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 Mike on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun car. looks good, great size for its class!"
Cons: "Value falls to fast, CVT transmission, kills perf."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Paid 19000 for the sporty version. However, this car will not hold its value. It goes from 20000 to 13000 in one year. If you buy this car, make sure you want to keep it for the long haul, because trade value is terrible it WILL fall like a ROCK over a cliff!"
13 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Greg41 on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,278overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, looks"
Cons: "steering, suspension, interior, fun to drive,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"For one, the steering wheel on this car is completely numb. If you want to know what it feels like to hold a wooden plank instead of a steering wheel..drive the 2013 Sentra. It only gets worse from here. One of my biggest complaint with the car is the lack of self righting force in the steering wheel. And by lack....i mean complete inability for steering wheel to self center. You know, the feeling of "straight ahead" in your steering wheel while driving. This car has none. On top of that...the steering is completely over boosted at any speed. More particularly at lower. Even the slightest of touches to the steering wheel, can send the car all over the lane. For example how over boosted this car is: I once steered my Sentra going 55 mph through a moderately sharp S-curves....with 1 finger! Electric power assist :( (btw,the professional reviewer who said that 2013 Sentra has a nicely weighted steering. Needs to lose his car reviewing privileges ASAP). If you combine my before mentioned complaints together...this car become a chore to drive. Chore is one of the word i can describe this car. While driving Senta feels disconnected from the road , nervous and hard to control. On the scale of 1-10 fun to drive category, I'd give this car an 1. Maybe 2, on a good day. Moreover occasional bump steer can send the car in other lane particularly under braking ( Nice work there, Nissan engineers, I bet you guys must be proud of this car suspension geometry). Suspension is a also garbage, too. Although its nicely dampened, there's little rebound control. It feels like you've got Pogo sticks under the wheels. The interior comfort has a lot to be desired, also. There is no center console....your elbow rest on either in the cup-holders or on the safety belt buckle.Cramped cockpit doesn't help to rectify this situation. Oh...its very cramped. The seat themselves are uncomfortable,also. They offer no lumbar support and are just plain uncomfortable. Bat stool comes to mind. In the end all i have to say is that i hate this car and i cannot wait to get rid of it. If you want your car to be sporty or even decent to drive. Stay away from this Nissan contraption. You've been warned."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Mario Andretti on Saturday, September 13, 2014
I want this caroverall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Pretty car, and good gas mileage"
Cons: "No accelleration out of gate. Bumpy ride."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"2014 Nissan Sentra review: I drove a Sentra for 2 weeks in Nashville doing service calls for Dell Computer Corporation. The car is ascetically appealing because they rounded off the edges finally and it looks like a small Altima. Seats: Not comfortable enough for my 5'6'' frame at 180lbs muscular. I am not fat or slim but I work out and these seats just could not be made to accommodate my back and most of the time I had to sit low in the seat. You feel everything on the road until you get to 70 mph. And at 80, it feels like the back tires are slipping out from under you, so don't go that fast in this car. I was coming down a steep incline and almost could not stop on the low end good year tires. Scared me to death, I was behind a 780 BMW. Handling is very tight, not rigid, but the steering can't come down low enough, I used to my Kia Amanti Steering wheel coming down to my lap. They could make it a little more flexible coming down, so you get that sports car feel, instead of Granny feel of having a high steering wheel. Gas mileage is awesome, 34 mpg with only 10 gallon tank. I drove 250 miles a day, so I was at the station every other day. Visibility is above average for small car, but blind spots are very obvious and close to car. you better be ready when you decide to change lanes, somebody is going to be right on you. Primarily because you can't get the seat, the Steering wheel and the mirrors to work in unison. Im 53 and wouldn't buy it, but I think kids would love it because you can get out there and have a nice drive. I didn't have a roof, but I would have one on mine. Acceleration from 0-50 will not get you out of the way with an automatic! There is no power on the pedal until you get up to 60 and then the car wants to really fly. I surprised a lot people , one guy in a corvette actually gave up trying to zip with me through traffic, I was crossing three lanes diagonally with no problem, I felt like Andretti!. I can drive like Andretti as long as I have the rubber and the brakes. Brakes were a 7 at best. They don't lock up tight, could use some bigger disc of course just for the downhill stuff. Good pedal on the brakes, never scared me and they always did what I anticipate. This car had 8900 miles on it but I was thinking 5 years down the road, that this car is going to be a very used car, with no power, bad brakes, and wobbly seats. Audio system has very good low end, but highs just aren't there, so I figured they built these for college students who listen to RAP music all day and night. I like Jazz, Gospel and Adult."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful