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2020 Nissan Sentra’s impressive redesign boosts its status in compact sedan race Featured

Posted On Thursday, 16 April 2020 07:49 Written by
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The 2020 Nissan Sentra gets an eye-catching redesign for 2020 The 2020 Nissan Sentra gets an eye-catching redesign for 2020 Photo courtesy of Nissan

People buying compact sedans aren’t generally looking for a vehicle that will take home beauty awards. They tend to want something functional and practical and affordable.

Nissan competes in this segment with the Sentra, and saw a need to step things up for the 2020 redesign. And it turned out quite nicely.

With the 2020 Nissan Sentra SR Premium, Nissan has managed to meet all the criteria listed above, plus offer a beautiful looking ride that will turn heads. It looks like a sports car, and drives much better than you’d expect from an entry-level sedan out of a non-luxury automaker’s stable.

LOOKS

The 2020 Nissan Sentra I tested featured a two-tone Monarch Orange and Super Black color scheme which was sharp and among the best looking vehicles I’ve seen this year. The design up front is especially bold and attractive and jumps out at you in a good way.

In a class not known much for its looks, this may be among the best-looking options available in 2020. I got more feedback on this car than I've gotten on vehicles that cost twice as much, and it was all positive.

This is a compact sedan, so legroom and headroom are tight in the rear, but the front seats are quite comfortable. The quality of materials used inside the Sentra were higher than you might expect for this price point, too.

Standard on the SR trim level are 18-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome grill, LED headlights and fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, a rear spoiler, leather shift knob, and sport cloth interior.

The Premium package (well worth its $2,170 cost) will get you thin lens LED headlamps, power sliding glass moonroof, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats, leatherette seats, Intelligent Around View Monitor, and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

HOW’S THE RIDE?
Performance is boosted in this latest incarnation of the Sentra. 

A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, paired with an automatic (CVT) transmission, puts out 149 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque.  

All Sentras are FWD vehicles.

Compared to other compact sedans, I enjoyed my time driving the Sentra and the performance from this power plant. It gets you moving well, even if it's not a complete rocket, and it handles impressively and offers a quiet and smooth ride.

Don’t expect miracles, but it offers strong performance for the price point.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY
Smaller cars tend not to be overly packed with safety features, but the 2020 Sentra had a few tricks up its sleeve.

My test vehicle featured the optional Intelligent Around View Monitor that proved very helpful in parking situations.

Also, now standard on the Sentra starting in 2020 is Nissan’s suite of safety aids, called Safety Shield 360. Among the helpful features this includes to prevent accidents are: 

  • High Beam Assist
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Rear Automatic Braking
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning

The Sentra’s infotainment system is also well-designed, easy-to-use and uncomplicated — just like it should be. Some other automakers, which go over the top in their infotainment designs and overly complicate the experience, could take a hint from this level of simplicity.

MPG
Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2020 Nissan Sentra are 29 city/39 highway/33 combined on the base trim, and 28/27/32 on the SR trim. Driving an SR, I averaged 29 mpg. These numbers are not class-leading but stay near the top of the class in terms of efficiency, even against strong competitors such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla or Hyundai Elantra. 

PRICE
Base price for the SR trim level I tested was $21,430, and my test vehicle came to $25,325 after options. The base trim level of the Sentra starts at $19K. These are competitive prices for the segment.

BOTTOM LINE
Nissan has knocked it out of the park with the 2020 Sentra, which blows away the previous version by a mile. With all the drama surrounding the company in the past year, great new vehicles like this can go a long way to refocusing attention on what they do best — producing attractive, fun-to-drive, safe and fuel-efficient vehicles.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Nissan Sentra  
  • Price as tested: $25,325 (starts at $19K)
  • Best feature: Extra sharp redesign, ride quality, tech and safety offerings   
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Compact sedan buyers seeking a good-looking, safe and fun-to-drive ride
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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