Friday, February 26, 2016
By Dan Lyons, special to the Times Union
Nissan Group's U.S. sales were up 7.1 percent in 2015. Sentra did its part to fuel that growth. Nissan's compact sedan mainstay sold over 200,000 units for the year (up 11 percent vs. 2014).
Recently, Nissan introduced Sentra's 2016 edition. Sentra's mid-cycle refresh is highlighted by design updates, driver assistance technology and chassis refinements. Visual changes for the model year are most extensive up front. A honeycomb variation of Nissan's V-Motion grille leads the way, along with new styles for hood and fascia. Boomerang headlights (halogens on lower levels, LED pipe beams on higher levels) round out the new face. Sentra's side view changes are confined to the wheel wells. All of the alloy wheel choices for 2016 are new, as are the tires. The back end also boasts a restyled fascia and tail lamps.
Seat fabrics and trim materials have been updated, with S/SV/SR models sporting cloth/vinyl upholstery, and SL's upgraded to leather appointed seats. Slide inside any trim level and you'll take in a bright, meter cluster, surrounding a 5-inch, programmable, LED display panel. The driver's dash view is framed by a leather-wrapped, Z-inspired three spoke steering wheel, and the driver's seat now has 6-way power/2-way lumbar support. Sentra's front seats are quite comfortable, with enough travel to fit taller drivers. Rear seat room is similarly suitable for six footers. Leg room in back measures 37.4 inches. That compares with 41.4 inches in Corolla and 37.4 inches in Civic – two stalwarts in the segment. Sentra's trunk space is generous; 15.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity (vs. 13.0 in Corolla, 15.1 in Civic). Rear seatbacks split and fold forward to accommodate longer items. However, the height of the folded seats are raised relative to the rest of the trunk, so the load floor isn't level.
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