2017 Nissan Sentra Expert Review

4.1 Overall Score
Performance 4.2Comfort 4.2Styling 3.5Value 4.3

What's New

Nissan’s 2017 Sentra compact sedan gains a new, 188-horsepower turbocharged trim, not surprisingly dubbed the SR Turbo. Along with a more powerful engine, the SR Turbo brings a sport suspension, bigger brakes and recalibrated steering.

Interior Features

The Sentra already had one of the nicest interiors in the compact-sedan class, and last year’s upgrade only improved its position. Piano-black accents, better sound deadening, a 5-inch color LED info screen between the main gauges, and an improved audio-system interface keep the 2017 Sentra fresh. But as comfortable as the front seats are, the rear seats are a surprising highlight. There's plenty of room for tall passengers plus a ton of legroom. The trunk is equally huge, and there's a reason why: According to the EPA's classification system, there's so much room in the Sentra that it's actually a midsize.

Exterior Features

The 2017 Sentra's exterior styling closely mimics the recently updated Nissan Altima; think of it as "Smalltima" if you like. The headlights and grille treatment are equally dramatic, but avoid making sporty promises the base car can't keep, and SL and SR trim levels feature LED low-beam headlights as well. Nissan’s attractive wheel designs help the Sentra look sleeker than most compacts and are a good match to the car’s smoothly sculpted sheet metal, which manages to hold your attention without being flashy or overdone.

Driving Impressions

In its most basic form, Nissan’s compact Sentra sedan for 2017 seems more concerned with fuel efficiency and comfort than rapid acceleration and handling. The Sentra is quiet even at speed and the 4-cylinder engine only makes its presence known at full throttle. Unlike more traditional CVTs, Nissan’s variable-ratio transmission features D-Step logic technology that simulates a standard-transmission’s gear changes. We found the Sentra’s suspension firm enough to avoid excessive lean and float, but nowhere near as taut as the Honda Civic, VW Jetta or Mazda3. Of course, if you move up to the sporty SR and SR Turbo, the performance improves measurably, as does the price of entry. SL and SR models offer a premium technology package that includes adaptive cruise control with a low-speed follow function (best used in stop-and-go traffic) as well as collision-avoidance emergency braking.

Pricing Notes

The 2017 Nissan Sentra S with a manual transmission comes with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,800, including the $835 destination charge. On the other side of the pricing spectrum, the Sentra SL with the technology package comes out to just under $26,000, which is a pretty solid bargain for a car with adaptive cruise, blind-spot detection and forward-emergency braking. The SR Turbo starts around $22,850. Prices are on the lower side for the segment, undercutting cars like the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, but coming in a bit higher than the Kia Forte. As a long-term prospect, the 2017 Sentra's resale value is about average for the compact-sedan class, but its solidity and refinement make it feel like it's worth more. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2017 Sentra.

Notable Equipment

The most basic 2017 Nissan Sentra is the S, and it comes with a 6-speed manual, three driving modes -- Eco, Normal and Sport -- and standard air conditioning. It's also equipped with Bluetooth phone and audio integration, a USB port, keyless entry and truck release, electroluminescent gauges, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, auto headlights, and an audio system with four speakers. For extra cargo space the rear seatbacks fold in a 60/40 split. On the safety front, all Sentras get a modern complement of active and passive safety features including six airbags and electronic stability and traction controls.

Under the Hood

For 2017 Nissan’s Sentra comes with two engine choices. S, SV, SR and SL use a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that, with only 130 horsepower, is among the least powerful in the class. The SR Turbo gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that bumps output to a more respectable 188 horsepower. The continuously variable automatic transmission works its magic to get the Sentra up to speed with little fuss, and passing power is fine as long as you plan a heartbeat ahead. There is a 6-speed manual transmission available, but only on the base model and the SR Turbo, and it actually hurts fuel economy, rather than helping it.

1.8-liter inline-4
130 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (124 horsepower w/CA emissions)
128 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm (125 lb-ft w/CA emissions)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 mpg (manual), 29/37 mpg (automatic)

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
188 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 mpg (manual), 27/33 mpg (automatic)

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

Editors' Notes

Nissan’s compact Sentra for 2017 continues a 35-year tradition of offering loads of features in a sporty 4-door that is a cut above the typical small sedan. Inside, the Sentra is not all that much smaller than the midsize Altima, and it offers a number of different personalities ranging from economical basic transportation to an amenity-filled mini-luxury car. There’s even a new turbo model for enthusiast-oriented drivers. The 2017 Sentra sedan is up to date on the latest safety features including available adaptive cruise-control and autonomous-braking systems. Pricewise, the Sentra can cost thousands less than Honda Civic, offers more features than the Toyota Corolla and is as roomy inside as the Hyundai Elantra.

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Owner Reviews

4.47
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Great gas mileage as well as 6, 000 miles between oil changes.

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Until now we bought or leased u. S. Cars only. We heard that several foreign cars had better gas mileage; some dealerships provide better service; and some gave more incentives, including the Nissan dealership nearest to our house. So, we tried a new Nissan Sentra 10 months ago and we are very pleased with its overall performance. Traveling to Florida (from Michigan) we boasted a 37. 4 miles per gallon gasoline, much more than any previously owned vehicle. Also, though it is a basic model, we are delighted with the smooth ride, comfortable seats, and turning radius. Only 10 months old we have not had any problems to report (it is a 3 year lease, so time will tell). However, when purchased a tire warranty when we signed the initial lease and sure enough, we had a puncture on the sidewall. Would the warranty cover that? A resounding yes! Finally, we were excited to hear that our first oil change was free and, instead of the usual 3, 000 recommended miles between oil changes that we were used to, the Nissan Sentra needs the oil change every 6, 000 miles! So, needless to say, we are extremely happy with this vehicle. In fact, we are looking forward to leasing another Nissan when this lease is up.

James D
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Best zippy car for someone on a budget.

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I went from a wry to a Sentra sr turbo. Exact same power as the Nismo version but minus the extra branding, sport seats, limited colors, and red trim. I didn't consider those important. It does 0-60 in less than 7 seconds. Rides smooth and provides comfort for long drives. Only minor complaint is the wiper blades will not lift completely off the windshield (like for prepping for snow and ice). The hood of the car actually prevents them from lifting more than an inch or so. Trunk is roomy. I like to fish and it is deep enough to fit my 4. 5-5' poles diagonally with minimal bending. Definitely recommend this for someone on a budget looking for nice features. Also, fuel efficient! Uses regular and I get 26 mpg city with a lead foot! 42 Highway!

Jessica M
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Best car ever hands down Nissan Sentra 2017.

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I am pleased with my Nissan Sentra 2017! I have not had any issues or problems with it which is what I am most proud about. My past cars I had issues with within two months and this car I have had for seven months. It feels good to be able to depend on a car to get you places and not having to worry about getting something fixed each week. I am the primary driver so I can not say how it feels to be driven around in my car but driving it is comfortable. I sometimes forget if the car is on or not because of how quiet it is. I do not have to take my eyes off the road to change the station because I have my playlist on my phone now and I can skip forward or backwards right from the steering wheel. I love it!

Lisa A
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