2013 Nissan Sentra SL Sedan Test Drive

?2013 Nissan Sentra set to steal segment spotlight?


The first generation Nissan appeared on the scene from 1982 to 1986. Gen 2 ran from 1986 to 1990, followed by the third Gen (1991-1994). Gen 4 covered the model years from 1995 to 1999, with Gen 5 spanning from 2000 to 2006. The sixth Generation covered from 2007 to 2012, and now, the all-new 2013 Nissan Sentra marks the beginning of the popular model?s seventh generation. All generations have been built in North America, with more than 4.3 million sold to date.

The Compact segment ranks second in the automotive industry, having grown to over 2 million sales per year. No longer a 3-player segment featuring several strong entries, the 2013 Nissan Sentra is ready to capture the model year spotlight after the debut of models from other manufacturers. Nissan Sentra is geared to single buyers or couples with no children, and with an equal split between male and female consumers. Most will be college graduates with a $50K household income.

The 2013 Nissan Sentra was designed to deliver modern, premium styling in a package featuring fuel efficient performance, with technology that?s a cut above the rest of its class. The all-new Sentra will be available in four levels of trim: S, available with either a 6-speed manual or Xtronic CVT transmission, which weighs 40 pounds less than before; SV; SR; and the top grade SL model. An FE+ package is available for both S and SV grades, featuring a unique rear spoiler, underbody aero elements and low rolling resistance tires. Only the Xtronic CVT transmission is available on; SV; SR; and SL models.


Visually, the 2013 Nissan Sentra is the most revolutionary design in the nameplate?s 30-year history. The complete redesign for 2013, brings the Sentra closer in look and feel to Nissan?s 2013 Altima. The Sentra adopts Nissan?s bold new signature trapezoid-shaped grille and large wraparound LED accent headlights. LED taillights are also standard, complementing the?overall styling. Compared to the previous design, Sentra?s beltline is lowered, with a new character line added that runs from the front fenders, along the sides, and finishing at the sculpted taillights and trunklid, for a more aggressive stance and enhanced outward visibility for passengers. Other exterior features include chrome door handles and chrome window accents, available heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, and available sport front and rear fascias and rear spoiler. The 2013 Nissan Sentra is built on a new platform that is lighter than the previous design, which contributes to the new model?s more than 150-pound weight reduction.


Moving to the inside, the new Sentra offers mid-size roominess in a compact-size exterior package. The layout focuses on driver control and outstanding seat comfort for all occupants. The instrument panel curves outward to the doors and features Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges that are backlit even in daylight,?that is easy to read. The rear seat is a 60/40 split fold-down design, offering versatile access to the 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space (2.0 cubic feet larger than the 2012 Sentra?s trunk).

Standard interior features include a 6-way manual driver?s seat, 4-way manual front passenger?s seat, front and rear door pockets, front center console with padded armrest and cupholders, rear seat armrest with cupholders, air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter, tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows with driver?s one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.


The Sentra S with the 6-speed manual gearbox start at $15,990. ($440 less than the outgoing model). The SV begins at $17,970; the SR opens with a price tag of $18,870; and the top-of-the-line SL starts at $19,760 ? add $780 for Destination and Handling charges, and $400 for the FE+ addition.

Option packages available include: a Driver Package for SV and SR, with Nissan?s Intelligent key, a 4.3? display audio screen, USB connection and Satellite radio, Bluetooth Phone, Smart auto headlights and a leather steering wheel and shift knob and rear disc brakes for SR models only. This is standard on SLs; A Navigation Package for SV, DSR and SL models with NissanConnect Navigation 5.8? touch-screen, POIs powered by Google, Google Send-to-car, Pandora radio capability, a hands-free text messaging assistant and a RearView Monitor; the Premium Package with a power front moonroof, Bose Premium Audio with 8-speakers and auto dimming rearview mirror with compass for all but the base S model. A leather Package is available for SL models, with leather-appointed, heated front seats and rear disc brakes.


Power for all new Sentras will be delivered by a 1.8-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine with sequential multi-point fuel injection and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System. The efficient four-banger makes 130 horses at 6,000 rpm (124 w/CA emissions), while generating 128 pound feet of torque at 3,600 rpm (125 w/CA emissions). All Sentra models are front wheel drive.

My test 2013 Nissan Sentra came in SL trim with a Red Brick exterior finish and Gray and Beige toned interior. The base sticker read $19,760 with the final price totaling $21,370 after adding for floor mats, Navigation system and Destination charges.

SUMMARY: Perhaps the best way to describe the 2013 Nissan Sentra, is to refer to it as a ?Smalltima?, or a somewhat reduced version of the Nissan Altima.

The top SL trim comes with 17-inch split 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels,?Smart Auto Headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn?signals, Nissan Intelligent Key? , Bluetooth? ?Hands-free Phone System, 6-speaker audio system with 4.3-inch display, USB connection port, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately). Additional Sentra SL fare includes: a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever knob, Maple wood-tone interior trim, Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control?(ATC), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert and more.


The acceleration and handling characteristics deliver a sporting level of performance. While not a sports car, the Sentra is nimble and responsive. The new-generation Xtronic CVT? features a host of enhancements?over the previous CVT that contribute to an improvement in fuel efficiency and

lower vehicle weight. It also offers a wide gear ratio through the use of a subplanetary gear and smaller pulleys, resulting in high-speed fuel efficiency at low rpm and responsive acceleration. There are Eco and Sport mode buttons to match the drivers purpose. Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon City, 39 miles per gallon Highway and a class-leading 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*. Sentra FE+ S and FE+ SV grades achieve 40 mpg on the highway.

The 2013 Nissan Sentra doesn?t seem like a compact vehicle at all, and will likely be just the right size for many consumers. It is attractive, covers a broad spectrum in terms of price and feature content, which makes it ideal in a variety of scenarios.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Nissan Sentra SL [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $19,760.
Price as Tested: $21,370.
Engine Type and Size: 1.8-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with sequential multi-point fuel injection and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System.
Horsepower (bhp): 130 @ 6,000 rpm – (124 w/CA emissions)
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 128 @ 3,600 rpm – (125 w/CA emissions)
Transmission: Xtronic® CVT with Eco and Sport modes.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent strut with coil springs and stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion beam with stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, BA, EBD, VDC, TCS and TPMS with Easy-fill tire alert.Tires: Continental ContiProContact 205/50 R17 89V all-season mounted on 7-split-alternating large and small spoke aluminum alloy wheels.Wheelbase:106.3 inchesLength Overall:182.1 inchesWidth:69.3 inchesHeight:58.9 inchesCurb Weight:3,807 lbs.Fuel Capacity:13.2 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:30 mpg city / 39 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:0.300 – 60 mph: Not tested.


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