Nissan Sentra — Now with optional turbocharged engine

By David Finkelstein

The Nissan Sentra compact four door sedan has been an admired vehicle among consumers worldwide for some 35-years. It's been the company's third best-selling vehicle — directly behind the Altima mid-sized sedan and Rogue crossover. For the 2017 model year, the five passenger compact is now manufactured in it's seventh generation. To help celebrate this milestone, the car is offered in 2017 in a new SR Turbo version.

Similar to the rest of the Sentra lineup, the car includes advanced safety and driving aid technologies throughout. Nissan sums up Sentra as having "class-above" styling with premium design qualities coupled with an enhanced driving experience.

Depending on the precise trim level, two engines are attainable. The1.6-liter Direct Injection Turbo four cylinder found in the new SR package includes a 16-valve, DOHC configuration incorporated with key aluminum-alloy components. The performance output is rated at 188-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The factory recommendation is that it operates best on premium grade fuel.

New Sentra SR Turbo edition

Besides the turbo engine, Nissan makes available its 1.8-liter, 124 horsepower four cylinder engine as well. It's the volume leader with fuel economy rated at 29 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined, with their Xtronic CVT automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual gearbox is also in the mix.

Along with the new SR Turbo, Sentra is offered in five different trim levels. The entry version is badged as S 6MT. From there, Sentra is manufactured in S Xtronic,  SV, SR and SL grades. The Turbo set up, it comes with an upgraded suspension system, enhancements with the steering componentry, and front disc brakes.

All grades for '17 include improved interior quietness, due in part to additional hush materials plus thicker front and rear window glass. Vehicle speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering and power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum braking system are standard, with 4-wheel disc brakes available on the SR and SL grades.

Available wheel and tire combinations include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers or 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/55R16 size all-season tires for S and SV grades. Additionally, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires come with the SR and SL trims. For 2017, you'll discover the extensive exterior redesign from a year ago. This helps bring together the new design language.

The Sentra exterior combines a sense of sportiness with its refined style and attractive proportions. New key features include a bold front fascia, grille, fenders, hood and signature boomerang-shaped headlights. LED low-beam headlights with LED signature accents are offered on Sentra SR and Sentra SL grades. In the rear, the alluring shaped taillights add a more premium appearance.

Other features include chrome door handles and window accents. Heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals are available. The Sentra SR has a sportier appearance with unique designed 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels plus lower body side sill extensions, a rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and a chrome plated exhaust tip.

Inside the passenger cabin, Sentra features one of the largest interiors in it's class with enhanced rear seat legroom and standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat design. The high-quality interior is showcased with materials not usually found in compact vehicles such as a soft-touch instrument panel and door armrests. Optional is leather-appointed seating surfaces.

Standard features also include a 6-way manual driver's seat, 4-way manual front passenger's seat, front and rear door pockets, oversize front center console with padded armrest and cupholders as well as retractable armrest and cupholders for the rear seats. Air conditioning and a micro pollen cabin filter is also included, as is remote keyless entry plus power door locks and windows.

The standard audio hardware is an AM/FM/CD system with four speakers and USB connection for iPod and other compatible devices. Sentra SV, SR and SL grades include a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display positioned between the tachometer and speedometer. These grades also include Siri Eyes Free Voice Recognition as standard equipment.

Optional are advanced technology features that help owners stay connected including; NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, a 5.8-inch color touch-screen, SiriusXM Traffic, SiriusXMTravel Link with fuel prices, weather, movie listing, sports scores and stock prices and Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation.

A number of Nissan's advanced Safety Shield Technologies are available for 2017 including Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. In addition, Sentra's list of standard safety and security features include their Nissan Advanced Air Bag System.

The 2017 Sentra also delivers responsive handling through an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar and torsional beam rear suspension with an integrated stabilizer bar. The 2017 Sentra is assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and shipped globally. All versions are assembled on a front-wheel-drive chassis.

The base S model with manual transmission has an MSRP starting at $16,990 not including shipping and destination charges that come to $865.