I get to drive a lot of new
vehicles every year, maybe not one a week, but probably 40 or so a year.
So itís hard not to get jaded, or to think that every car, truck, and
SUV I drive is great. Heck, when your personal transportation is a 1986
Toyota Celica even the most basic new car is pure luxury. But every so
often a car comes along that just blows me away.
The new 2007 Nissan
Sentra that I drove was amazing. The Sentra used to be the least
expensive, basic transportation car from Nissan. Now it is second from
the bottom in price, but definitely near the top in usefulness,
versatility, and fun. You may have seen the Sentra commercials on TV,
the ones with Marc Horowitz living in his Sentra for a week. I did not
live in the Sentra for a week but it really is that versatile.
There is a caveat I
must point out; the 2007 Sentra I drove was a pre-production version.
What does this mean? Just that some of the trim may not have been fully
sorted out but the basic package was there though.
There has been some
criticism over the styling of the Sentra; that it is too angular and not
as flowing as other Nissans. So what? It is distinctive. It is edgy.
Design is tricky. Designers have to work within very limited parameters.
For a four-door sedan such as the Sentra, they have to worry about
making five people comfortable. They have to find space for the
powertrain package, and all the safety features, especially what are
known as crumble zones. Then what good is a four-door sedan if it does
not have any luggage room? Nissan's designers did an exemplary job with
the Sentra (hey Marc lived in it for seven days).
Let me say this, the
Sentra is a roomy four-passenger sedan that will hold five. There is
ample luggage room at 13.1 cubic feet in the trunk, which can be
enlarged by folding the 60/40-split rear seat down too.
There is only one
engine available, a really nice 2.0-liter, DOHC, 4-cylinder that
produces 140 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. Two transmissions are offered,
a 6-speed manual is standard, with a Constant Variable Transmission (CVT)
optional except on the top of the line SL model where the CVT is
standard. The Sentra I drove had the CVT trans and the Sentra is a
One hundred and forty
horsepower is not exceptional but these were frisky ponies for sure.
Even more amazing is that as frisky as the engine is it is also very
fuel-efficient. The manual trans is rated at 28-city and 34-highway,
while the CVT is rated at 29 and 36-mpg.
What else was amazing
about the Sentra? How about that an economy sedan handled this well?
The body platform had excellent rigidity, which provides a stable basis
for the suspension to do its work. Trapped within this unassuming
four-door sedan lives a sports sedan. The base wheel and tire package is
a set of 205/60HR15 all-season tires on 6.5 X 15 inch steel wheels,
unassuming but competent. Optionally available are 205/55HR16 all-season
tires on 6.5 X 16 inch alloy rims that move the handling up a notch or
two without degrading ride.
There are three trim
levels available, 2.0, 2.0 S, and 2.0 SL. The base 2.0 lists for
$14,750, and the top 2.0 SL $18,400.
I have become a big fan
of the automakers consumer web sites. You can log on and build a car
your way and see how much it will cost. Nissan's site is
www.nissanusa.com, which is where I went and built "my" Sentra.
I started with a 2.0 S
at $15,650 painted Polished Granite. I was going to stay with the
6-speed manual trans but opted for the CVT for economy. Then I picked
the Convenience Plus Package (XM radio, ABS, 16 inch alloy wheels, plus)
and floor mats; the price came up to $19,775 including destination and
For that price I would
have a well-equipped car that is sensible and fun. What more could I ask
for? I may just have to break down and buy one! By Bruce
Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Nissan Home Page
content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Trapped within the Sentra lives a sports sedan
Topic: The 2007 Nissan Sentra
Word Count: 775
Photo Caption: The 2007 Nissan Sentra
Photo Credits: Nissan Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 30
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Nissan Sentra
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Nissan Sentra