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2009 Nissan Sentra

Overview
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2009 Nissan Sentra Review

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With the addition of the Versa as Nissan's smallest car, the once tiny Sentra moves up the line to nearly mid-size status. Anchoring the largely carryover 2009 lineup are 2.0, 2.0 S and 2.0 SL models, while high-performance SE-R and SE-R Spec V variants (reviewed separately) provide enthusiast appeal. This front-drive four-door boasts sophisticated styling, competent ride and handling, excellent fuel efficiency and a long list of standard and available creature comforts – traits that serve it well in dealing with market challenges from the likes of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Spectra, Mazda MAZDA3 and Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like This Car If...

When interior space and serenity really matter, the Sentra delivers in a big way. Those facing long, tortuous commutes will also appreciate the practical charms of its Xtronic Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT). Standard on the 2.0 and 2.0 SL and available on the 2.0 S, it earns even better EPA mileage numbers than the six-speed manual.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who prefer crisp handling response or brisk acceleration are likely to be disappointed, although moving up to the SE-R or SE-R Spec V models would dramatically change both elements of the overall performance equation. Stability and traction controls are still not available on any variant.

What's New for 2009

New for 2009 are speed-sensitive locks, new cloth seat trims, a new rear trunk lid, MP3 playback (S and SL trims) and three new colors.

Driving the Sentra

Driving Impressions With SE-R and Spec V variants to please the enthusiast crowd, Nissan tuned the suspension of its mainstream Sentras to deliver the kind of ride comfort that core buyers clearly...

prefer. As a result, all three display a fair amount of body roll during aggressive cornering maneuvers and prominent nose-dipping under hard stops with their capable front disc and rear drum anti-lock brakes. However, this more polished personality also delivers smooth, relaxed in-town commutes and effortless freeway cruising with cabin noise levels that remain commendably low regardless of vehicle speed. Although engine power is hardly overwhelming, it's still somewhat surprising to see that neither traction nor stability control are available on any 2009 Sentra model.
Favorite Features

Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
While it lacks the "sport mode" found on several other Xtronic applications, this seamless automatic is a good match for the Sentra engine and offers EPA fuel economy ratings that are superior to those of the six-speed manual gearbox that's standard on the 2.0 S.

Leather upholstery
Included as part of the 2.0 SL package, this premium interior trim item adds a definite upscale flavor to the top-line Sentra model.

2009 Nissan Sentra Details
2009 Nissan Sentra photo Interior

Designed for U.S. buyers, the 2009 Nissan Sentra's nicely finished and well-appointed cabin comes in either beige, charcoal or saddle tones with aluminum-look or faux-wood accents. Large doors simplify entry and exit for all seats, and the Sentra offers more space for both people and their carry-ons than most of its competitors – including a laptop-sized locking glovebox and a 13.1 cubic-foot trunk. Control layouts are good and main gauges easy to read, but the charcoal-and-orange LCD displays for the fuel and temperature indicators and audio and air conditioning readouts suffer legibility problems. Well-contoured front seats are matched with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that's fit for two average-size adults or three medium-size kids.

Exterior

Sharing the edgy design flair that characterizes all current Nissan products, the Sentra's literally high-profile bodywork features a sloping nose and short decklid separated by a tallish roofline and large glass area that ensures good outward visibility. A relatively long 105.7-inch wheelbase results in fairly short front and rear overhangs while prominent shoulder lines transition into softer front and rear contours set off by large, wraparound head and tail lamps. Inside pronounced fender flares, the 2.0 has 205/60 tires on 15-inch steel rims while the 2.0 S and 2.0 SL move up to 205/55 tires on larger 16-inch wheels, steel on the former and alloy on the top-line offering.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Sentra includes a CVT automatic transmission, front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, trip computer and an AM/FM/CD audio system. The 2.0 S – offered with either the CVT or a six-speed manual gearbox – adds anti-lock brakes, larger wheels with lower-profile tires, remote keyless entry and steering wheel-mounted audio controls, while the 2.0 SL has leather upholstery, keyless start, alloy wheels, XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Optional Equipment

2009 Nissan Sentra extras are largely model specific, with anti-lock brakes, a decklid spoiler and some trim bits heading the 2.0's options list. For the 2.0 S, XM Satellite Radio, Intelligent Key remote locking/starting (automatic only), a Convenience Package with Bluetooth connectivity, Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with six-disc changer and MP3 capability, Moonroof Package and the Divide-N-Hide Trunk System are available. Those latter three items represent the prime upgrades for the already comprehensively equipped 2.0 SL.

Under the Hood

All 2009 Nissan 2.0 Sentras share an identical 140-horsepower version of Nissan's 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine that was co-developed with parent-company Renault. The 2.0-liter makes an impressive 147 pound-feet of torque, and features variable timing on the intake valves that helps enhance its mid-range punch. Acceleration with either transmission is decent if not exhilarating, with a zero-to-60 mile-per-hour sprint requiring about nine seconds. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that EPA fuel economy figures with the Xtronic CVT actually surpass those of the six-speed manual gearbox, in both city and highway mode. Due to different emissions regulations, the 2.0-liter's output in California is rated at 135 horsepower and 142 pounds-feet of torque.

2.0-liter in-line 4
140 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
135 Horsepower @ 5100 rpm (California)
147 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
142 lb.-ft. of torque @4800 rpm (California)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 24/30 (automatic)

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2009 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 400 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Not totally happy with the Sentra

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Styling is nice."

Cons: "Interior "blind" spots; uncomfortable seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I am not totally satisfied with the Sentra. MPG has never gone beyond 23 MPG. I do not do much highway driving, but expected much more out of the Sentra driving locally. There are a couple "blind" spots on the driver's side between door window and windshield, making it very difficult to see if someone is coming on my left (in my parking lot). A/C Heat vents do not allow A/C heat be directed to me. Seats are very uncomfortable."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Amazing vehicle

By on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,679

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stability and looks"

Cons: "Mirrors- the ones you look to see yourself- brake"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Took picture in February 26,2014

"When I decide it to buy a car I choose a Nissan Sentra 4 doors Sedan (CVT) customize the 2008 car and require 8 miles. The color and all specification I told the dealer ship it want was exactly what expect it. Keeping the maintenance of the car and keeping my car is shape and shinny make me proud to own a Nissan. After 6 years own I still love my car. Shine like is brand new. It is a little bit hard to drive in snow but do the job very well. Stability is amazing and ver smooth. Someone hit my car in the rear and the car can take a hit. They fix everything and look like brand new. I have no problem after incident. Have minor scratches because of the years I have the car. But there are not bump or big scratches that you can see when looking at the car. As customize car I want a sunroof,16 wheel rims, 6 DVD music, in the trunk I have a hiding divider. Splash guards and side guards, spoiler."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Took picture in February 26,2014

This car is designed fabulously!

By on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, controls were at my fingertips"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It seems a real live adult driver designed the interior to this car. Everything I needed was right at my fingertips. Unfortunately and heartbreaking for me, we were involved in an accident. My Sentra kept me safe from harm, collapsing as it should have. I never even hit the air bag. I love this car and am getting another tomorrow. Thirty years accident free, but it can happen, and this car kept me safe and happy as long as I owned and enjoyed it. Highly recommend the Sentra!"

Refuses to break down

By on Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 165,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Quality and reliability"

Cons: "Interior is pretty bland. Almost like a shell."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"For the life of me, I can't figure out why Honda and Toyota get the credit for being the most reliable cars on the road. Everyone I know who drives a Nissan has had wonderful results. I got this car used with 17,000 miles on it and 4 1/2 years later with the odometer about to hit 165k it has never broken down, and still runs perfectly. I've had a couple of minor issues, an engine mount needed replacement, driver's side power window motor needed replacement, and heater/ac fan needed replacement, but that's it. It still runs as smooth and flawless as the day I bought it, and even with such high mileage, there aren't even any funny noises or quirks. Just change the oil, keep up with the maintenance, and don't beat on the car, and it will last you for years. Buy one for yourself and see."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good car

By on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great price, good on gas, roomy and comfortable"

Cons: "side mirrors & windows too small, poor visibility"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My husband drives a truck and I drive an Outback. We got this car as a commuter car if one of my husband's jobs was far away and too expensive to drive his truck.The gas mileage is around 30 mpg. A complaint we both have is that it is scary to drive on the Interstate because it is so small. We like the performance and it has enough pep. I do not like the design of the car (my husband thinks I'm nuts-he thinks it's a sharp looking car and comfortable to drive). I don't like the little windows in the back - it's hard to see when I'm backing up and the side mirrors are too small. I REALLY HATE those side mirrors. For such a tiny car I don't trust them when I'm changing lanes, and then the stupid windows in the side doors and back are so stinking small there are blind spots. The crash ratings aren't very good so I really don't like it as a commuter car."

I don't like this car.

By on Saturday, February 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Perfect interior size"

Cons: "The ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car rides like the shock absorbers don't work. The ride is bumpy and shaky, especially over railroad tracks. The interior is roomy. Otherwise the car was perfect for me. It accelerates very well getting on the expressway. The view out of the windows is large enough to see all the traffic especially for backing up. I don't like the car because of the ride. I feel like a bobble head bouncing around over every crack in the pavement."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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