2011 Nissan Sentra
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Features and Description
Following a refresh last year, not much is new with the Nissan Sentra in 2011.
The Sentra has always been a good value, and with prices relatively unchanged for the 2011 model year, Nissan has staked out its territory in the compact sedan market, facing fierce competition with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Fuel economy is great across the board, with the 2.0L CVT model capable of 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
There are six varieties of Sentra, four of which are powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that makes 140 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SL come with a CVT. A 6-speed manual is available on the base 2.0 model only.
The other two models, the SE-R and SE-R Spec V, feature a powerful 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. In the SE-R, the engine makes 177 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a CVT. The SE-R Spec V's version has been tweaked to make 200 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. In that model, it comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and a specially tuned sport suspension. All Sentra engines utilize direct injection and a drive-by-wire electric throttle.
Electronic brake force distribution and anti-lock brakes are standard on all but the base 2.0 model, where they are available as part of an options package. Speed-sensitive steering is standard on all versions, as is Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System, steel side-door guard beams and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Beyond the engines and safety systems, the six varieties of Sentra start to diverge. The 2.0 starts with some nice basics for the price, like power windows and doors, air conditioning and 60/40 split rear seats. The 2.0 S adds a trip computer, cruise control and a 6-way adjustable seat. The 2.0 SR spruces up the exterior with 16-inch, 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear spoiler and a sport grille.
The 2.0 SL gets Bluetooth and the Nissan Intelligent Key keyless entry and ignition system. It also has interior upgrades like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and wood-tone trim. Several optional packages are exclusively available for this trim, such as the Leather Package. The Premium Package adds a moonroof. The Premium Plus Package adds a moonroof and heated front seats. The Tech Package swaps in a Rockford Fosgate 8-speaker audio system and a rear-view monitor.
The SE-R gets bigger brakes for more stopping power as well as sport-tuned springs and a rear spoiler. The SE-R Spec V gets even bigger brakes--12.6-inches vs. the SE-R's 11.7-inch--and a 25-mm front stabilizer bar. The sport-tuned suspension gives the Spec V a lower ride, with shocks and struts set for stiffer handling. The SE-R Upgrade Package adds the keyless entry and ignition system, moonroof, upgraded stereo and rearview monitor. A similar package for the SE-R Spec V adds a limited-slip differential.