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2013 Nissan Sentra

Overview
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2013 Nissan Sentra Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Completely redesigned for 2013, the excellent new Nissan Sentra feels less like a compact car and more like a downsized mid-size sedan. The look is substantial and mature, the interior is refined in look and feel, and from front to trunk it's downright roomy. The growing number of tech-dependent drivers will appreciate a robust and intuitive NissanConnect infotainment package with cool Google, Pandora and text messaging features, and anyone who hasn't won the free-gas-for-life lottery will appreciate the Sentra's class-leading combined city/highway fuel economy of 34 mpg. And while it's neither as fun to drive as a Mazda3, nor as quiet and comfortable as a Chevy Cruze, the new Nissan Sentra rides and handles better than most buyers need it to.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you're looking for style, refinement, room, fuel economy or just some cool in-cabin technology, you'll find the 2013 Nissan Sentra worth your time, scoring high marks on all fronts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The new Sentra isn't as fun to drive as the Ford Focus, Mazda3 or Dodge Dart, and it's not as isolated from the noisy, bumpy world as the Chevy Cruze.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Nissan Sentra is as new as new gets. In addition to all the improvements you can see and touch, the Sentra is built on a new, lighter platform and driven by a new engine and transmission setup.

Driving the Sentra

Driving Impressions Even though it rides, handles and responds very well, how the new Sentra drives is one of the least remarkable things about it. The uninitiated might need some time getting...

used to the continuously variable transmission (CVT) – a gearless automatic – but Nissan is doing CVT better than anyone and in some applications we're starting to prefer it to a traditional automatic. The engine's 130-horsepower rating is at the low end of the segment, but the flexible CVT compensates some. It doesn't make the car any faster, but the new Sentra includes a 3-mode drive selector with Eco, Normal and Sport modes to maximize economy or responsiveness. Electric power steering continues to improve across the industry, and the Sentra offers better steering feel than the Hyundai Elantra, for instance. Highway ride is right in line with what we expect from a good compact sedan nowadays, and the front seats are comfortable for at least a couple of hours (the longest stretch we've tested them to this point).

NISSANCONNECT
You can send directions from your computer to your Sentra via Google. You can listen to Pandora Internet radio. You can have your text messages read to you, and send replies without taking your hands off the wheel. How great is the future?

EASY FILL TIRE ALERT
Keeping your tires inflated is key to maximizing fuel economy, and Nissan's new system makes it really easy. Just start filling and the car will give a quick honk of the horn when the tire reaches the recommended pressure.

2013 Nissan Sentra Details
Interior

High-quality materials, electroluminescent gauges and a tasteful, contoured design help create what is arguably the finest interior in all of Compactsedanland. The rear seating area is another inside highlight, offering backseat drivers more legroom than some of the smaller mid-size sedans, along with similarly generous headroom. The theme continues all the way back into one of the category's biggest trunks. The new Sentra is roomy enough, in fact, that it's one of a handful of compact sedans classified as mid-size by the EPA.

Exterior
2013 Nissan Sentra photo

Softly sculpted sheet metal, substantial proportions and shiny-object LED headlight accents and taillights all combine to give the 2013 Nissan Sentra class-above parking lot presence. All models feature a chrome-finish grille, chrome-finish door handles and body-color painted side mirrors, while up-level versions feature alloy wheels, fog lights and side-mirror-integrated turn signals. The sportier-looking but similarly tuned Sentra SR includes a rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip finisher, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, and other sporty add-ons all around.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base-model 2013 Nissan Sentra S has a starting sticker price of $16,780 with the 6-speed manual transmission, $18,050 with the automatic transmission. For those prices you get a Sentra with air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux audio system, electroluminescent gauges, basic cloth seats, a 4-way adjustable steering wheel, 16-inch covered steel wheels, and a modern complement of active and passive safety features including six airbags and electronic stability and traction controls.

Optional Equipment

A fully loaded 2013 Nissan Sentra SL tops out in the $23,000 range with some equipment you couldn't have had for $100,000 just a few years ago. In addition to a moonroof, leather seats (heated fronts), more stylish 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic headlights, a fully optioned Sentra includes keyless entry and push-button start, a backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, USB/iPod integration, satellite radio, an 8-speaker Bose audio system and NissanConnect with Navigation featuring a 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with all the Google, Pandora and texting goodness outlined above.

Under the Hood

The Sentra's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is among the least powerful in the segment, but we can attest that it moves at least two adults up to highway speeds just fine. With four adults, though, highway merging might require a bit more planning. In addition to the CVT there's a 6-speed manual transmission available, but only on the base model and it delivers about 50 fewer miles per tankful. The FE+ grades achieve one more highway mile per gallon with some aerodynamic adds and low-rolling-resistance tires, but it's mostly a marketing ploy (40 mpg is much sexier than 39) and not worth the extra $400. Even if you drove exclusively on the highway, the FE+ package would save you just $50 and 10 gallons per year (at $5/gallon, 15,000 miles/year).

1.8-liter inline-4
130 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (124 horsepower w/CA emissions)
128 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm (125 lb-ft w/CA emissions)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/36 mpg (manual), 30/39 mpg (automatic), 30/40 (automatic w/FE+ trim)

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2013 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 77 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Nissan is a really grate car company.

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price, Large inside, Styleish, heated seats,"

Cons: "Small gas tank, Low power."

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

"Nissan is a really grate car company. When they redesigned the 2015 Sentra they really made it a better car. I love that even though it has cloth seats they are still heated."

Great value, great mileage

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price, gas mileage, spacious, comfortable."

Cons: "None"

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

"This is a very roomy car-front seat, back seat, and trunk. The gas mileage is great. Contrary to what others have said, I get good acceleration. I have no trouble passing on rural roads or merging on to expressways, even in eco mode. The car is very comfortable. I don't even notice the CVT. It runs very smooth. This is a great car and a great value with the incentives. Not such a good value if you pay close to sticker price. I got 0% financing and $4000 off MSRP after rebates."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love This Car

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,400

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

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

"I purchased this car after much research and consideration. I needed something with better gas mileage because my truck gets about 10mpg. I have always drove a truck and cars were very foreign to me. This car really has made me happy. I ultimately decided on this car because of the extra inch it sits up off the ground, 6.6 inches, as compared to al the other cars in its class, 5.5 inches. It may not seem like much but going from a lifted truck it meant a lot. Overall the exterior of the car is beautiful. It is classy and stylish but still cute and young. The led lights are a really nice touch and the silver accents on my SL model make the white really pop. My particular car came with a useless spoiler on the back which I guess is supposed to come with the SR version, and all mine does is collect dirt between it and the trunk. Otherwise the exterior is great. Inside, I chose black leather. The seats are very comfortable and adjust in all sorts of ways. The front seats will lay completely flat, which is great for more than just taking naps. You can lay the front passenger seat flat, fold the rear seat down, and now you have enough room to fit something long through the trunk and the rest of the car, super convenient! I have a beautiful color 5.1 inch display in my dash that has Nav, SXM radio, AM/FM, CD, Bluetooth, and even some apps from my phone like google search, Pandora, and facebook. The Bluetooth talking through the car on your phone is great, sound quality is excellent. I do not have the bose sound system but the factory system is excellent. Many reviews have complained that the gauges in the dash seem outdated, but I actually prefer the traditional ones to the digital ones, so it worked for me. plus the dash is beautifully lit with led lights which make it look more sophisticated. the two reading lights in the front are led and there is a very small led light that is constantly on at night which provides just enough light to easily find the cup holders or anything like that. The performance of the car is really nice to me. Some people have complained that the sentra is slow or a slug, I didn't buy a sports car, I bought a car that got great gas mileage. It has 183HP, you cant really expect 0-60 in 5 seconds. The ECO mode is great, I notice a difference when on longer drives, it is supposed to cut the gas intake by a margin so you get better fuel economy, and it does, on the highway. The ECO button isn't meant to be used in the city. The ride is smooth and the car is super quiet. The CVT transmission takes some getting used to after driving a V8 my whole life, you can watch the RPM gauge jump all over the place but you never feel or hear anything in the car. Overall, I am more than happy with my purchase and I would definitely buy this car again."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Pros and Cons

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "MPG"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"I bought this car in September because of the MPG. I drive a lot due to my job and thought this car would be perfect. I bought the 2014 Sentra SR; I like it but I also hate it. It has no horsepower and takes forever to accelerate when you have stopped. Even though its "Sport", there's nothing Sport about it. So don't try to speed up, because it wont happen. There's also been times when my radio/navigation will flicker and stopped working. I have to turn off my car for it to work again. I've also heard some rattling from the inside like if my windows were loose? The front seats are a bit uncomfortable, but the back seats are very spacious. Overall, I wish I didn't buy this car, too much money for something that is super simple."

20 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG's and Comfort"

Cons: "Value"

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

"We bought our 2014 Nissan Sentra SV brand new. I feel that for the price there should be a FEW more standard bells and whistles. It drives like a dream, though the CVT takes some getting used to. We had one problem with the tail lamps getting moisture in them but Nissan was quick to replace them completely under warranty. I love the design of everything but the quality of some touch points could be improved."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Would Not Recommend

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,700

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Interior Styling"

Cons: "Everything Else"

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

"I have had this car for 5 months and got it brand new. I have been back to the shop a dozen times and I will have to keep going back. Very heavy vibration upon light acceleration. There were 4 times that the vibration was so bad that it felt like the car was going to come apart. They claim its normal operations because they cannot reproduce the issue. The front windshield and back window both make cracking sounds and rattle they are going to fall out of the car. The transmission slips and I am told that is normal. There are a ton of rattles popping up all over this car. The navigation turns off and on by itself, the buttons on the side of the navigation flicker like there is a short and the navigation screen flickers like there is a short. It had been a total nightmare owning this car and I wouldn't recommend this car to anyone."

18 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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