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2014 Nissan Sentra Review

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2014 Nissan Sentra Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

When Nissan redesigned the Sentra last year, its goal was to create a compact economy car that looked and felt like a premium midsize sedan. While no mini-Maxima, we do think the Sentra feels very Altima-like, in both the way it drives and pampers its occupants. The refined interior doesn't just look great; it's actually quite functional, providing a big back seat and a spacious trunk. Understanding that today's car buyer is as concerned with high-tech as with high fuel economy, Nissan has equipped the Sentra with all manner of available treats, including the NissanConnect infotainment package that includes features to access Goggle and Pandora, as well as manage text messages.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're more about comfort, style and really good in-car infotainment and navigation, the 2014 Nissan Sentra beats out a number of competitors while still keeping its price low and its fuel consumption even lower.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like a bit more sports car in your compact, you'll likely be happier with a more powerful performance-oriented compact like the Mazda3, Ford Focus or Dodge Dart.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.5
  • 7.2
  • 7.9
  • 6.7
  • 7.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#14

out of 19

Fuel Economy

#11

out of 19

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Nissan Sentra Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Nissan tweaks the 2014 Sentra with some revised tuning to its CVT transmission, suspension and steering. New features include lower front-seat storage pockets and an updated NissanConnect with Apps.

Driving the Sentra
2014 Nissan Sentra Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Although we think most drivers won't take exception with how the Sentra rides and handles, enthusiasts may disagree. Even with the changes to the electric power steering and stiffened suspension,...

... the 2014 Nissan Sentra just isn't a car that begs to be tossed quickly into tight turns. Those not familiar with the workings of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) will have to relearn the feeling of forward motion, as the gearless transmission doesn't have shift points. What the CVT does do is maximize fuel economy and power, allowing the Sentra to achieve 39 mpg highway (SV) and 40 mpg on the FE+ trim. We like what Nissan has done with the electric power steering and though it's not as nicely weighted as that of the Mazda3, it's a better setup than in the Hyundai Elantra. Seat comfort and distance driving is a perfect matchup in the Sentra, and the ride over most road surfaces is smooth and controlled.

NISSANCONNECT
With NIssanConnect Apps, you can use Google to send directions from your laptop to your car, listen to Pandora Internet radio and have your text messages read aloud while driving. You can even send preset replies so you don't have to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.

EASY FILL TIRE ALERT
Having your tires at the correct pressure is not only the best way to maximize fuel economy; it's a safety issue as well. With Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert you simply pump in air until you hear a brief "honk," a signal that the correct tire pressure has been reached.

2014 Nissan Sentra Details
2014 Nissan Sentra Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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 back-seat drivers more legroom than some of the smaller midsize 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 midsize by the EPA.

Exterior
2014 Nissan Sentra photo

Softly sculpted sheetmetal, substantial proportions and shiny-object LED headlight accents and taillights all combine to give the 2014 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 2014 Nissan Sentra S comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/aux audio system, electroluminescent gauges, power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry, basic cloth seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, 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. A fully loaded 2014 Nissan Sentra SL includes a moonroof, leather seats (heated fronts), more stylish 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic headlights.

Optional Equipment

A fully optioned Sentra includes keyless entry and push-button start, a rearview 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 touch-screen infotainment system with all the Google, Pandora and texting goodness outlined above. The FE+ (S and SV trims) bumps fuel economy up to 40-mpg highway.

Under the Hood
2014 Nissan Sentra Engine photo

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 mpg (automatic w/FE+ trim)

With Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) tags ranging from $16,800 to more than $23,000, the 2014 Nissan Sentra is priced in line with its competitors on a features-per-dollar basis, between the Ford Focus at the high end and the Hyundai Elantra at the low end. Looking ahead, we expect the new Sentra to hold its value better than its predecessor and better than the category average. The 2014 Nissan Sentra shouldn't cost you significantly more or less than its competitors in the long run, but it qualifies as a solid value because it feels like a more substantial, more refined car than many of the others. Remember to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Sentra.

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2014 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 82 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Best Sedan under 25000

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Best value under 25,000 fully loaded. Does it all."

Cons: "could use air vents in rear compartment."

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

"I just recently bought the 2015 SentraSL. This is the fully loaded model with all the bells and whistles that looks and performs as well than much more expensive vehicles. When I test drove it, played with, loaded my bike in it and paired my Kindle with it I was blown away by the 8 speaker Bose sound system. Note that I managed an up scale car audio store and installed sound systems in a number of expensive vehicles. If you want a car with a phenomenal stock audio system, get the SL. It will blow you away. That being said, let's get on to the more important stuff. If you want a fully loaded luxury sedan for under 25,000. This is your best choice. I recently retired, a little prematurely, after 27 years in the health care industry. I was provided with a new car every 18 months, Ford's, Toyata, Dodge, and Chevy's. Sedans and Cross overs, notably the Chevy Equinox. Many models more expensive and not as nice as the Sentra. In fact, I never bought any company car, even the Charger, but if I had the 2015 SentraSL and no major issues, I would have bought it as a my personal car. On the Exterior the Sentra looks a lot like an Infinity, not as sexy and not as sexy as the Altima but classy. The finish is great in the dark grey, with leather black interior. The LED front and rear lights give it a rich look. I have 17 inch aluminium wheels of which looks great and have low resistance Contintal tires mounted. If previouse experience from my many previous vehicles serve me with the Sentra, I suspect replacement tires will be expensive (at this time I cannot support that, just a gut feeling.) The sunroof works flawlessly and comes standard with the SL package. I can tell you based on my audio auto days that aftermarket sunroofs are a bad idea. If you want it done right, get it pre-installed by the manufacturer. My SL also has door mirrors that retract and have built in turn signals, front only. I took it on a road trip for 450 miles the first week of ownership and drove through the worst storm so far this year on the east coast. The car handled well, the fog lights ( also standard on the SL) did their job. Most importantly, the car did not leak. This is a testament to great and solid construction. Kudos to Nissan. As a side note. The car has little check marks all over the car, where not important, that signify that an inspector checked personally, that the job was done right. I'm told that this is rare. The interior is where the 2015 Nissan SentraSL really shines. Let me just say WOW. The dash is stylish and informative. The interior materials are hard rubber, not plastic as in my former cars including the Dodge Charger and even my 2015 Chevy Equinox. The reason I note this is that plastic scuffs and breaks. The Dodge Charger was the worst and the Chevy Equinox nut much better. I have the upgrade Bose 8 speaker sound system, and full navigation package. As noted previously, the sound system is superb and works flawlessly. The Navigation is the best I've ever used. While giving directions, it sits the screen and let's you know and See, tourns before you have to make them. Another cool thing on the screen is that is provides you with the speed limit in the bottom right side so that you never have to guess. I must say that when in Philadelphia, the navigation system directed us to a very hard to find restaurant of which until we reached it, I thought it was taking us nowhere. My SentraSL also has an automatic dimming rear mirror and has garage door opnerers mounted on it. Let me say that they both work great. The SentraSL leather interior is first class all around. The leather wrapped starring wheel, shift knob and the arm wreast's are color coordinated. Contrary to other reviwes I've read, I will state that the only more comfortable seat I've ever sat in is my wife's 2010 Mazda CX7 of which is also leather. The seats are perforated and heated. They seats have pockets on both front and rear. The air conditioner works great even on 90 degree days and can be fine tuned on both sides. One of my only complainants on this car would be the lack of events for passengers in the rear. The AltimaSL does have this. Note that the side mirrors are heated as well. The 2015 Nissan SentraSL is very roomy although not as much as the Altima. Plenty of room front and back a song as your not taller than six feet. As mentioned in other reviews the trunk is huge. According to Nissan, a,six foot ladder will fit with front and rear seats down. My TT bike fits without issues with the seats down. Six pieces of luggage and much more will work. And finally, I think I read, that 99 teddy bears will fit. I do not doubt it. Now, let's talk about the ride. I have driven almost 2000 miles in less than 2 months. Even through an awful storm to Philadelphia. The car drives smooth and comfortable. It is quiet even over 70mph. I have NO complaints about the CVT transmission. With a 10 year or 120,000 mile warranty, I have no fears. In the city I get around 33 miles per gallon and on the highway around 42 miles per gallon. My experience is comparable to other reviewers. Unlike a few other reviewers,I love the way this car drives and I have pushed it to the limit in a few cases. I feel that it drives no better or worse than my Charger, Taurus and Equinox. My wife's 2005 Mazda CX7 does drive with more punch despite being a cross over. In short, I feel that this is the best,fully loaded sedan under 25,000. It has all the bells and whistles, drives great and looks decent. Can't ask for much more."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Eh, its a Nissan...

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Price, Great Gas Mileage"

Cons: "Idles high, no control"

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

"So i owned a 97 Honda Accord before the 2014 Nissan Sentra i bought, i bought my wife a loaded Toyota Camry SE(Has everything) and got used to driving that. So going from a Camry that was fully loaded and a v6 to this was horrible...Now compared to a 97 Accord it was a great plus, Impeccable gas mileage. The main reason i got the vehicle was it was cheap and gas mileage was great, i got about 41.2mpg daily, my drive is about 43 miles one way to work...That's about the only plus to this vehicle. You end up getting what you pay for. If you are a High School chick and want a new car then this is for you but if you're not then don't waste your time....The car feels like it floats at 70mph, easy to lose control, idles high, no acceleration and not to mention the radio station can't come in clearly...The test drive was good but after i put 4,500 miles(highway miles) on it, it got worse and worse to drive..."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Best for the $$$$

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "GREAT PRICE. GAS SAVING AND reliable commute!"

Cons: "HIGH INSURANCE QUOTE"

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

"I got a brand new SENTRA SR( 17 alloy wheel- LED headlight- Rear Spoiler- Windows tint) at a PRICE that is equal to a Corolla Base model ($16000 OTD) 3000 miles so far without problem, NOISY CVT save some gas. Driving dynamic is no way compare to my VW Passat Sedan but FINE in its class. NIssan 1.8 L engine is proved for its reliability."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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