle,” but a genuinely good motor vehicle. Luckily, the people inside of the Japanese automaker have hashed out a winning system with striking appears to be, a lofty capabilities record and a at ease package deal with value to boot. Some rivals may well have an edge here or there, but by and big, the Sentra is squarely back in the sport.


  • Fairly stylish in its individual right
  • Severely at ease seats for extended drives
  • Loads of capabilities for a truthful price tag

Will not Like

  • Scatterbrained transmission
  • Dated infotainment

There is certainly some thing inherently charming about this small compact. Suitable from the start out, the 2021 Nissan Sentra oozes an enchantment all its individual. It would not look like a different beautiful motor vehicle, the sedan is simply just its individual thing. If something, you can find a large amount of mini-Maxima likely on here, instead than shrunken Altima, which I believe is a quite good thing. Nissan’s V-Movement grille sits proudly up front with chrome and black accents connecting to edgy headlights. This Sentra SR trim offers the optional High quality Package deal, which between capabilities we are going to converse about later, provides sharp LED headlamps and premium daytime functioning lights, far too. At night time, they provide a large amount of angle, and my tester even sporting activities underglow lights. Indeed, like, factory stuff straight out of a Rapid and Furious flick. The optional lighting package deal tosses some white lights beneath, which look truly fantastic paired with this tester’s two-tone Electric powered Blue Metallic and black paint scheme.

Out back, loved ones ties to the Altima are extra clear with a very similar taillight treatment, nevertheless the Sentra nonetheless rocks its individual look with a widened stance and this SR trim’s sportier single exhaust outlet. A small spoiler proceeds to flirt with the food plan Rapid and Furious attraction, and eighteen-inch alloy wheels enable fill the stylish profile in.

All those appears to be you should not automatically translate to sporty performance, but the Sentra’s wholly able of serving as a stupendous everyday driver. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated two.-liter inline-4 engine matched with Nissan’s XTronic constantly variable transmission, which includes simulated “shifts” to enable drivers check out and ignore it is not a CVT. It is really not fooling any individual, I guarantee. In fact, I uncovered CVT to be the least expensive level of the Sentra’s complete package deal although zipping all around. From a end, the XTronic invites a surge of reduced-conclude torque. Although snappy, the momentum produced can come to feel like a case of the cart getting ahead of the horse. The “change points” stay scattered, far too. Embrace the CVT and allow it rev, I say. Normally, the inline-4 hums along with no issues and returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg city, 37 mpg freeway and 32 mpg merged. The engine’s 149 horsepower and 146 pound-toes of torque are extra than able of scooting the compact sedan all around.

Driving the Sentra continues to be easy when it comes to handling, far too, thanks to a new multilink independent rear suspension and surprising certain-footed features when cornering. The steering surprises as nicely, with a normal weighted come to feel. The Honda Civic and Mazda3 cater extra to enthusiast drivers, but the Sentra isn’t really bound to the rental large amount any more, pals.

Pleasingly helpful, but with a modicum of design and style.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

Plopping down inside of reveals one particular ace up the Sentra’s sleeve — actually as you sit down. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are stupid comfortable and remarkable for extended stints driving the wheel. The interior’s also dressed up properly in the SR trim with some fake carbon fiber accents, contrasting orange stitching and delicate materials wherever your palms generally rest in the cockpit. The flat-base steering wheel is also a great contact and feels at home here.

What I adore about the Sentra’s inside is how basic it is. Indeed, the Hyundai Elantra wows with a huge display display and digital gauges, but you know what? Bodily buttons and analog gauges nonetheless do the job, and they do the job truly nicely in the Sentra. All the things sits within just achieve and designers laid all the controls out in basic trend.

There are a couple of screens to maintain up with the tech trend. In among the two gauges in the cluster is a seven-inch driver-facts display that showcases important facts plainly, although an 8-inch touchscreen on the SR trim handles infotainment responsibilities. The infotainment appears to be a tad dated and it would not look at to sexier shows like in the aforementioned Elantra, but it functions moderately nicely, help save for the occasional enter lag. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle (wired) arrive along for the trip, as do baked-in SiriusXM and Bluetooth abilities. Crank the volume knob and audio funnels by an optional 6-speaker Bose audio technique. It is really an enough up grade for all those who like to jam driving the wheel, but you should not count on home-theater-like crispness.

The value-laden 2021 Nissan Sentra has bought your back, Jack.


Preserving with modern day-day tech, Nissan’s Basic safety Shield 360 studies for duty as conventional products on all Sentras. Computerized crisis braking, blind-location alerts and the usual slew of active-safety products are all current and accounted for. The out there 360-diploma digicam protection is also a great bonus for the phase. Gladly, these capabilities all do the job nicely, far too — I noticed no hiccups although driving the sedan all around town and on the freeway. The SR trim also includes optional adaptive cruise control which receives A-Ok marks from me. I did not expertise a single challenge in the course of its time active.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra can make a strong case for by itself, and not because it simply just ticks a large amount of packing containers compact motor vehicle buyers look for. With this tester’s $twenty five,910 price tag right after a $925 destination demand, the Sentra SR is not going to depart you longing for extra products. More inside design and style? Perhaps, but Nissan’s compact motor vehicle last but not least feels like it has some personality once more to go with its strong value play. And as SUVs proceed to reign supreme, why not be a bit extra of an individualist and go with a sedan?