2017 Nissan Sentra Expert Review

4.1 Overall Score
Performance 4.2 Comfort 4.2 Styling 3.5 Value 4.3

Editor's Overview

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.

You'll Like The 2017 Nissan Sentra If...

The roomy 2017 Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan that can satisfy a wide range of tastes and budgets. You can order it as you like, either bare-bones or fully loaded, and drive away in an economical small car that is also fun to drive.

You May Not Like The 2017 Nissan Sentra If...

If you’re looking for standout styling, a Chevrolet Cruze or Honda Civic might make a better choice. Enthusiast drivers will likely be happier in a Mazda3 or VW GTI, while those looking for a better warranty should look to the Hyundai Elantra or Kia Forte.

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.

Notable Options

The 2017 Sentra SL is the top dog, but the Sentra SR also comes with the LED low-beam headlights, alloy wheels and keyless ignition, and it can be equipped with the same upgraded audio system that includes an 8-inch screen and navigation. A premium technology package for the SR and SL includes adaptive cruise control and forward emergency braking. The mid-level Sentra SV offers a Driver's Assist package, which adds navigation, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, and SiriusXM traffic.

Favorite Features

INTELLIGENT CRUISE CONTROL

Available on the 2017 Nissan Sentra SL and SR trims, Intelligent Cruise Control helps take the stress out of driving in heavy traffic, monitoring the car ahead and adjusting the Sentra’s speed to maintain a safe distance. The system can even bring the car to a complete stop.


EASY FILL TIRE ALERT

The Easy Fill tire alert flashes the hazard lights to let you know the tire is taking air, then honks the horn when you’ve reached the proper pressure. Put in too much air and the hazard lights blink faster.


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.

Road Test Video Reviews

2017 Nissan Sentra Owner Reviews

4.45
461 Reviews
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Nissan Sentra: Better than expected

The car is a great size for my family of 4. It is good on gas. My only complaint is the pick up is not great but it is also not terrible. Once you get it moving it hurries along. The trunk space is fine for my needs. The back seat is spacious. It has all the bells and whistles I need. The back up camera is not something I wanted at first but I've grown to really love it. I decided on a Sentra because I was looking for a pre-owned vehicle that was good quality. I had owned a Nissan Sentra as my first car when I was younger and I loved it. This car has everything I was looking for, was only a year old, and had minimal miles on it. I am very happy with the decision I made. The car came with a CD player and six hook up for an iPod or your phone, there are radio controls on the steering wheel, the car is comfortable to drive and easy to maneuver. It feels and looks much more high end than it is. The model I got came standard with wheel covers instead of hub caps, a nice addition since hubcaps have a tendency of going missing. The interior upholstery is a pretty nice fabric that is easy to clean and seems pretty durable. There is a cargo net in the trunk that comes in very handy. The car also has a cruise control feature.

- Claudia C

Nissan makes an excellent vehicle no matter the size or price point.

I have owned vehicle 2+ years, no problems, great warranty. It is especially comfortable for a woman who likes to drive a smaller car that packs a punch. It is terrific for getting around town and is most comfortable on the highway while getting great gas mileage. The heat and air conditioning are superb! Sitting in the driver's seat, everything on the dashboard has easy access, simple to figure out and has a very clear Bluetooth. The trunk accommodates far more than is met with the naked eye when raising the trunk lid. I have been very surprised upon loading up that when packed correctly it exceeded my expectations. The interior and exterior lights are plenty bright. The glove compartment is large for a smaller sedan. In the center console which has a 2 cup holder, there is also a large storage compartment. The seats adjust easily with the driver's seat have very good lumbar support which is all part of the comfortable ride. The front and back windshields are very large allowing clear vision in all directions. Passengers always comment on the comfort of the ride and ease of getting in and out of the car. Nissan makes an excellent vehicle for every price range. I would definitely purchase it again.

- Virginia P

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

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

The Nissan sentra-surprising capability in a smaller car!

My sentra has been nice. It has surprising pick up and is never a problem to get up to freeway speeds. As for comfort I have driven several times to visit family in Dallas, TX a four hour drive. I usually pop some music on and relax for the drive. One thing that I haven't tried is the additional 'sport' mode which I assume tightens up the responsiveness of the car. I haven't really tried that yet because the steering is already tight and the shows enough power to get me where I am going even with big trucks on the road. I have tried the 'eco' mode which controls how fast you can get off the line at traffic lights and helps save fuel. So far I haven't had any problems with it and I can say that I really enjoy driving it on my daily commute and my travels out of town. Speaking of which when I have passengers they enjoy the backseat room and the trunk is able to carry a big load.

- Rodney S

2017 Nissan Sentra review

My vehicle has always had a squeaking noise on the trunk leaks water. The driver side door leather interior has already tore and began to burst open even more. My Nissan also had a noise on the front driver side wheel. The motor seem to be performing well and it gets good miles per gallon of gas. It's a 4 cylinder so it doesn't keep up with bigger engines on the highway. The color is white and the inside is black. The seats appear to be made of good quality interior. It need to have a light that pops on in the floorboard at night when the door is open and also in the glove box. The alarm system should beep when the owner is far away from the vehicle instead of needing to be real close. Overall, the vehicle cost a lot more than it is really valued at.

- Emma S

Best zippy car for someone on a budget.

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

It�s a good starter vehicle, but it loses value quickly.

The gas mileage is pretty good. I find myself spending less to fill up than some people with similar size cars. It's fairly comfortable to drive for the size, but passengers can't make the same chair adjustments as the driver so taller or larger passengers may not enjoy the ride as much. Also, the vehicle has a bit of drag during acceleration unless sport mode is active while eco mode does seem to help conserve gas to some degree. I hate that the Bluetooth function does not allow music to be played; only phone call functionalities are allowed. I also wish the center console was larger for my phone and had better USB port locations for passengers, and it would be nice if there were cup holders in the back seat area.

- Cher A

Best car ever hands down Nissan Sentra 2017.

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

The convenience of a 2017 Nissan Sentra.

My 2017 Nissan Sentra is a leased vehicle that we had to get because our 2002 Nissan Xterra transmission and computer system stopped working. I am in love with my 2017 Nissan Sentra, it is so convenient, has great functionality, and has great fuel economy. For example, I often travel back home from Tallahassee 2. 5 hours away. A full tank of gas on the vehicle's eco mode will last a whole trip there and back, basically a 5 hour drive. I also love the car's Bluetooth connection system which allows me to safely receive and make phone calls completely handsfree. There is also a USB port in the car where I can charge my phone or listen to music from an iPod. Great car!!

- Lyssa B

a good vehicle choice when shopping for an inexpensive, reliable car.

My 2017 Nissan Sentra has served me well so far. It is the standard, base model with no upgraded features. It is very basic but gets the job done. The interior is not very comfortable. Any drive over an hour long gets very uncomfortable for me. The car gets very good gas mileage and is inexpensive to fill up. It accelerates decently. Trunk and back seat are decent size. I have a one year old daughter and getting her in and out of the car seat can be difficult but it is easy to clip in. For the price point of my car, I am very happy with its performance. It is a great option when shopping for an inexpensive vehicle with no bells and whistles

- Rachel W

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