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2011 Nissan Sentra

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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.

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 432 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

STINKS

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfy"

Cons: "Cheap, No value"

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

"This car is cheap. It is very slow and takes forever to accelerate. It is a comfy car but do not overpay for it. I did overpay and the value of this car diminishes day by day. NO VALUE whatsoever. If youre looking to sell or trade in the future stay away, it stinks."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great on Gas & Looks Great too!

By on Thursday, February 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,752

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "selling at DECENT price...safe car for anyone"

Cons: "needs tires"

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

"I love my car. When I walk to get in it, I am proud it is mine. No sounds or noises. Solid car, it shines like a new dime. No lights stay on and it drives like new. It has hands free cell phone use. The truck pops up with a push of a button. It does need new tires."

11 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Amazing car

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,500

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: "Cvt engine, reliable and very strong car"

Cons: "lower body"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I ought this car 8 years ago customize. There are lots of people that want to buy my car because of the conditions my car is, even the dealership can't believe how great my car look inside out. Few years ago someone hit me in the back. This car can take a hit. Last year someone try to hit me (an SUV) the lady didn't see me. I did a 360 with my car and the stability is amazing. Has little scratches that you can't even see them. The color is amazing and shine like a brand new car. No engines problems. The only thing I have change are tired and a new muffler. I wish the car was a little bit heavier and height to go through Michigan ice roads. I love this car. Nissan made the best 2008 Sentra. New ones are not as good as mine."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

great for teens or second car

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great car exceellent transportation"

Cons: "none known"

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

"car do have some dins no MAJOR problems..need tune up right mirror needs repair..overall great little car..daughters college car..served her well"

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Horrible Car

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "The interior falls apart."

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

"This car has been reliable, I must say but there are so many things I am disappointed with. The drivers side window hasn't functioned for the past three years and the cost to repair it is ridiculous. Manual windows would have been better. Both visor mirrors are broken and the driver visor clip has fallen out. Even new, with the visor down you could never even see a traffic light it came down so low, and that was before the thing fell apart. You could never adjust it. I had to replace the tires often. I have never owned a car that needed new tires like the ones on this car. The service engine light would come on for no reason and the tire light too, even after the tires are new and at the proper pressure. I was just rear-ended at a right turn so the vehicle behind me was going less than 10 mph and now the frame is bent. Total loss. I suppose it's a blessing at this point."

13 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Very reliable, drives well in winter.

By on Monday, September 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,856

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A solid, reliable, performer in any weather."

Cons: "No remote trunk release"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Dependable all around vehicle that performs well in winter. Added snow tires and never worried about snow in forecast. Has a smooth ride for a small car and if you don't drive to aggressive, can get 32-33 mpg combined cit/hwy. Comfortable seats and decent amt of room front and back. NEVER had any problems; a very reliable car."

24 people out of 34 found this review helpful

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