Once again, Nissan is putting into practice with its all new Sentra model something that has succeeded for them in the past: push the model up market. As it first did with the Maxima and later with the Altima, Nissan has now promoted the Sentra to make room for the pending introduction of the subcompact Versa. With the all new model, Sentra fans will find a better equipped, more polished model then any other car that has ever worn the Sentra nameplate. Intrigued? You should be: the car simply goes where no Sentra has gone before: up market.
Over the years, plenty of automakers have taken a popular selling model and elevated it one notch. Why? For a few reasons: to capitalize on demand for the model – a more luxurious version typically carries more profits with it then the base model. Instead of losing customers to another model [or worse, another make] when they are ready to trade up, why not move up the model instead? Another reason: the introduction of a newer, but smaller model in the line up. For Nissan, the latter reason holds especially true as the subcompact Versa, a car built to compete against the likes of Scion enters the Nissan line up at about the same time.
The new Sentra is much more roomier than the previous model. In fact, it could be mistaken for a midsize car as it packs in an additional 10 cubic feet of interior space. Other surprises found with the 2007 Sentra include a center console/shifter and dual folding high back rear seats to maximize carrying potential. Importantly, front and side impact air bags are now standard and a whole host of options not previously available with the model can now be had. These options include: smart key accessibility, Bluetooth wireless, a sound system to die for.
Best of all, fuel mileage is exceptionally good. Mating a 2.0L I4 to a six speed manny tranny yields EPA estimated fuel results of 29 city/36 highway. These figures are likely to be at or near the top for any car in its category.
Yes, the Nissan Sentra is a pleasant surprise, one that the Nissan company hopes that you will notice. For people looking for a bargain basement model, the Sentra no longer qualifies. Instead, the tiny Versa takes over and it will deliver two things that Nissan knows you will love: exceptionally high gas mileage and an affordable price starting around $12,000. Look for well equipped Sentras to retail for around $18,000.