If commuting to work becomes a daily chore, the Nissan Sentra can solve the problem. This commuter’s dream is substantially better than its previous generations.
Space, Space, Space! For a 2.0L dual-overhead cam 4-cylinder engine, the 149 horsepower / 146 ft.-lb. of torque little commuter was a dream to drive. It comes with a lot of space for both the driver and limited passengers when needed. Trunk space and storage was not shabby and had a great ability to fit things nicely.
Compared to previous generations the Sentra now offers 16-inch alloy wheels, all-season tires, heated mirrors, remote engine start and leather wrapped steering wheel. Our Electric Blue SV tester had everything needed for a standard commute and on our test through the one-way streets of South Boston. Easy to park, easy to see and fun to drive are normal conclusions after spending time behind the wheel of a Sentra.
Think about all of the vehicles you pass on your typical day to work or to the grocery store. Over 20+ brands come to mind right away and with so much competition in this market, manufacturers must include a ton of additional standard features to convince the commuter that their entry level vehicle has the edge. For a basic ride, an 8-inch color display, USB ports and NissanConnect featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto raise the stakes.
Fuel efficiency is obviously a conversation in this market. Commuters want as minimal cost as possible and the 34.4 MPG we got here was really good. It only cost us $13 dollars to fill it up for the week. Remember, this is all for a vehicle that has a starting price near $20,000.
In this segment, we have recently tested the Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta. Others in this category are the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Some competition in this market also have more features like leather, navigation and LED headlights — all of which push themselves above the $20,000 price point.
In the Nissan lineup, you have the Versa, a super low economy 5-seater, and then of course the Sentra, Altima and Maxima. The Sentra has 3 models, the base level S starting at $19,090, our tester, the SV, and the SR starting at $21,430, which has orange accented sport interior, dark chrome v-motion grille and 18-inch wheels.
The commuter category is not for everyone, but if economy is your priority and you need a chore-less ride to just get the job done, the no-frills, no-thrills Sentra is certainly a stylish ride that deserves a look-see.
MPG: 29 city / 39 highway / 34.4 as tested
As Tested: $21,400