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2011 Nissan Sentra

Overview
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2011 Nissan Sentra Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

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 lineup are the 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SL and the sporty 2.0 SR models. In addition, the performance-oriented SE-R and SE-R Spec V variants (reviewed separately) appeal to the frugal enthusiast. 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 Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, 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 Transmission (CVT). Standard on all but the base 2.0 model, the CVT earns 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. And the Sentra' styling, both inside and out, is beginning to show the car's age.

What's New for 2011

Changes for the 2011 Nissan Sentra include an increase in city fuel economy and a realignment of some option packages. 2.0 CVT, S and SL trims receive an SE-R style rear spoiler, while anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are now standard on all trims.

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 four display a bit more 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, the Sentra's CVT automatic makes the most of the 2.0-liter's output, providing snappy off-the-line launches and adequate power for merging and passing.
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.

Navigation System
The newest navigation/radio system from Nissan includes a large bright view screen, points of interest (POI) data base, touch screen controls and XM NavTraffic updates (requires subscription). Best of all, the unit cost less than $500, an amazing price for a factory installed system.

2011 Nissan Sentra Details
2011 Nissan Sentra photo Interior

Designed for U.S. buyers, the Sentra's nicely finished and well-appointed cabin comes in either beige or charcoal 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
2011 Nissan Sentra photo

The 2011 Nissan Sentra clings to the boxy style that was Nissan's calling card a few years back. The car's 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, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SL move up to 205/55 tires on larger 16-inch wheels, steel on the former and alloy on the two top-line offerings.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Sentra includes a six-speed manual transmission, front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, trip computer, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. The 2.0 S adds a CVT automatic transmission, standard iPod integration, six-speaker stereo larger wheels with lower-profile tires, remote keyless entry, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The 2.0 SL provides keyless start, 16-inch alloy wheels, XM Satellite Radio, 4.3-inch color audio head unit with controls for iPod and Bluetooth, and a power trunk lid release.

Optional Equipment

Sentra extras are largely model specific and are bundled into packages. The Convenience Package (2.0 S, 2.0 SR) offers Nissan's Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, power trunk lid release, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 2.0 S and 2.0 SR models can also be equipped with a 4.3-inch color display audio head unit, USB port and eight-speaker 340-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. The SL trim offers leather seating, rearview monitor, heated front seats, a power sunroof, Rockford Fosgate premium audio and a five-inch navigation/radio system that includes XM NavTraffic real-time traffic information updates.

Under the Hood

All 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 Continuously Variable Transmission (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 pound-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: 24/31 (manual), 27/34 (automatic)

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2011 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 401 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

2011 Nissan Sentra SL (Bought Used)

By on Sunday, April 20, 2014

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

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliability based on price"

Cons: "Leather seats on some SL models"

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

"I love my 2011 Sentra SL - Nav sys w/back up camera, bluetooth, sunroof, rear spoiler, chrome trim etc... Due to a partial highway closure around here, the recent traffic on the local roads has constantly been just stop then go then stop... This car still hits avg 30 mpg no matter what - I actually calculated this based on a full gas then next-time-fill-up ratio a few times and not based on the Sentra's calculation. The stereo sounds excellent with embedded equalizer w/6 speakers with the automatic volume control based on the speed. I can hook up iPhone, Android, iPod and/or whatever I can via USB that my 6 year old daughter can even control what she wants to listen to and the volume off of her device that is connected to it while sitting in the rear seat. One thing I do not like it? I've never been a big fan of leather seats... I always feel I'm not settled while driving for some reasons but it came with it. So, it wasn't Nissan's fault since I could go for something else if I wanted to. My son and I play ice hockey and the trunk actually easily holds two full hockey bags w/o even folding the rear seat if you know how big each is. VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) on/off is really helpful if you ever get stuck in mud and/or snow."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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 3 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 5 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."

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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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