Nissan updated its compact Sentra for the 2013 model year, giving it new styling, refining the drivetrain, and offering some intriguing new cabin electronics.
The styling changes include more pronounced fenders and a larger, trapezoidal grille. Nissan also added LED running lights.
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine makes 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. In conjunction with the continuously variable transmission, it gets 30 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.
The Sentra comes in four trim levels: S, SV, SR, and SL. All use the same engine, but the base level car can be had with a manual transmission.
The Sentra's suspension felt like a good compromise between comfort and firmness under normal conditions, but showed heavy load shift when pushed in the turns.
Each Sentra model comes standard with cloth seats, but a leather upgrade package is available for $1,030.
Nissan claims it offers the most rear-seat legroom than any other compact car competitor.
A USB port for iPod integration and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system come standard on the SL model, and are optional on the SV and SR trims.
Nissan's newly refined continuously variable transmission achieves a range of drive ratios equivalent to that of a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The Navigation package is a $650 option, and includes navigation run from an SD card.
One very unique feature on the Sentra is the capability to use a data connection through a smartphone to get points of interest for navigation from Google.