Sentra is back. After an absence of almost a decade, Nissan has brought the Sentra back, but it is a very different car to the one we knew.
This new Sentra is bigger than the previous model and is set to take on the family-sized competition.
The 1.6 litre petrol engine produces 85 kW and 154 Nm of torque via either a five-speed manual or CVT transmission. This results in a good fuel consumption of around 6.5 litres /100 km, with less than nippy but quite acceptable performance.
Still, the Sentra is a good, solid family-sized car with enough go and good road manners.
Both the boot and cabin are big. The interior is really spacious, quiet and well equipped with everything except satnav.
The rear seat armrest folds down to allow long objects to be transported. The tilt- and reach-adjustable multi-function steering wheel, black cloth upholstery, soft-touch dashboard, padded armrests and solid switch gear lend the car a feeling of durability and quality.
For safety, Sentra has ABS with EBD, low-friction seat belts, six airbags, an immobilizer and ISOFIX child seat anchorages.
Road holding, economy and performance is on a par with rivals. On the gear lever of the CVT model I tested the press of a button changes a ‘gear’ down when you want to overtake or on a hill, for instance if you don’t want the car’s brain to decide for you.
Suspension and brakes are well sorted. Rivals include, VW Jetta, Honda Civic, Kia Cerato and Toyota Corolla.
The Sentra as tested is R253 000. The manual is R230 000. Good value for money.
Sentra comes with a 3-year/90 000 km service plan and a 3-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are 15 000 km.