By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
By DONNA on Friday, January 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"the brakes otherwise a great car good on gas, confortable car is consider a small vehicle but has plenty of room. Love ths car"
By CJ on Thursday, January 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cheap, decent body style--biggest pro!"
Cons: "Cheap and too simple for the cost"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Good starter car, if you have options than I recommend to exhaust other options/prices/deals. I thought I was getting a good deal. For the price I took the car but the dealership where I purchased the car brand new, I feel got one over on me. Selling price was to be 15k, after first bill noticed it was over 18k. I've paid 8,199.38 so far and still owe 4,000 over the wholesale value. Also when I had them conduct a transmission flush, they forgot the fluids so it burnt out my tranny. Great! These reasons may be why I rate the car so low but I would never purchase another sentra! I purchased a passat just a few months later as a mother's day gift and for the little extra I recommend the VW BY FAR and that is strictly my review of the car! Choose different. Thank you"
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By aconsumerreview on Sunday, January 04, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, comfortable, great mileage & space"
Cons: "Include Bluetooth & sliding center armrest on all."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The 2014 Nissan Sentra SV offered me exactly what I was looking for in a compact car priced at under $20,000. My priorities on buying were based on the many miles I drive (15-20K annually) were as follows, and in this order - comfort (seating and driving), safety ratings, great gas mileage, build quality/reliability/reputation (inside & out), cabin and trunk space, cabin features (radio, ac, knobs, gauges etc.) and auto insurance premiums. After doing a lot of in depth research both online and in print as well as watching test drive and review videos, I decided to test drive several Japanese vehicles priced under $20,000 that met my about criteria. In the end I chose to purchase a Nissan Sentra for three reasons. 1). We leased a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder in July of 2013 which was my first experience with a Nissan and a CVT automatic transmission. Not only did the CVT transmission (used in Formula One racing cars) grow on me, the mileage is superb and we have had zero problems with the vehicle. 2). The 2014 Nissan Sentra offered a lot of value for $18,000 in terms of features that met my criteria and priorities as listed earlier in this review including a soft touch dash board in a market full of cheap plastics. Additionally, all Sentra's come with Econo & Sport mode buttons for a different driving experience. So while some online and video reviews will knock Nissan for having a 130 HP four cylinder engine, many cars in this class have smaller less powerful motors and no alternate driving modes. 3). The Nissan Sentra (model SV) met my needs at my budget and some as well as the ease and incentives Nissan was offering and the ease in which I was able to get into this car without any games from the dealer or NMAC (Nissan Motors Finance). It was a very easy transaction. In short, the Nissan Sentra offered more value, amenities and comfort at my price point than any other Japanese auto maker."
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful