The Nissan Sentra has been around for 34 years, appearing with its first generation model in 1982. The 2016 model Sentra marks the beginning of the seventh generation, focusing on Nissan’s continued profitable and sustainable growth in North America. The Nissan Group reached an all-time U.S. sales record in 2015, with 1,484,918 vehicles sold.
There was a strong momentum from CUV and Truck launches with the 2014 Rogue, 2015 Murano and the 2016 Titan, while strengthening core products. 2016 continues with the year of the sedan, first with the new Maxima, followed by the new Altima and now, with the refreshed Nissan Sentra.
From 1982 to the present, more than 4 million Sentras have been sold in the U.S. alone, with more than 93 percent of those sold in the last 10 years still on the road today. Sentra is the core model in the compact segment, which is the third largest in the U.S. Its market share has nearly doubled since the 2013 model year launch.
Nissan has taken an already successful vehicle and made it even better for 2016 utilizing 20 percent new parts. Visible enhancements include the “Energetic Flow” of the exterior design including a re-designed hood, fenders, “V”-Motion” Grille, a new front fascia,” Boomerang” headlamps, new wheel designs, taillamps, rear fascia, and the added functionality and comfort of the interior styling. New features included inside are: a 6-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, a Z-inspired steering wheel, a new shift knob, seat fabrics, front console and trim materials. An all-new TFT-type LCD flat panel display provides more efficient power consumption as well as higher resolution.
Advanced Driver Assistance features provided are: Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Radar-based Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Nissan Connect services are powered by Sirius XM® and include Emergency preparedness, remote access, customizable alerts and convenience services. Apple SIRI™ Eyes Free comes standard on the top three trim levels.
Trim levels for the 2016 Sentra lineup include: S; FE+S; SV; SR; and SL. Propulsion is provided by a 1.8-liter, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine with sequential multi-port fuel injection that delivers 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm , while developing 128 pound feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. Power from the transversely mounted front engine is geared to the front wheels via either a 6-sped manual gearbox or Nissan’s Advanced Xtronic CVT transmission.
Suspension componentry consist of an Independent strut setup with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and a 22 mm stabilizer bar. Up front, and a Torsion beam with twin-tube shock absorbers and a 22 mm stabilizer bar in the rear. The new steering and suspension design comes with Active Understeer Control and an increase in body rigidity. Braking is courtesy of power-assisted front discs and rear drums with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS, EBD and BA.
Pricing for the Sentra starts at $16,780 for the S model with the 6-speed manual transmission and climbs to $22,170 for the SL trim level.
My test 2016 Nissan Sentra during the national press preview was a pre-production SL model with the Premium and Technology Packages, floor mats and Destination and Handling charge. The exterior wore a Graphite Blue metallic finish, with the interior done in Charcoal. The base price was set at $22,170., while option pricing and Destination bumped the final total to $25,545.
SUMMARY: Nissan’s popular Sentra lineup for 2016 delivers “class-above” styling with premium design qualities and an improved driving experience. The refreshed interior and advanced safety and driving technologies bring the Sentra closer to the look and feel of both the new Maxima and Altima models, reflecting Nissan’s new design language.
The acceleration of the 1.8-liter four-cylinder actually ranks above simply adequate, and the D-mode step shift program of the Xtronic CVT actually simulates shift points, making for a more familiar driving sensation.
The electric power steering, combined with the retuned suspension provides an enhanced sporty feel in its handling, and the ride comfort is ideal for family transportation.
With the wide model range offered at value pricing, there should be a Sentra to suit nearly everyone’s taste and needs, with available option packages for personalization. A Style Package is available for SV models, featuring a power sliding moonroof, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 16-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Other available packages are the SL Premium Package, Driver’s Assist Package, All Weather Package and 16-inch Alloy Wheels Package.
The 2016 Sentra is assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Nissan Sentra SL Premium
|Price as Tested:||$25,545.|
|Engine Type and Size:||1.8-liter DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder with sequential multi-port fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||130 @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||128 @ 3,600 rpm|
|Transmission:||6-speed manual or Advanced Xtronic|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive.|
Front – Independent strut with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and 22 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion beam, twin-tube shock absorbers and 22 mm stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted Front disc /drum rear with 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS, EBD and BA.|
|Tires:||ContiProContact 205/50 R17 89V mounted on 5 twin sculpted spoke alloy wheels with machined outer / painted inner.|
|Length Overall:||182.1 inches SR=182.5 inches.|
|Curb Weight:||2,848 lbs. to 2,943 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||13.2 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||29-mpg city / 38-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.