2004 Sentra Receives Facelift and Interior Enhancements, Maintains Popularity in the Small Car Segment
Nissan continues to refine the fifth generation Sentra sedan for the 2004 model year wîth the addition of several styling enhancements, new convenience features and a new exterior color, continuing its styling leadership in the small car §egmènt. One thing that hasn't changed is the continued use of the 1.8-liter engine, meeting SÚLEV (Super Últra Low Emission Vehicles) standards, wîth zero evaporative emissions (when equipped wîth California emission specifications). The 2004 Sentra is also available wîth a powerful 165-horsepower DOHC 2.5-liter engine.
'The 2004 Sentra continues to set the pace in the very aggressive small car §egmènt,' said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. 'With the new exterior and interior enhancements and more available options, we are confident the 2004 Sentra will again exceed customers' expectations of performance, quality and value.'
The fifth generation Sentra was designed wîth inspiration from around the world. It features an exterior styled at Nissan Design America (NDA) in La Jolla, Calif., an interior inspired by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Geretsried, Germany and was engineered at Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Japan and Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) in California, Michigan and Arizona. Sentra is manufactured by Nissan Mexicana (NMEX) in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Stylish Exterior Design The majority of the enhancements made to the 2004 Sentra are in the exterior design. The 2004 model adds more flair to the body design, making it more stylish, assertive and self-confident. With an overall length of 177.5 inches, body width of 67.3 inches and a height of 55.5 inches, Sentra features restyled headlamps and rear combination lamps, a new smooth front and rear fascia wîth a fresh, distinctive hood design and distinctive grille and a new sport-inspired exterior color – Bronze Shimmer.
Nissan Design America, Inc. (NDA), designers of the 350Z and the all-new Nissan Titan full-size pickup, wanted to take the styling of the Sentra to a new level. 'Although the Sentra is an ‘entry level' product, we didn't want it to look like one,' said Tom Semple, president, NDA. 'Our goal for the exterior was to give it a fun, in-motion design seen in more expensive car §egmènts.'
The Sentra maintains its flush-mounted, one-piece 'multi-parabola' halogen headlamps as well as its body-color front grille, side moldings and bumpers. The Sentra carries into 2004 a sleek low hoodline, high rear deck, and strong rear fenders, while also preserving its distinct front-to-rear character line.
Confident and Distinct Interior The Sentra's crisp exterior is complemented nicely by its clean-cut interior. The 5-passenger Sentra continues to offer a rewarding interior environment wîth excellent front and rear head room and leg room combined for a total interior volume of 100.1 cubic feet (88.5 cubic feet passenger compartment/11.6 cubic feet of cargo area).
The front interior features large bucket seats wîth an 8-way adjustable (4-way on Sentra 1.8) driver seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat to suit occupants' needs. The seat design provides an open feeling through use of a large, one-piece cut pattern around the shoulder area and the raised hip point aids in easier entry and exit. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seat wîth locking seat back is now standard on all models (except Sentra 1.8). Cloth bucket seats are standard on all models in three all-new colors, depending on model and trim levels.
The Sentra also receives several new interior amenities including enhanced Rockford Fosgate®-powered sound quality, trip computer (standard on Sentra 2.5 S), sunroof (now available on all models except Sentra 1.8) and a remote keyless entry system. Along wîth the new features, the 2004 Sentra maintains the basics wîth power windows and doors, vanity mirrors, map lights, assist grips, conveniently placed cup holders and an optional 180-watt 7-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system (standard on Sentra 2.5 S).
The instrument panel features a cluster design wîth large easy-to-read gauges. For a vehicle in the small car market, the Sentra is equipped wîth a substantial amount of storage capacity and storage pockets including a stylish center-console wîth lid and a large glove box.
Setting Performance Standards The 2004 Sentra continues to set the performance standard in the small car market wîth its base model 126-horepower 16-valve DOHC 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. Also standard on 1.8 and 1.8 S models is a 5-speed manual, wîth optional 4-speed automatic transmission wîth overdrive. An important carry over from the 2003 model is the impressive California emission level of SÚLEV (Super Últra Low Emission Vehicle) on all 1.8-liter models.
The 2004 Sentra 2.5 S (formerly designated the 2.5 Limited Edition model) continues to feature the Sentra SE-R's 2.5-liter DOHC engine producing 165-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Sentra 2.5 S also comes standard wîth a responsive 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission wîth overdrive. It features an adjusted clutch pack and modified shift schedule creating an effortless performance and torque converter to increase performance and fuel economy.
Sentra's suspension combines front independent MacPherson struts wîth Nissan's rear Multi-Link Beam™ design wîth rear stabilizer bar. The Multi-Link Beam reduces road noise and improves Sentra's handling capabilities through the use of a unique lateral link.
The 2004 Sentra's brake package features a power-assisted front disc/rear drum braking system on 1.8 and 1.8 S models, while the 2.5 S features 4-wheel disc brakes wîth standard 4-wheel/4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). ABS is optionally available on the Sentra 1.8 S.
All 2004 Sentra models utilize platinum-tipped spark plugs wîth 100,000-mile maintenance intervals. Both engines are also outfitted wîth numerous performance enhancing design features, including variable valve timing, exhaust manifold, microfinished crankshaft and camshafts, 32-bit engine control module and a special swirl control valve, which increases air/fuel mixing during engine warm-up to improve combustion.
Safety and Security Again in 2004, all Sentra models feature standard dual front supplemental air bags, 3-point outboard seatbelts, front seatbelt limiters and pretentioners, manual height-adjustable front-seat shoulder belt anchors, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system and child safety rear door locks.
Along wîth those standard features, Sentra also offers an energy-absorbing §teering column, front and rear crumple zones, and body side reinforcements. Sentra 2.5 S comes standard wîth front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags (optional on Sentra 1.8 S).
2004 Models and Packages Sentra model designations have been changed for 2004, wîth Sentra 1.8, Sentra 1.8 S and Sentra 2.5 S replacing the XE, GXE and 2.5 Limited Edition models names respectively. The 2004 Sentra is also available in two performance models, the SE-R and SE-R Spec V (information available separately).
A number of option packages are available for the 2004 Sentra, including the Convenience Package wîth air conditioning and a 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system wîth 4 speakers; and the Road Trip Package, which includes cruise control, leather-wrapped §teering wheel and shift knob (manual transmission) and 180-watt AM/FM/CD audio system wîth 7 speakers. Other available optional equipment includes side-impact supplemental air bags and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) (standard on Sentra 2.5 S) and power sunroof.Source - Nissan
For 2004, the sport-inspired Sentra SE-R receives several body enhancements, including a new front and rear fascia, new headlamp shapes, restyled hood and two new exterior colors. The 2004 Sentra SE-R also upgrades its interior wîth a standard trip computer and a new charcoal fabric exclusive to SE-R models. A new Spec V Brake Package is offered in 2004.
Originally produced from 1991 to 1994, the Sentra SE-R immediately gained recognition wîth the automotive media becoming Car and Driver '10 Best' winner four times and an Automobile 'All-Star' twice. It also became a favorite among autocrossers and grassroots racers and developed a large enthusiast base wîth numerous nationwide clubs, magazine project vehicles and motorsports activities. Sentra SE-R was discontinued after the 1994 model year, but was brought back in 2002, much to the delight of enthusiasts across the nation.
'The Sentra SE-R is a legendary vehicle, designed for action and performance,' said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North. 'The 2004 model stays true to its big performance in a small package roots, wîth stronger credentials than ever wîth available Brembo brakes and enhanced exterior styling.'
SE-R Style The SE-R was designed to give a feeling of a mini-Nissan Skyline sports sedan. (concept carz) Building upon the style set by the fifth generation Sentra 4-door sedan at its introduction, the 2004 SE-R receives several body refinements to help emphasize its sporty personality. Most prominent of these refinements is a new front and rear fascia style wîth a fresh, distinctive hood design. The Sentra SE-R also receives a restyled headlamp shape and rear combination lamps. The flush-mounted, one-piece 'multi-parabola' halogen headlamps and the body-color side moldings and bumpers all add to the sport-styled exterior.
Adding the final touches, a rear spoiler and large chrome exhaust tips provide even more flair to the new Sentra SE-R, along wîth two dynamic new exterior colors - Volcanic Orange and Sapphire Blue.
SE-R Adds New Interior Features Continuing the tradition of sport-inspired interior design, SE-R provides an interior environment designed for the racer-at-heart. Its ergonomic interior styling combines a modern appearance wîth sport-styled seats, §teering wheel and gearshift knob.
For 2004, SE-R adds a charcoal fabric (exclusive to the SE-R models), a standard trip computer and enhanced Rockford Fosgate®-powered audio system wîth improved sound quality.
The SE-R Spec V features a special interior wîth black and silver accents, which is accompanied by Skyline-style sport bucket seats (SE-R Spec V). The 2004 Sentra SE-R continues to offer power windows and door locks, conveniently placed cup holders and a substantial amount of storage capacity and storage pockets, including a stylish center-console wîth lid and a large glove box.
The large, race-style front bucket seats feature an 8-way adjustable driver seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat to suit occupants' needs. The seat design provides an open feeling through use of a large, one-piece cut pattern around the shoulder area and the raised hip point aids in easier entry and exit.
SE-R Power Powering the Sentra SE-R is a 16-valve 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 180 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm in the SE-R Spec V model and 165 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm in the SE-R. SE-R Spec V gains 10 horsepower and five lb-ft torque over the standard SE-R wîth the use of a specially tuned exhaust system.
The Sentra SE-R engine utilizes technology developed for the award-winning VQ-series engines found in the Maxima and Altima sedans, including a modular engine design, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, electronically controlled throttle and continuously variable valve timing.
To combat vibrations inherent in large 4-cylinder engines, the SE-R's QR25 engine features a silent chain drive and compact balancer system that effectively negates vibrations without taking up too much space – a problem wîth previous balancer designs.
Available SE-R transmissions include a responsive, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission (SE-R Spec V) or a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission wîth overdrive (standard on SE-R).
A helical limited-slip differential is standard on the 6-speed equipped SE-R Spec V. This mechanical differential is torque sensitive and provides instantaneous locking for increased traction and performance.
SE-R Braking and Suspension Sentra SE-R's suspension has been tuned to provide a maximum amount of performance and ride comfort. There are two levels of suspension tuning available, corresponding wîth model choices – the standard SE-R and the ultimate, track-oriented SE-R Spec V. All SE-Rs feature front independent MacPherson struts and Nissan's patented rear Multi-Link Beam™design.
SE-R features performance-tuned shock absorbers, a front strut tower brace for additional stiffness and suspension feel and 16-inch alloy wheels wîth 195/55R16 tires.
SE-R Spec V builds upon the SE-R's handling capabilities. Front spring rates increase 15 percent (over SE-R) and the rear spring rate increases 16 percent. High-performance 215/45ZR17 tires on special 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels complete the package and give Sentra an aggressive, sport-compact look.
Braking is provided by large 4-wheel disc brakes – the fronts measure a full 11 inches, larger than many so-called sporting machines. A 4-wheel, 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is also available.
A high-performance Spec V Brake Package, new for 2004, is offered on the SE-R Spec V model. The exclusive package includes gold-painted Brembo 4-piston front calipers, 12-inch Brembo vented front discs and 10.9-inch rear discs.
SE-R Safety and Security The 2004 Sentra SE-R's standard safety equipment includes driver and front-passenger supplemental air bags, 3-point seat belts in all seating positions, front seat belts wîth adjustable upper anchors, pretensioners and load limiters. Front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and Vehicle Security System wîth Immobilizer are also available.
Passive safety features include an energy-absorbing §teering column, front and rear crumple zones and body side reinforcements.
SE-R also features an emergency inside trunk-release, child safety rear door locks, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system.
SE-R Packages and Options Sentra SE-R comes well equipped wîth several available options, including ABS brake system and front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags. Packages for the SE-R include the Audio Fanatic Package, featuring the 300-watt Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system, partial fold-down rear seat and Vehicle Security System and Immobilizer; and Power Sunroof, wîth dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors and sunroof.
Sentra SE-R Spec V models available wîth the exclusive Spec V Brake Package, as well as the Audio Fanatic Package, Sunroof Package and the front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags/ABS combination.Source - Nissan
A compact vehicle made by Nissan Motors, the Sentra is a re-badged export version of the Japanese Nissan Sunny. This model line was available with 1.3 and 1.5 petrol engines, and a five-door wagon version was also available. In Japan, the Sentra vehicle is renamed the Bluebird Sylphy. The U.S. Sentra ranges in price from $15,000 to $21,000 for the most supped-up version. The original Sentra vehicles were subcompact vehicles, but over the year the vehicle has grown and the Versa replaced the Sentra in the entry-level market. The Sentra was rated by the EPA as a mid-size vehicle due to its interior volume. Numerous countries including Mexico and Brazil continue to sell their versions of the Sunny as the Sentra.
Since 1982 the Nissan Sentra has been a popular vehicle that economy-car shoppers have been volleying for years. The Sentra has been one of the best choices available for periods of time, though the Sentra has lagged behind the segment leaders in terms of image and overall refinement.
The first generation was introduced in 1982 and was the replacement of the Datsun 210. Earlier Sunnys had been rear-wheel drive beginning with the B11, but now they featured the sported front-wheel drive FF layout. The A series (OHV) engine was replaced with the E15 SOHC engine from the Datsun 310 and became the first vehicle in the U.S. to feature the Nissan name solely. All Nissan Sentras in 1983 had the E16 as the only option with 4-speed manual standard with a 3-speed automatic. A few years later a 5-speed manual was also featured as an option.
From 1984 through 1987 a 1.7-liter CD17 diesel was also featured. This version was produced in very small numbers which eventually made it a popular collector item. All Sentra models featured 4-wheel independent suspension and front disc brakes. The B11 featured several models, including the Honeybee which was a holdover from the 210 and was capable of 35 mph, and the Deluxe which featured air conditioning, dual side mirrors and a Clarion tape deck.
From 1986 through 1990 the second generation of the B12-Sentra was unveiled. A variety of body styles were introduced for this generation that included station wagons, 3-door hatchback, 2 and 4-door sedans and the Sport Coupe. All Sentra models except the Sport Coupe in 1987 came standard with the E16 with 69 hp and a 5-speed manual transmission. The following year, all Sentras had the 70 hp which was featured with throttle body injection.
The E-series continued on in the B12 chassis in various parts of the world, meanwhile some received the multi-point fuel injection E16E engine. Some models even received diesel engines, but these models were very rare and only offered in exclusive areas of the world. The only engine option from 1989 through 1990 was the 90 hp, GA16i, a 12-valve SOHC version of the later GA16DE. While 4-wheel disc brakes were an option in some parts of the world, the B12 carried over a radically modified 4-wheel independent suspension from the B11. Though not all classes were available every year, this was the beginning of the model classes which became standard through the 2003 model year. The 'E' was the low level economy model, the 'XE' was the base model, and the 'GXE' was the top level 4 door sedan, the 'SE' was the sport coupe while the 'SE-R' was the top of the line performance model.
From 1987 through 2003 the GXE was featured with a body colored bumper, manual remote control, aero side mirrors, tachometer, standard 13' 175/70/R13 alloy wheels with AC and variable intermittent wipers. The only thing the GXE didn't feature was a standard cassette deck or power windows, locks or mirrors. The SE model featured dual mirrors, AC, tachometer, power door locks and windows in various markets, along with electronic fuel injection in several markets. At the time, back seats only came with lap safety belts while shoulder belts didn't exist until much later models.
The final chassis to feature a station wagon model, the B12 model was sold as the 'California' in various Asian markets. The four-wheel drive versions of the station wagon were even more rare and were available as an option in both 1988 and 1989. These four-wheel drive versions featured an electrically-activated 4WD single-range transfer case to drive the independently-suspended rear wheels. The Nissan logo had previously been placed on the ride hand side of the front grille was moved to the center in 1988.
A sportier version of the Sentra was the sport coupe, a model that shared only few of the body panels with the standard model. The Sport coupe was only available with the E16i or GA16i, it didn't receive Nissan's CA18DE that was featured in the Sunny ZX Coupe. All Sport Coupe models featured dual sway bars, a tachometer next to the speedometer, and dual remote-adjust mirrors, while the SE model featured AC and rear speakers.
The B12 models have always been known for their great fuel economy and for the reliable nature. They are considered by many fans to be fantastic low budget project cars due to their ability of their parts to be easily interchangeable with other Nissan models. Another version, the Sentra Classic, a four-door sedan was introduced in Canada until 1993. The Sentra Classic replaced the Nissan Micra 3/5-door hatchbacks, which at the time were discontinued and were sold only in Canada.
Produced from 1991 through 1994, the B13 Nissan Sentra Coupe was also called the Nissan Sunny and the Nissan Tsuru. The B13 was the original vehicle to offer Nissan's exclusive then-new SR20DE engine in the sporty two-door SE-R model. The Sentra SE-R model was set various subcompact speed records for the time with 140 hp at 6400 rpm and 132 lb•ft of torque at 4800 rpm. The Sentra SE-R could reach 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds and could also reach the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds. This vehicle came with 4-wheel disc brakes along with a MacPherson strut independent suspension. The Sentra SE-R also featured improved handling with a viscous limited-slip differential which was standard equipment.
The fuel injected 110 hp 1.6 L GA16DE engine came standard on the Nissan sedan, and was available on the base model, E, XE, GXE, SE, SE-R and the Limited Edition. Both the GXE and Limited Edition featured power packages such a power windows, locks and mirrors, while the XE, SE and SE-R were featured with standard or optional sunroof and alloy wheels. The four door Nissan models came with front motorized shoulder seatbelts.
The fourth generation of the Nissan Sentra was called the B14. The independent rear loss was deleted for 1995 and therefore caused several steps backwards for the Sentra. For this year all engines in the B14 lineup came with timing chains.
In this same year, the two-door Sentra was renamed the 200SX and brought the sporty SE-R model along with it. The Nissan sedan received all of the performance parts in 1998 with the Sentra SE. The SE-R and the SE sedan both came with the same 2.0 liter SR20DE engine.
Several trim variations were offered for the fourth general B14, the Base, XE, GXE, GLE, SE and also a few SE Limited Base and XE that came with 13' steel wheels and hubcaps. Before 1998 several GXE models also featured 13' wheels. The GXE upgraded to 14' alloy wheels in 1998 and GLE models came with 14' alloy rims. The GXE also received rear seat trunk access, rear headrests, additional fabric on doors and seats instead of vinyl, a grip-assist on the passenger side, power windows, locks and mirrors.
Several packages were included on the GLE, SE, and the Special Edition that featured leather, rear spoiler, moonroof and keyless entry packages. Every other trim besides the SE and SE-R featured the GA16DE that offered 1.6L, 114 hp, while the SE and SE-R received the SR20DE. Less powerful than the SR20DE, the GA16DE engine was quite impressive in comparison. Until 1997, the 200SX SE-R arrived featuring a leather wrapped steering wheel along with a shift knob and Limited-Slip-Differential. Not offered to other Sentras of this generation, the 200SX also featured the option of a telescoping steering wheel.
A slight update was featured for the 1998 model year that redesigned the rear light assembly, mostly the reverse indicator lights. In this same year, the front grille was updated from horizontal bars to a large plastic mesh. The following year the grille was updated yet again and transformed into an oval hole between the headlights. A Limited slip differential was not offered again for the 1998 200SX SE-R. The fourth generation was the last year built in Smyrna, Tennessee.
The fifth generation of the Sentra was produced from 2000 through 2006 and the model finally made its leap into the 'compact' class for 2000, the class that had been originally dominated by the Altima. In 2001 the Altima moved to the mid-size class while its wheelbase remained unchanged from the prior generation.
The B15 Sentra emerged into the market very different from its earlier siblings that were constructed very similar to their Japan-market B-series Nissan Sunny twins. Since production was no longer done at Smyrna, Tennessee, construction moved to Aguascalientes, Mexico while the Smyrna production line was retooled to build the Nissan Xterra. The top of the line Sentra was dominated by the '00-'01 Sentra SE which featured the SR20DE with 145 hp and 136 lb•ft of torque. The Sentra SE remained in this spot until the SE-R rejoined the lineup in 2002.
The 1.8 L QG18DE QG18DE replaced the 1.6 L GA16DE. The new generation was completely upgraded from the prior generation and showed more bells and whistles than previous models. The fifth generation showcased a brand new interior with much better quality plastics and more comfortable seats. New body-side moldings and clear headlights were also added to the exterior.
A brand new Nissan SE-R was introduced in 2002. This new model got rid of its SR20DE and replaced its 2002 model with the Altima's more torque-like but lower-revving QR25DE. The Nissan SE-R was available in either a base model with a 5-speed manual transmission or the optional 4-speed automatic. The 175 hp SE-R Spec V came with a 6-speed manual transmission with a helical Torsen limited slip differential.
Unfortunately the Spec V suffers a relatively slow 7.4 second 0-60 mph time due to extra-short gearing that made 60 mph unattainable in second gear, but it was capable of a 15.4 second quarter-mile. Both the Spec V and the SE-R received sportier-looking headlights with black that surrounded the silver reflectors along with standard fog-lights.
For 2004 the Sentra received a small face lift. The 2003-2006 SE-R Spec V received new gearing that allowed it to reach the quarter mile in a time of 15.2. From 2004 to 2006 the SE-R came only in automatic transmission and was able to reach the quarter mile in only 16.0 seconds. The Spec-V and the SE-R kept the updated headlights and also received ‘smoke-out' break lights. 1.8 L models lost their front stabilizer bar as Nissan was attempting to cut costs.
The B15 Sentra featured the SE-R, the SE-R Spec V trims, the 2003 Sentra 2.5LE and the 2004 Sentra 2.5S with the QR25DE. The exterior and interior of the lower trims were very similar to the GXE, 1.8S and now included transparent head lamps, lighter colored taillights, beige-shaded interior cloth and a softer suspension than the SE-R's. The 2.0L and 1.8L automatic from 2000 through 2006 used the RE4F03B transmission. The RE4F03A transmission was used in the 2.5L 2.5S, SE-R automatics.
In January of 2006, Nissan unveiled the sixth generation of the 2007 Sentra at the 2006 North American International Auto show. The EPA now classified this generation as a mid-size sedan and the Sentra was now larger than the B15 model. The Nissan Versa stepped into the entry level role that was originally filled by the Sentra.
For the 2007 model year, Nissan introduced the SE-R to the North American market. Unveiled with two versions, the SE-R came in base model and SE-R Spec V. Both models received four-wheel disc brakes instead of the standard Sentra's disc/drum setup, 17' alloy wheels and very unique interior and exterior trim. The base model and SE-R Spec V were both powered by the 2.5 liter QR25DE engine. While the base model was rated at 177 hp at 6000 rpm and 172 lb•ft (233 N•m) at 2800 rpm and came with Nissan's exclusive X-CVT continuously variable transmission and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Rated at 200 hp at 6600 rpm and 180 lb•ft (244 N•m) at 5200 rpm, the SE-R Spec V came with a 6-speed manual and optional limited-slip differential. The SE-R Spec V was capable of 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, and could reach the ¼ mile by 14.9 seconds. The Nissan Spec V also received red front seat belts, larger front brakes and a stiffer suspension. The base model was priced at $19,400 and the SE-R Spec V was listed at $19,900.
Today the Nissan Sentra is facing a harder struggle than when it originally was introduced as many automakers now offer specialized performance models that compete directly with the SE-R. Thankfully though, the Sentra remains a solid choice due to its high fuel efficiency, performance variants and low upkeep costs.By Jessica Donaldson