The Nissan Sentra gets a few stand-out tech features, most notably an excellent voice controlled Bluetooth hands-free phone system. But the Sentra's lack of GPS navigation or satellite radio makes it difficult to like in the long term.
Nissan's Sentra belongs in a small car segment that has recently been undercut by a set of even smaller cars, including Nissan's own Versa. The current Sentra got its most recent update in 2006, but cabin tech improvements make it a reasonable car for 2010.
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The Sentra employs tame, unoffensive styling. From the sides and rear, it looks generic, but some unique Nissan design comes through in the flat-sided front fenders.
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The 2-liter engine powering the Sentra makes 140 horsepower, while getting 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
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The high roofline of the Sentra affords good headroom in the cabin.
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The ride quality is unremarkable, fairly typical for a small car in this segment. The Sentra uses disc brakes on the front wheels and drums in back.
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The Sentra's trunk is on the large side, capable of holding three golf bags. A convenient cargo net keeps groceries upright.
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Nissan kept the Sentra's cabin tech updated with a Bluetooth hands-free phone system and iPod compatibility, but a navigation system is only available as an option at the top trim.
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Nissan includes good audio, voice, and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel.
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A digital gauge in the instrument cluster shows temperature, fuel level, and trip information.
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Nissan mates the 2-liter four-cylinder engine to a continuously variable transmission, in our opinion a much better choice than a fixed-gear automatic transmission.
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The iPod connectivity lets you access album, artist, and track lists through the car's stereo, but the design is poor, forcing much button pushing to select music.
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The Sentra's Bluetooth hands-free phone system is excellent, letting you dial by name with voice command.