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2015 Nissan Sentra

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2015 Nissan Sentra Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

Nissan has always endeavored to make its compact Sentra sedan look and feel bigger and more upscale than its reasonable price tag suggests. The 2015 Nissan Sentra advances this philosophy by adding more style and performance than its predecessors. With more interior room than a Dodge Dart and more rear-seat legroom than the Ford Focus, the Sentra offers superior comfort for all its occupants while keeping its exterior dimensions tidy and manageable. The Sentra’s handsome interior is augmented by its advanced infotainment system that includes NissanConnect, an apps-based platform that permits access to Google and Pandora as well as the ability to manage incoming and outgoing text messages.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a roomy and comfortable interior takes priority over sporty handling and a powerful engine, the 2015 Nissan Sentra compact sedan should be at the top of your test-drive list. Excellent value is built into the affordable yet technologically advanced options that make this little compact a big winner.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a turbocharged engine, aggressive handling or a manual transmission on more than just the base car, you’ll need to look to the Dodge Dart, Mazda3 or Ford Focus. Hyundai’s Elantra is also a premium player in the bang-for-the-buck game.

What's New for 2015

Nissan’s Sentra sedan for 2015 sees a number of big improvements including new standard features such as Bluetooth, a USB port and cruise control. The SV trim gains Intelligent Key, rearview camera and a new Style Package option. The SR gains heated front seats plus features from last year’s Driver’s Package.

Driving the Sentra
Driving Impressions

No one expects the 2015 Nissan Sentra compact sedan to light a fire under the enthusiast driver’s seat, but as daily commuter we think the Sentra does an excellent job...

... of combining good handling with a comfortable ride. The Sentra’s CVT transmission is one of the best in the industry, and with so many other competitors moving to this more efficient form of selecting gears, the once awkward feeling of driving a CVT now seems commonplace. The Sentra’s electric power steering is nicely weighted and, although not as interactive as the system in the Mazda3, we think it’s better than the setup in the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte. The 130 horsepower offered up by the Sentra’s 1.8-liter engine isn’t going to win any races, but it’s enough to keep up with the Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus in both acceleration and fuel economy.

NISSANCONNECT
Nissan’s apps-based infotainment system allows you to program your navigation system from a laptop via Google, listen to Pandora Internet radio and can even read aloud incoming text messages.

EASY FILL TIRE ALERT
Keeping your tires properly inflated is important for both safety and maximum fuel economy. Nissan’s Easy Fill Tire Alert will honk the horn once the correct tire pressure is reached, negating the need for a tire-pressure gauge.

2015 Nissan Sentra Details
2015 Nissan Sentra 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 of the 2015 Nissan Sentra, 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 Nissan Sentra sedan is roomy enough, in fact, that it’s one of a handful of compact sedans classified as midsize by the EPA.

Exterior
2015 Nissan Sentra photo

Softly sculpted sheetmetal, substantial proportions and shiny-object LED headlight accents and taillights all combine to give Nissan’s 2015 Sentra sedan 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 2015 Nissan Sentra S comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/USB/aux audio system, electroluminescent gauges, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, auto headlights, 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 2015 Nissan Sentra SL includes a moonroof, leather seats (heated fronts), rear disc brakes, more stylish 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic headlights.

Optional Equipment

A fully optioned Nissan Sentra sedan for 2015 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

The Sentra’s 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is among the least powerful in the segment, but we can attest that it moves 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 $25 and 10 gallons per year (at $2.50/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), 29/39 mpg (automatic), 30/40 mpg (automatic w/FE+ trim)

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