By KBB.com Editors
Launching the new subcompact Versa early in 2006 left Nissan's existing compact Sentra in an ambiguous spot. Now, by redesigning the Sentra for its sixth generation, Nissan has clarified the distinction between the two. The 2007 Sentra sedan has grown by 5.9 inches in wheelbase, 2.3 inches in overall length, 4.0 inches in height and 3.2 inches in width. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but the big news is Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is offered for the first time in a Sentra. About 700 algorithms are available and an overdrive button alters the shift points to improve responsiveness.
If you like the idea of ride comfort mixed with frugal fuel economy and almost-sporty road behavior in a spacious compact, the Sentra can be a good common-sense choice. Shoppers who demand complete safety features should note that every Sentra contains both side-curtain and seat-mounted airbags, though anti-lock braking (ABS) is an option rather than standard, except on the top-rung 2.0 SL model.
Despite its power-transmitting efficiency, a CVT-equipped Sentra probably won't satisfy those who demand all-out performance, so a stick-shift model or the coming-later SE-R would make a snappier choice. While Nissan's enlarged compact proves pleasantly capable, and the company promotes it as sportier than its predecessor, in reality it falls a bit short on the excitement scale.
In addition to CVT availability, Nissan's second-smallest sedan is bigger inside and out, as well as more powerful: Specifically, 140 horsepower versus the prior 126. Buyers who crave more assertive performance can wait for the Sentra SE-R, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show and goes on sale in 2007.
Driving Impressions Nissan's CVT works very smoothly and efficiently. At idle, the engine is nearly silent and, while some noise appears when pushing hard, most other CVT-equipped vehicles are noisier. Although its...powertrain is willing, the CVT sedan is a little on the sluggish sidebut more energetic from a standstill. Ride comfort is pleasant on most surfaces and tolerable even over rougher pavement, although the Sentra S felt slightly less smooth on highway rough spots. Occasionally, a serious bump may yield a sinking sensation or a rather harsher hit. The steering feel isn't sporty, but it's close, and the Sentra tracks well on highways and behaves adroitly on twisting roads.
Continuously Variable Transmission
Nissan's CVTs rank among the best, a result of the company's development process over the past 27 years. CVTs have been available in Nissan vehicles globally since 1992 and in U.S. models since 2003.
Expanded Interior Space
Significantly increased dimensions mean passengers have considerably more room than in previous Sentras, as well as in many other compact sedans. The four-inch height increase also eases entry/exit, as well as adding headroom.
Specifically designed for North America, the 2007 Sentra has an interior that Nissan claims is "a little more upscale and functional" than the previous model. There's a new instrument panel layout and the gearshift location is no longer down on the floor. Passenger volume has grown by 8.9 cubic feet and trunk capacity by 1.5 cubic feet; without question, this sedan is roomier than past Sentras. Front occupants get plenty of space and rear-seat room is abundant. Instruments are simple but readable, except for the bar-type fuel and temperature gauges and the trip odometer. Front cupholders adjust to hold a 32-ounce cup.Exterior
Built on Nissan-Renault's Global C platform, which is also used for the Renault Megane and other models not sold in the U.S., the Sentra is manufactured in Mexico. So was the prior generation, but the Mexican plant has benefited from 353 additional assembly robots. Some Sentra styling touches are reminiscent of the current Quest minivan, especially up front. Use of a relatively long wheelbase (108.7 inches), coupled with greater height, permits substantially increased passenger space. Short front and rear overhangs help give the Sentra a modern profile. Nissan notes that the Sentra's 70.5-inch width is comparable to many midsize sedans.
Three trim levels are offered. Even in base 2.0 trim, the Sentra includes air conditioning, power windows/locks and a CD player, with either manual shift or the optional CVT. Nissan's volume leader, the midlevel 2.0 S model, gets bigger (16-inch) tires, remote keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a trip computer. Topping the line, the 2.0 SL adds the continuously variable transmission, as well as leather interior trim, 16-inch alloy wheels, anti-lock braking (ABS), an "Intelligent Key" and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation. On all models, seat-mounted airbags and curtain-type airbags are standard.
In the base Sentra and 2.0 S, Nissan's CVT adds $800 to the price, while it's standard in the 2.0 SL sedan. Special features included in the Convenience Package include an overhead CD holder and a trunk divider that permits hidden storage. Also optional are an "Intelligent Key" keyless entry system, leather upholstery, Rockford Fosgate sound, Bluetooth hands-free phone operation and either XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Anti-lock braking is a stand-alone option for the base sedan, but bundled with alloy wheels for the 2.0 S model.
Every regular Sentra has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine driving either a six-speed manual transmission or Nissan's continuously variable transmission (CVT), which includes an overdrive button. The SE-R Spec V model, which debuts in 2007, will have a 2.5-liter engine.
2.0-liter in-line 4
140 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
147 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/34 (manual), 29/36 (automatic)
By Lynne on Sunday, March 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, mileage, response time."
Cons: "No Cruise control :("
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"For the basic of "basics", this Nissan is a Great Car. It has no options however, I have always liked Nissans. The ride is smooth, the mileage is very reasonable, there is plenty of room for 5 adults, the trunk space is amazing also. On the freeway it is a nice, quiet, smooth ride. The response for needing to "GO" or pass, is excellent. I have nothing bad to say about this car. It was a gift but if I were out looking to buy a car and my finances were limited, I would definitely consider buying this car."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Flaca on Saturday, January 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Gas Miles, Strong car"
Cons: "No GPS or Heated side windows"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Amazing car, So far I receive a lots of offer to sell my car but I know better, not to sell. 2008 Nissan made this Sentra the best car compare with new models. Very Strong and smooth ride, comfortable and sport design. I bought my car customize even though I have to pay more money, was worth it. only one accident, behind driver hit me in the back and the Nissan took the hit very well. Strong car. After fixing I have no problems at all, is just like new. Car still shine like brand new because of care I give it. Every time I change the oil in the car, there are impress of how well I have taking car of the car. Wonderful gas miles. Car has power I have the CVT engine and I love it.I wish the car came with GPS and Heated side windows. Over all Love this car."
9 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Mike on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable, economical, well equipped"
Cons: "CVT, Washer Nozzles in the Cold"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"So I have had my Sentra Special Edition for over two years now. The majority of the car I love. Not real keen on the headlights, but that was not a deal breaker for me. I bought the car primarily for the GPS and navigation functions. I didn't want the distraction that would come with using my smartphone. That said, it is your base mode nav, and I probably could have gotten a cheaper price if I would have skipped the nav. My biggest issue with this car is the mismatch between the awesome 2.0 Ltr. engine, and the CVT. Our other car is a Prius, so I was somewhat used to a CVT transmission and expected similar results. After driving the car for close to 40,000 miles now, I would not own another CVT. The above description that you will save gas is very dependent on your driving style and conditions. E.G. if you are the type that likes to punch it and feel the horses under the hood, or you have to hit the gas to merge into traffic, the engine will out run the transmission every time. It will slip and you will find yourself at close to 6,000 RPMs only to be waiting for the transmission to stop whining and catch up to the engine, which will usually happen around 75 to 85 MPH, and only after you step out of the gas to allow it to catch up. Once you are there the transmission performs as expected. The other area with the transmission that you will have to get used to is how it breaks the car's forward motion as you come to a stop. To describe it is like the transmission goes into low gear and you are almost lunging forward as you come to a stop. You almost have to drive it to understand the sense you get. I took mine to the dealer within a month to ask if this was normal, and was told there is nothing wrong with your car. Funny my Prius doesn't lung. There is one additional point you may consider if you live in an area where the cold can get and stay around or below freezing. If so, know that the windshield washer nozzles will freeze, and stay frozen when you are driving. This can be a safety concern, especially when you are driving in snow and ice, or in thawing conditions where your windshield is covered with salt spray, or ice melt. Kinda hard to keep it clean if you can't get windshield washer fluid on the windshield. Otherwise, I like my car. A dealer called my over the holiday to ask if I would trade it in, and I responded no. So that should be some indication of the cars performance. I average around 30 miles per gallon even when I punch it. It handles very well, and can corner extremely tight, so much so it took some getting used to."
10 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Hal on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "East driving - comfortable - good acceleration - g"
Cons: "CVT transmission - just not thrilled with it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this car used with about 44,000 miles on it, from a dealer's website. The car had been completely detailed, and looked and felt new. I like everything about this car except... the CVT transmission. I still prefer the old standard 4-speed automatic or best of all, the standard 4-5 speed stick shift.I've driven it twice New York to Texas, and once to California and back - comfortable to ride and drive. Good visibility. good mileage at better than 32mpg on the road. Will drive next week to Texas again, return after January 1 2015. Like the current (2012-2014 style changes better than the 2009 style). Looking to trade for a new one, or a low-mileage used car. Years ago, I had a Honda Accord with a 4-speed - was the best car I ever had. Maybe this one will approach that standard."
11 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By cathy on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It hurts my back getting out of it. but it is a great car as far as driving, great gas milage.. I am selling it because it is. to small for a older person."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Schmidt on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good acceleration."
Cons: "Rattles, blind spot between front and side windows"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This is my second Nissan and I will not buy another. It drives well, has good acceleration, but does not heat or cool very fast and has some very annoying rattles. Considering how much I paid for this car, it should not rattle. I bought both brand new. Never another Nissan."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful