- New Car Test Drive
- Price As Tested:
“Roomy and quick.”
The 2012 Nissan Sentra comes in six models: 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, SE-R, and SE-R Spec V.
The Sentra 2.0 models come with Nissan's 2.0-liter four-cylinder aluminum engine, making 140 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a high-tech and fuel-efficient Nissan Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), but a six-speed manual is available with the base 2.0.
The Sentra 2.0 ($16,060 with manual transmission, $17,240 with CVT) comes with cloth seats, air conditioning, interior air filter, tilt steering wheel, remote manual mirrors, four-way adjustable manual front seats, 60/40-split fold-down rear seats, power windows, power door locks, electric power steering, AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers, auxiliary audio input jack, vehicle immobilizer, and P205/60HR15 tires on steel wheels with wheel covers. The CVT version also sports an SE-R style rear spoiler.
Sentra 2.0 S ($17,990) adds a height adjustment for the driver's seat, power exterior mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, a six-speaker sound system with RDS and MP3 capability plus iPod interface, vehicle information display, upgraded security system, and P205/55HR16 tires. A Convenience Package ($850) for the 2.0 S includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, Intelligent Key keyless entry and ignition with remote trunk release, and a cargo net and hooks. New for 2012 is the Technology Package ($650), which adds touch-screen navigation, XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic (subscription sold separately), and a USB port.
Sentra 2.0 SR ($17,990) is equipped identically to the 2.0 S, but has a sportier appearance borrowed from the performance-oriented SE-R, with a mesh grille, unique front and rear fascia treatments, side sill spoilers, smoked headlights and taillights, driving lights, exhaust tip, SR badging on the rear deck, and aluminum alloy wheels. The SR also offers more options, including a moonroof ($800), and a Special Edition ($1,300) that bundles the moonroof with the Convenience and Technology packages while adding some unique appearance items as well.
Sentra 2.0 SL ($19,390) returns to a more conservative appearance and makes the total contents of the Convenience and package standard, plus an upgraded stereo with USB port and color display screen, XM Satellite Radio, and its own unique alloy wheels. Options include touch-screen navigation ($400), leather seats with front-seat heaters ($900), and a new Special Value Package ($990) that combines the moonroof, navigation, XM NavTraffic, RearView monitor, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, and a cargo net and hooks. Special Value Package buyers can then further upgrade to an eight-speaker, 340-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system ($550).
Sentra SE-R ($20,120) features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 177 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque and it is mated to a CVT. The SE-R comes with a sports suspension, four-wheel-disc brakes, and P225/45VR17 all-season tires. Optional on the SE-R is the SE-R Upgrade Package ($2,450) with moonroof, dual visor vanity mirrors, XM Satellite Radio, RearView Monitor, Intelligent Key with keyless ignition, and the 340-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with navigation.
Sentra SE-R Spec V ($20,620) comes with the 2.5-liter engine tuned to produce 200 hp and 180 pound-feet of torque, and a six-speed manual gearbox. The SE-R Spec V has a lowered performance suspension, larger disc brakes, some structural reinforcement (which deletes the folding rear seat), and W-rated P225/45R17 tires. Optional is a Spec V Upgrade Package ($2,600), which is identical to the SE-R Upgrade Package except that it also includes a Helical Limited-Slip Differential.
Accessories available on all models include floor mats ($120), auto-dimming inside mirror ($130), splash guards ($150), and interior accent lighting ($240).
Safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, active front-seat headrests, and a tire-pressure monitor. Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and traction control are standard on all models as well.