On the eve of the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan took the wraps off a completely redesigned version of its mainstream compact car. The 2020 Nissan Sentra kicks off the car’s eighth generation; it’s about two inches lower and two inches wider than the previous-gen model, and it gets bolder styling, a more-powerful engine, and new technology features.
2020 Nissan Sentra
The Sentra’s flashier looks are highlighted by Nissan’s signature V-Motion grille motif, LED headlights with thin-strip LED daytime running lights, and a “floating” roof design that can be finished off in one of three two-tone color combinations.
All 2020 Sentras get an independent rear suspension and a rack electric power-steering system—features that promise at least slightly sportier handling than before. The sole powertrain is a 149-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission; this engine takes the place of the previous Sentra’s 124-hp 1.8-liter four.
A simplified model lineup consists of S, SV, and SR models. The S is a value-leader model that includes 16-inch steel wheels, cloth upholstery, and remote keyless entry with push-button start. SVs add four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, dual-zone automatic climate control, and adaptive cruise control.
The sporty SR model gets 18-inch “diamond-cut” alloy wheels, sport cloth interior with orange stitching, black-painted side mirrors with integrated turn signals, lower body side sill extensions, a rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust finisher.
The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety features—which consists of automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear automatic braking—is standard across the board. Also standard are Nissan’s Rear Door Alert and Intelligent Driver Alertness systems. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats and outside mirrors, remote engine start, and Nissan’s 360-degree Intelligent Around View Monitor.
The arrival of the 2020 Nissan Sentra in dealerships is just a couple of months away; it’s set to go on sale in late January 2020.
The redesigned Sentra caps off a flurry of activity over the past couple years in Nissan’s traditional passenger-sedan lineup. A completely redesigned Altima and a mildly refreshed Maxima both debuted as 2019 models, and all-new (and much improved) Versa sedan went on sale this past summer as a 2020 model. There’s nothing earth-shaking here in terms of the 2020 Sentra’s features and equipment, but its exterior styling—an effective downsizing of Altima and Maxima motifs—and interior layout look quite nice to our eyes. Pricing hasn’t yet been released, but we suspect that Nissan will come in with competitive MSRPs that will make the Sentra a respectable value for the money.
Test Drive: 2019 Nissan Altima SV AWD
2020 Nissan Sentra