For 2009, the Nissan Sentra four-door sedan gets a redesigned trunk lid, upgraded seat materials and new power speed-sensing door locks. The front-wheel-drive base trims are powered by a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine producing 140 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque, while the SE-R has a 2.5L I4 that cranks out 177 hp and the SE-R Spec V has a modified version of the 2.5L engine that boasts 200 hp. Choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available, except for the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V for which manual is mandatory. A fuel efficient performer, EPA estimates for the manual transmission rate 24 mpg city/31 mpg hwy, while the CVT gets 25/33 mpg. Among the Sentra's formidable safety features are Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System featuring dual-stage front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.Read more Read less
For 2009, the Sentra is carried over virtually unchanged, though there are a few small changes to its appearance and standard feature list. All models get a redesigned trunk lid. Automatic door locks are made standard across the line and MP3 playback capability is added to the sound systems. There's also a new 2.0 SL Premium Package available, and SE-R models have a new Upgrade Package option. Three new exterior colors are offered for the Sentra--Red Brick, Sonoran Sand and Arctic Blue--while the SE-R and Spec V get Metallic Blue and Midnight Sky.
Distinctive appearance; bargain price; comfortable ride; SE-R performance
The standard versions of the Sentra has more of an emphasis on interior design and amenities than most other small sedans its size, and at a better price than most of its competitors. The Spec V is attractive for its torquey engine and crisp handling, and as a competitively priced alternative to the likes of the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen GTI.