2011 Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra for 2011

The 2011 Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan in name alone. Actually labeled by the EPA as a midsize, the Sentra offers spacious seating for five, distinctive style and the comfort of a bigger car without the appetite for fuel. There are six Sentra trim levels available for selection. Buyers can pick the Sentra 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, SE-R and SE-R Spec V. This richness of choice covers a broad spectrum of equipment and handling preferences while the MSRPs all fall into the affordable category.

The 2011 Nissan Sentra is an awful lot of car for a starting MSRP of $15,520. A long wheelbase and short overhangs lend a stocky stance, and the Sentra's 98 cubic feet of passenger volume is nearly as much as you'll find in the Toyota Camry (101 cubic feet).

The Nissan Sentra was introduced to the US market in 1982. Now entering its sixth generation the 2011 Sentra is revised with better fuel economy in the city, new option packages for the well-equipped SL trim and more standard equipment. Select Sentra models are now available with an SL Value Package, Visual Audio Package and SL Audio Package. The SL Special Value Package has a navigation system with five-inch color touchscreen, XM NavTraffic, RearView Monitor and a power-operated glass moonroof among its highlights. Opting for the SL Audio Package nets you an eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with 340 watts of power. The audio system also offers MP3 playback,
an auxiliary input and speed-sensitive volume control.

Navigation is also available separately, and the XM NavTraffic feature provides real-time traffic and route information with a subscription to the service. A USB port is also part of the system. Drivers ordering the Visual Audio Package in their Sentra S or SR get a premium audio system with 4.3-inch LCD screen, USB and iPod connections and a Rockford Fosgate speaker system. You can even get heated leather seats in the Sentra 2.0 SL with the Leather Package.

The deep feature set is underscored by the Sentra's fun-to-drive nature. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is an advanced design built from aluminum for weight savings and increased efficiency. The engine's 140 hp and 147 lb/ft of torque are responsive and efficient. Sentra 2.0 models can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, and other trim levels use a continuously variable transmission, Nissan's smooth and efficient XTronic CVT. Fuel economy ratings are up to 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

Making the most of the engine's power, the Sentra's handling uses an independent front strut design with a stabilizer bar, and a torsion beam rear axle also packing a stabilizer bar. Specially designed shock absorbers soak up pavement ripples for a controlled ride that's not harsh. Antilock brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard for all Sentras, along with Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability control system. The standard Nissan Advanced Airbag System uses dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags and Active Head Restraints on the front seats.

If the satisfying drive of the standard Sentra isn't enough, the SE-R and SE-R Spec V models offer a distinctly sporty experience with specially tuned suspensions and a larger, 2.5-liter engine. The SE-R has 177 hp while the SE-R Spec V packs an even 200 hp. Both engines utilize a high-flow intake system for better breathing, and engine balancers keep things smooth. SE-R models are available with a paddleshift-equipped Xtronic CVT, and Spec-V models carry a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. Chassis bracing stiffens up the Spec V, which is lowered and features sport-tuned shocks and struts. SE-R models also benefit from sport-tuned springs, but retain the standard Sentra ride height.

From easily affordable and surprisingly refined, buyers can choose the luxury fork in the road and wind up with leather and navigation, or go off in search of performance with the SE-R and SE-R Spec V, which offer genuine thrill rides. Regardless of choice, the 2011 Nissan Sentra's compact footprint covers a lot of ground. The SE-R Spec V with manual transmission which will cost you $20,100 MSRP.

A redesign is expected for 2012.

2011 Nissan Sentra 2011 Nissan Sentra Interior 2011 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V