In the Sentra, Nissan places fuel economy as a high priority. To that end, a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine is the only option. It makes 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Both a 6-speed manual transmission and a continuously variable (CVT) transmission are available. The best part of the Sentra's engine is that it helps the car return fuel economy numbers of 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
Inside, premium materials and metal accents give the Sentra an upscale feel. Standard features include 6-way adjustable driver's seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, USB ports and remote keyless entry. Power everything has become expected in this category, and the Sentra comes so equipped.
The FE+ S is fuel-efficiency oriented and comes with low-rolling resistance tires and a rear spoiler. The SV offers optional "smart" headlamps, satellite radio, push-button ignition, NissanConnect with mobile apps, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A touch-screen navigation system with voice recognition is also available. The system also allows smartphone integration, Pandora internet radio, hands-free texting and a rearview monitor. The optional Premium package includes a power sunroof and a Bose stereo with eight speakers.
The SR trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and unique exterior touches like a special grille and side spoilers. The top of the lineup, the SL, makes the upgraded stereo standard, as is the leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats with heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and fog lamps.
The Sentra's trunk capacity is impressive. At over 15 cubic feet, it rivals some midsize sedans. Meanwhile, safety features include standard anti-lock brakes and traction control as well as frontal and side-impact airbags. Also, SR and SL trims now include rear disc brakes standard.
Nissan introduces several interior comfort and convenience updates to the Sentra for 2015, such as standard USB ports and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity on all trims. The SL trim now has leather seating with heated front seats, while rear disc brakes are now standard on SR and SL trims. Elsewhere, S trims gain steering wheel audio controls.