The Sentra has a pretty solid reputation for being reliable and great on gas, but Nissan seeks to add a more wild side to the practical compact commuter. With the addition of two performance-oriented models to the Sentra’s lineup—the SR Turbo and NISMO—you can easily add a little bit of kick to your daily drive at an affordable price.
If you are still holding on to fond memories of the fun, fast, inexpensive performance cars of yesteryear, then dream no longer—the spirit and charming character of the car you drove as a teenager in the late 80s is reborn. Understated and unassuming, these new Sentra models will blow the mind of whoever you blow past on the interstate (going a legal speed, of course).
Tapping into the turbo trend, each is equipped with a 1.6-liter direct inject turbo four that makes 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. And, to answer the question we knowing you are begging to ask, of course it comes with a six-speed manual transmission! However, Nissan’s Xtronic CVT is also an option if you haven’t gotten around to learning the ancient art of stick shifting.
Now for the more detailed breakdowns on these models.
Sentra SR Turbo—A Tire Up on the Average Commuter Car
“The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
The SR Turbo models are based on the existing SR trim, which already features sporty accessories like a chrome exhaust finisher, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Pair those with the performance modifications, and it’s essentially a match made in car heaven. Larger front ventilated disc brakes, upgraded spring and damper rates, and optimized Active Understeer Control (CVT models only), as well as a power sliding and tilting moon roof and an optional, model-exclusive appearance package, are all included.
On the SR Turbo, fun-to-drive performance doesn’t come with a sacrifice to fuel economy. EPA estimates put the manual models at 32 highway/26 city mpg, and CVT models at 33 highway/27 city mpg. So, like Mr. Bunce said, this is a perfect choice for anyone who craves thrills, but still needs the benefits that come with driving a compact car. Plus, we’ve got some in stock now at our Nissan dealership near Surprise, so you can check them out right away.
Sentra Gets NISMO-fied
“For 2017, we’re bringing new excitement to Sentra with the Sentra NISMO, which brings driving enthusiasts aftermarket tuner-style performance straight from the factory,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
The Sentra NISMO had its debut at the 2016 LA Auto Show, which proves how much this model loves to show off. However, we say if you’ve got it, flaunt it! The Sentra NISMO rides with a lowered suspension, 18-inch wheels and special tires. Buyers get the choice between Michelin Pilot Sport all-seasons or Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R performance tires, which is a huge deal. Under the hood, the key differences include an engine compression ratio of 10:5:1, along with boosts like a variable pressure oil pump, low-pressure EGR system, and spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores.
If you stared at the photo of the NISMO as long as we did, then you probably noticed it wears some sexy flair. Some of it, like the front fascia, side sills, and dark chrome door handles and trunk finisher are exclusive to the Sentra NISMO specifically. Others you are bound to recognize as NISMO branding, such as the badging, exhaust finisher, black mirror caps, bottom red striping, V-Motion grille and rear fascia and spoiler.
Thinking the Sentra NISMO will be more your speed? Be sure to check back with your local Surprise Nissan dealer to see when they will be available for purchase.