2018 Nissan Sentra Preview

  • Standard automatic emergency braking (AEB) (not available with manual transmission or on Nismo)
  • Sentra S gains rearview camera, 5-in. touch screen, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free
  • SR, SL come with adaptive cruise control
  • SL includes power sunroof, NissanConnect Services, Bose premium audio
  • SR trim available with Midnight Edition Blackout package
  • SV gets bigger wheels, standard dual climate control

One of the three most popular compact cars in the United States in 2017, the Nissan Sentra has been sold in America for more than 35 years. Sentra’s seventh-generation redesign was in 2013 with a larger interior and exterior cues from sibling Altima.

For 2018, the Sentra, built in Mexico, is available in five trims including: S, SV, SR, SL, and SR Turbo, plus specially tuned Nismo (short for Nissan Motor Sports). Sentra’s rivals include the best-selling Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

Exterior Features
Nissan’s 2018 Sentra 4-door sedan takes styling cues from its sibling Altima midsize sedan. Signature boomerang-shaped headlights and tail lamps identify the Sentra along with chrome door handles and window accents. Eight paint colors are available.

For 2018, the sporty Sentra SR rides on 17-in., 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and comes with a rear spoiler, LED brake lights, fog lights, and chrome exhaust tips. SV trim includes standard 16-in. alloy wheels, and SL trim adds a moonroof and Bose premium audio system.

Interior Features
Most trims of the 2018 Nissan Sentra are laid out in a simple mix of matte plastic and cloth materials. More upscale trims are available with leather appointments. All trims (except S) include a drive-assist display screen between the tachometer and speedometer and Siri Eyes Free voice recognition.

Sentra’s cabin, which seats 5, is roomy (95.9 cu.-ft. passenger section with 15.1 cu. ft. of cargo space), offering nearly as much space as a midsize sedan. The Sentra provides 37.4 ins. of rear leg room. The 60/40 split rear seats can be folded down, and the front passenger seat also flattens. Driver (6-way) and passenger (4-way) seats adjust and a front center console has a padded arm rest and cupholders. Dual-zone climate control is standard on higher trim levels.

Optional Features
Nissan’s Midnight Edition “blackout” appearance package is available on the SR trim and features all-black side mirrors, rear spoiler, license plate holder, V-Motion grille, fog lamp surrounds, and special name badging. An optional S Midnight Style package features black wheels, side mirrors, and rear spoiler.

Other option packages have been revised. The SL trim now includes SL Premium Tech package elements: moonroof, Bose premium sound, and NissanConnect Services that allows drivers to access information, stay connected to their car, and get assistance. An available Nismo Tech package (including NissanConnect, navigation, and mobile apps) is now standard.
Premium Tech and All Weather packages are also available.

Under the Hood
Two engine choices are offered for the 2018 Sentra. Sentra S, SV, SR, and SL are equipped with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 124 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, matched with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The sporty SR Turbo and Nismo models are equipped with a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cyliner engine that produces 188 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque with selectable manual transmissions.

Fuel Economy
A base 2018 Sentra with manual transmission is EPA-rated to average 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for a combined 30-mpg rating. If the powertrain includes the CVT, fuel economy rises to 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, for a combined 32 mpg.

All 2018 Nissan Sentras (except those with manual transmission) are equipped with new standard automatic emergency braking (AEB) safety technology. Nissan’s advanced air bag system, with sensors plus side-impact air bags, is standard, as is a rearview camera. Cars equipped with the CVT add forward-collision warning plus the new AEB system. Optional advanced safety features include intelligent cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Nissan’s 2018 Sentra receives an overall 4-star rating (out of a possible 5) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Sentra receives a highest-possible “Good” rating for overall crashworthiness and a “Superior” rating for front crash protection. However, due to a “Poor” rating for headlights, it is not an IIHS “Top Safety Pick.”

The base 2018 Sentra S comes with an infotainment system and 5.0-in. touch screen, while upscale trims are available with a 5.8-in. screen, navigation, and NissanConnect that works with apps. Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, and a USB port are included on all trims.

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