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NISSAN’S 2020 SENTRA SR – A ‘JR’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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NISSAN’S 2020 SENTRA SR – A ‘JR’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

NISSAN’S 2020 SENTRA SR – 

A ‘JR’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


Editor’s Note: If you watch any TV, you’ve seen Nissan ads for its Sentra and Altima sedans. And if you’ve seen the ads, you’ll know Nissan is targeting these vehicles at women; notably, the women portrayed are either already empowered or women wanting to be empowered. Using the “Bullitt” chase scene as inspiration, guys are – at best – a sidebar in the presentation. So if you’re a guy, read the below skeptically – as the Sentra is probably not intended for you. Our thanks to contributor Steve Kursar, taking one – again! – for his team. DB


It used to be that when you owned an inexpensive car, it might get you to where you wanted to go…but that was all you should expect from it. It certainly would not impress the neighbors, potential dates or co-workers. Cars at the bottom of a dealer’s food chain weren’t going to get you anywhere except to your next destination, if – of course – you were lucky.  I know, ‘cause I’ve owned enough of them.

You’d be hard-pressed to find those types of vehicles in any current showroom today. Automotive companies realized that they could make a profit designing attractive and fun to drive vehicles in entry-level segments. Cars and crossovers that look and drive like they came out of a Cold War-era Soviet assembly line are things of the past. And hooray for that.

The current Nissan Sentra is one of the most stylish affordable cars on the market today. With an aggressive exterior that looks like it wants to take off down the highway, the Sentra will look good in anyone’s driveway.  I test drove a two-tone Monarch Orange Metallic/Super Black 2020 Nissan Sentra SR with a $23,170 price tag, which is about $4,000 over a base model. It looked good, and offered impressive content. And once behind the wheel, it still did not disappoint 

There’s a surprising amount of pep in the Sentra SR’s powertrain, considering that its 2.0-liter four-cylinder only puts out 149 horsepower.  Mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) there’s little lag when you step hard on the gas pedal.  It wasn’t the quietest car I’ve driven, but then that’s usually par for the course when you don’t pay top dollar for your ride.  Fuel economy in the Sentra is pretty good, getting you 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

The interior was surprisingly roomy, even for the teenagers in the rear seats who didn’t complain when we packed them in on our way to a drive-thru for dinner.  I’m a particular fan of Nissan’s Zero Gravity front seats, which come standard across the entire Sentra line.  The Zero Gravity seats make long drives much more comfortable. 

I keep running into new car buyers who are obsessed with getting a new vehicle that has all the latest safety tech.  If that concern is high on your list, Safety Shield 360, Nissan’s signature suite of advanced driver-assist systems, is now standard on all 2020 Sentra trim levels.  Safety Shield includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking.  Be aware that the sensitivity of the automatic braking system may seem a bit intrusive if you’re not used to it. 

It’s impressive how much the Sentra can offer for such an affordable price tag.  The exterior design, the feisty engine and all the tech make for one very attractive package. Most importantly, it’s very easy now to have a nissan repair or an upgrade for your current nissan unit.

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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