2021 Nissan Sentra review: Not a benchwarmer, not quite a benchmark

Extensive an also-ran, present-day Sentra is healthful and surprisingly stylish.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

It’s been a very long time because the Nissan Sentra could be viewed as not just a “neat motor vehicle,” but a genuinely superior motor vehicle. Luckily, the folks inside the Japanese automaker have hashed out a successful components with putting looks, a lofty characteristics checklist and a comfortable package deal with price to boot. Some rivals may possibly have an edge here or there, but by and huge, the Sentra is squarely back in the game.

Table of Contents


  • Fairly stylish in its own proper
  • Significantly comfortable seats for very long drives
  • Loads of characteristics for a truthful rate

You should not Like

  • Scatterbrained transmission
  • Dated infotainment

There’s anything inherently charming about this minor compact. Right from the commence, the 2021 Nissan Sentra oozes an appeal all its own. It won’t glimpse like a further appealing motor vehicle, the sedan is just its own matter. If just about anything, there is certainly a lot of mini-Maxima going on here, relatively than shrunken Altima, which I assume is a very superior matter. Nissan’s V-Movement grille sits proudly up front with chrome and black accents connecting to edgy headlights. This Sentra SR trim boasts the optional Top quality Package deal, which between characteristics we will speak about later, adds sharp LED headlamps and quality daytime running lights, much too. At night time, they supply a lot of mind-set, and my tester even athletics underglow lights. Yes, like, manufacturing facility stuff straight out of a Speedy and Furious flick. The optional lighting package deal tosses some white lights beneath, which glimpse genuinely terrific paired with this tester’s two-tone Electrical Blue Metallic and black paint plan.

Out back, household ties to the Altima are more clear with a similar taillight procedure, while the Sentra nonetheless rocks its own glimpse with a widened stance and this SR trim’s sportier solitary exhaust outlet. A compact spoiler continues to flirt with the diet plan Speedy and Furious allure, and eighteen-inch alloy wheels assistance fill the stylish profile in.

These looks don’t essentially translate to sporty functionality, but the Sentra’s wholly able of serving as a stupendous every day driver. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated two.-liter inline-four motor matched with Nissan’s XTronic continuously variable transmission, which includes simulated “shifts” to assistance motorists consider and forget about it can be not a CVT. It’s not fooling any one, I promise. In truth, I discovered CVT to be the most affordable stage of the Sentra’s whole package deal even though zipping all around. From a end, the XTronic invitations a surge of very low-close torque. Although snappy, the momentum established can truly feel like a situation of the cart having in advance of the horse. The “change points” continue being scattered, much too. Embrace the CVT and allow it rev, I say. Normally, the inline-four hums along with out problems and returns an EPA-approximated 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 32 mpg mixed. The engine’s 149 horsepower and 146 pound-toes of torque are more than able of scooting the compact sedan all around.

Driving the Sentra continues to be smooth when it comes to handling, much too, many thanks to a new multilink independent rear suspension and shocking confident-footed qualities when cornering. The steering surprises as well, with a all-natural weighted truly feel. The Honda Civic and Mazda3 cater more to fanatic motorists, but the Sentra is not sure to the rental lot any longer, mates.

Pleasingly useful, but with a modicum of model.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

Plopping down inside reveals one ace up the Sentra’s sleeve — pretty much as you sit down. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are silly comfortable and remarkable for very long stints driving the wheel. The interior’s also dressed up correctly in the SR trim with some faux carbon fiber accents, contrasting orange stitching and soft components in which your arms normally relaxation in the cockpit. The flat-base steering wheel is also a wonderful contact and feels at residence here.

What I adore about the Sentra’s interior is how easy it is. Yes, the Hyundai Elantra wows with a massive show monitor and electronic gauges, but you know what? Physical buttons and analog gauges nonetheless operate, and they operate genuinely well in the Sentra. Everything sits within just arrive at and designers laid all the controls out in easy fashion.

There are a couple of screens to preserve up with the tech fashion. In in between the two gauges in the cluster is a 7-inch driver-information monitor that showcases critical information evidently, even though an 8-inch touchscreen on the SR trim handles infotainment duties. The infotainment looks a tad dated and it won’t assess to sexier shows like in the aforementioned Elantra, but it operates fairly well, conserve for the occasional enter lag. Apple CarPlay and Android Car (wired) arrive along for the experience, as do baked-in SiriusXM and Bluetooth capabilities. Crank the quantity knob and audio funnels via an optional six-speaker Bose audio system. It’s an suitable improve for these who like to jam driving the wheel, but don’t hope residence-theater-like crispness.

The price-laden 2021 Nissan Sentra has obtained your back, Jack.


Preserving with modern-day-day tech, Nissan’s Security Shield 360 reviews for obligation as normal tools on all Sentras. Automatic unexpected emergency braking, blind-location alerts and the regular slew of active-basic safety tools are all present and accounted for. The offered 360-diploma camera coverage is also a wonderful bonus for the segment. Gladly, these characteristics all operate well, much too — I noticed no hiccups even though driving the sedan all around town and on the freeway. The SR trim also includes optional adaptive cruise handle which gets A-Ok marks from me. I didn’t working experience a solitary concern throughout its time active.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra helps make a strong situation for alone, and not since it just ticks a lot of packing containers compact motor vehicle customers glimpse for. With this tester’s $twenty five,910 rate after a $925 desired destination demand, the Sentra SR will never go away you longing for more tools. A lot more interior model? Perhaps, but Nissan’s compact motor vehicle finally feels like it has some personality yet again to go with its strong price perform. And as SUVs keep on to reign supreme, why not be a bit more of an individualist and go with a sedan?