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2013 Nissan Sentra

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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 101 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.7/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Best car for tight budget!

By on Monday, July 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "good price, good mpg"

Cons: "uncomfortable, terrible to drive"

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

"Sentra for its price isn't a bad car. It sets itself apart for its overall size but transmission shifts with the CVT leave something to desire. Do not plan on merging onto the interstate in any of a hurry car can barely get out of its own way. Seats feel like you're sitting on a bag of rocks on long interstate drives. styling is pretty spot on if you're trying not to offend anyone. But for the price you get what you pay for. Also none of the body lines seem to match up"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A to B and back

By on Thursday, July 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "milage and leg room on long trip"

Cons: "not worth the price-no longterm value."

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

"I bought this car for a daily commute of 100 miles round trip-almost all interstate. Gets 40+mpg on the interstate. 34mpg combined. The Bose system was not impressive. Does have good leg room. The car is noisy at highway speeds. On windy days it whistles like a train horn. The only way to stop it was to open the window-then you have open window at highway speeds sound. Radio randomly drops satellite channels on clear days. not all channels-just some of the channels. Bummer on a 50 mile trek. Value is half of what we paid after one year. Granted high miles on our part but half of what we paid for it??? My 12yr old Jeep Wrangler is worth 13k. So much for holding it's value. Should have went with a Honda."

Great commute car 40 mpg highway, 34 combined

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "MPG, AC, Feature content"

Cons: "Handling, Trim Issues, CVT"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"GOOD ...Roomy interior, "right sized" exterior, excellent fuel economy (30 city/40 highway/34 combined), effective Bluetooth, roomy trunk, strong AC. BAD ...Trim issues (rubber seal around back door - same thing with my friends '14 model)... tail light condensation started when the car was 2 months old (Nissan said it wouldn't replace it unless it had 1/2" standing water... it had 1+" and a new one has been ordered)... CVT is acceptable by CVT standards, but I would prefer a dedicated automatic (call me old fashioned)... the car is scary on the highway if you're going around corners (rolls around a bit too much for me). I suggest buying the SR or SL for feature content and maybe better handling."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Its not worth the price you pay

By on Friday, April 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "AC and heater."

Cons: "Everything but the Ac and heater."

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

"First let me start by saying the redesign is an honest effort on Nissan's behalf. They did a great job with the exterior's visual appeal. Having said that, Nissan used the cheapest and fastest painting process. They did not use a base primer and the clear coat is a 1 to 1 thickness. Expect to have the car develop chipped paint on the hood, and expect those chips to expand. If you park the car in open spots where the sun beats down on it for days and days, then expect the clear coat to dull and with that dulling you can expect any form of contact with the painted surfaces to reveal a scratch. In 2 or 3 years time the clear coat will start to peal away and look like cancerous on the hood and rear deck (i.e. the trunk). If you get deeper scratches expect to pay a professional to repaint the area, because buffing only removes more of the clear coat, basically making the problem worse. Secondly, the lack of automatic seat controls makes the Sentra a pain to drive if you share the vehicle with someone else. The manual pumping and deflating action to adjust the drivers seat makes it more of a chore to get into than a privilege. Thirdly, The interior is like a statically charged magnet attracting every hair you happen to come across on the street. Depending on the (quote) trim (un-quote) you choose. Select carefully because all screens on the center dashboard aren't the same. Some are just XM radios. Nissan salesmen will tell you its like all the other models just a more compact screen. When you pay up, over and or around $23,500 for a brand new car, you expect the latest model year. But not with the 2013 Nissan Sentra. The model that has the navigation screen is the exact same price as the out-date XM radio only version. Fourthly, I forgot to mention bulb life, especially the nearly impossible to access fog light assembly to replace the bulb that only lasts maybe a year after you got the car. Dealership cost to replace the fog lamp is their base charge is actually $700 to $1,200. So i do not recommend the 2013 Nissan Sentra. Fifth and final opinion and thoughts on the 2013 Nissan Sentra. The car is loud like from both road noise but mainly from the engine and the squeaking dashboard, the squeaking comes from the poorly insulated dashboard. The car claims according to every maintenance book and oil and lube shop to have a cabin filter, but it doesn't have one the dealership says, so every summer you get this nasty mold smell in your AC when you first turn it on. The suspension is as un-refined as the old Ford Pinto. Seems they didn't care when testing it during the development stage. The acceleration is actually worse than my 1979 Vespa (scooter). Also the lack of automatic seat control make what should be an enjoyable experience when climbing into your car. Now to the seating, every stray hair from any animal will magnetically (like) attach to in some weird magical way appear all over the seats and floor. The vehicle lacks a cigarette lighter compatible port, and no ashtray, leaving smokers to ash out the window, and due to the angle of the window just sucks the ashes into the back seat. If it's raining the rain groves on the roof literally funnel the water down the windows and if you roll them down for any reason your inside door panel gets soaked instantly. The cup holders in the side door panels are worthless as they hold no drink containers the average person would use. And their position is so far forward you couldn't safely reach for your drink when in motion if you're driving. The lack of a digital speedometer and directional compass in the dashboard shows how cheap the vehicle actually is, as every other car in it's class contains them. No heated seating couples with no remote start means buttocks will be cold when you get into your car. Replacing the battery in the key fobs is a huge pain in the butt because you have to force open the fob and it feels as if you're going to break some plastic tabs surely. The choice of buttons on the steering-wheel as well as their placement are inconvenient and confusing to first time users. Lastly, the AC and heater are the one positive i would say the vehicle has to offer. If you're looking to buy one check the latest models available so you don't get the lesser model at the same price as the better model."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great reliable little car

By on Monday, March 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "MPG. Smooth Ride. Reliability."

Cons: "Manual Seats"

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

"I have owned pretty much every make of vehicle you can imagine. The sentra isn't built to be a race car or the most luxurious, but it certainly does everything its built for very well. Its great on MPG (getting over 40 on the highway) and is a smooth ride. The CVT is great for around town, I hated my old car (buick verano) for its awkward shifting. The sentra has more room than many larger cars offer, and gives you all the technology you need ( navi, backup cam, touch screen, Bose. I only wish it offered the same seats the Altima has. Otherwise, I recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable and nice looking car."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Overall Very Pleased w/ This Car

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fuel efficient, comfortable, spacious & pretty"

Cons: "No blue tooth for your music only phone calls"

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

Fresh of

"This is my 1st brand new car purchase. I have only owned used cars in the past. I got the car for a steal! I talked them down to 12,900 and with all fees, taxes, etc am paying around 14,500. It has everything I need even at the base model. I don't need all the technology this car comes with (like blue tooth) but it's certainly nice to have these "extras". It drives/handles well, CVT trans is new to me so at first it did feel and sound different but it feels secure & comfortable overall. No problems thus far. I find it to be very room, accommodating & VERY fuel efficient. I am filling her up for $17- can't beat that! I always had Toyotas but this Nissan has me hooked."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Fresh of

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