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>> The Sentra used to be Nissan's entry level sedan. Then came the Versa under it and the Ultima above it, both outselling it. So let's see where the Sentra fits today and check the tech.
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Now a Sentra S is damn near the bottom of the line and low on the Nissan totem pole. So we're not going to get a tech tour de force in here. But let's start at the top of the stack. And behind this door lies nothing. A sunglass case. That will give you some idea of what we're looking at here. Okay. Single-slot CD for optical discs or MP3 WMA. No DVD playback because you couldn't see it. Here's your auxiliary jack. Here's your AM FM. No HD radio, obviously. But, notice, iPod, iPod, iPod written all over here. Where is it? Right here in the console is a dedicated iPod connector that is part of the S trim. That's pretty good stuff. And notice it's a single cable, not one of those dual cables that annoy me. Of course, because we have almost no real estate on the screen, the iPod interface is pretty rudimentary. There's no readout here of all kinds of information. You've got to go one tier or level at a time. But once you get the hang of it, it's a quick interface to move around and, you know, set up some playlists and let them run. The sound is just okay. Six speakers around the cabin, four general purpose and a couple of dedicated tweeters. You know, you're probably going to go to the 12-volt store and get this guy bumped up a little bit if you care enough to carry an iPod in the first place. Our transmission is an Xtronic CVT, a continuously variable transmission, one choice only on the S. And notice, when I put it in reverse, there's no rear view camera, not even one built up into the mirror here. And it's not available as an option. So not only is this car relatively lean to start with but it's lean on the option list, as well. So, that said, so you're watching a CNET video about this car, you care about tech, make sure you get the convenience package. That gets you the wireless key technology, which is kind of basic these days. And it also rolls in Bluetooth Hands Free so you've got your hand free calling.
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Under the hood is a workaday 2-liter 4 doing 140 horse and 147 foot pounds of torque. Not much to get excited about there until you put gas in it, which won't be often at 26 city and 34 highway. With MPG numbers like that, you know this car is not much on the road. Driving is fine, not exciting. The CVT variable transmission feels like something is always slipping. And not all CVTs feel that way. But it's a buttoned-down ride with rather firm handling and good MPG. Done. A 2010 Sentra S starts just under 18,000. Add the convenience package for 850 and you'll get intelligent key; remote control trunk lid, for some reason; and Bluetooth Hands Free.
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