2020 Nissan Sentra SR-CVT
2020 Nissan Sentra SR: Overview
After a couple of weeks of waiting, we were glad to test the new, 8th generation Nissan Sentra. After the significant losses in North America in the last five-years, Nissan is undergoing a restructuring period. New and appealing products are a significant part of this transformation. Being on the market for 37 years, Sentra is a very crucial product for Nissan globally.
Sedans become less popular worldwide, leading North American producers to focus more on SUVs and pickup trucks. So, Japanese and Korean companies more and more dominate this market segment in North America. In Canada, the sedan market is around 300K and thus still too big to ignore.
In this regard, Nissan launched a product that will compete with powerful names like Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
After our test drive for a week, we were convinced that Nissan was aware and launched a strong and desirable product. The new, 8th generation Sentra does not only look beautiful but also drives well. This car offers sufficient passenger room and cargo area and ready for the competition.
Engine and Powertrain
It has a two-litre 4 cylinder engine that delivers 149 horsepower and 145-pound feet of torque. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission and is sufficient to move the car quite effortlessly in the city and on the highway.
My first impression of the 2020 Nissan Sentra was that this car drives like a vehicle one category bigger. I sat behind the steering wheel and hit the road. As we always say, we are not fans of CVT transmissions. Still, this one proved to be well-tuned and working in perfect harmony with the engine. The acceleration is quite linear and no extreme fluctuations in the revolution for the sake of fuel-saving. Independent strut front suspension and multilink rear suspension provide a very comfortable and soft ride. When jumping over the big bumps, you may feel that this is a compact car. Still, in general, it drives well. The fuel consumption is very reasonable too. We came up with an average of 7.9 litres in a mixed-mode.
The 18-inch light-alloy wheels with all-season tires contribute to the comfort.
The cabin is well designed and crafted. Nissan’s zero-gravity seats are very comfortable, and you feel the difference more as you drive more. Last November, we had an extended test drive with the Altima, Sentra’s bigger cousin from Toronto to Halifax. By then we had enjoyed the comfort of these seats. The smaller Sentra provides a similar experience and I bet that the seat quality will be a long-term and long-distance plus.
The dashboard of the 2020 Nissan Sentra is well designed. The craftsmanship and the quality of materials are convincing. The tablet-style infotainment screen is easy to use. Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a plus.
The passenger room is generous. Especially the legroom in the rear is almost a bonus for this class. I must say that the Sentra offers more legroom in the rear than some luxury sport sedans that cost the double Sentra’s price.
Pricing and Specifications
For details of pricing and specifications, please see the window sticker of our tester below:
2020 Nissan Sentra SR: Conclusion
In the new era of the Renault-Nissan Alliance (with Mitsubishi now also on board), there are still some uncertainties. However, we believe that each party will benefit and from this alliance and the scale of economies and the associated cost advantages it will bring, staying together is a must for each brand. And Nissan will utilize its decades-long engineering and technological capabilities to get great products onto the market. Especially in North America for which Nissan is the most significant region, the Japanese brand has strategic responsibility. The new Nissan Sentra SR, together with the new, 2021 Rouge (that we will test shortly) are key factors to the success.
For more detailed and most up-to-date information please visit: http://www.nissan.ca
Article and Photos by Varol McKars