The Nissan Sentra arguably hit its stride in the 90’s with the third gen B13. The 1990-1994 Nissan Sentra was cheap but packed a torquey 2.0L engine, 4-wheel independent suspension, and even an LSD in the SE-R. That formula flew out the window next gen and subsequent generations.
But, that formula for success is back with this new 2020 Nissan Sentra.
roadshow: This is the new NissanUSA Sentra. No, seriously, it is. The Sentra has been redesigned from the ground up for 2020, and it's no longer a rental-car special. https://t.co/YEQUTlwddO pic.twitter.com/3MOOtdyM8l— Drew Stearne (@drewstearne) November 20, 2019
First, there’s a more powerful NA 2.0L four cylinder that has 20 percent more power than last year, 149 HP and 146 lb-ft. There’s only one transmission available a CVT Xtronic transmission.
Say goodbye to last gen’s torsion beam rear suspension as all Sentra’s now have four-wheel independent suspension matched with McPherson strut front suspension.
This Sentra is also 2.0 inches wider, and 2.2 inches lower.
New for 2020 is dual pinion rack electric power steering. Nissan says this will improve steering feel and maneuverability.
Nissan is proud of the changes they’ve made to the interior. The 2020 Nissan Sentra benefits from controls that should be easier to reach and intuitive to the touch.
The previous gen Nissan Sentra was fine, but that’s the problem, it was just OK.
The new D-shaped steering wheel sets the tone for the rest of the interior, this is a driver focused cabin. The shifter is closer to the driver and not centered. Cup holders are also closer, right next to the shifter.
Although a larger touch-screen multimedia display takes center stage, audio and heating/AC controls are simplified with a volume knob near the driver and HVAC buttons that look intuitive with a shallow learning curve.
For the company that makes the barn-burner super car beating GT-R, dare I say I can draw a lineage in the interior from this lowly sentra all the way to R35. About time that sportiness trickled down.
No word on pricing but compared to Civic and Corolla, the Sentra should be cheapest. But, that no longer means feeling like third place.
These improvements should pay dividents later down the road now that the compact sedan market is that much smaller.
Toyota made a better Corolla, Civic reimagined itself with the 10th gen, and Nissan made a better car.