2024 Nissan Sentra SR, Monarch Orange
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

Consumer Guide Automotive 2024 Nissan Sentra SR

Class: Compact Car

Color: Monarch Orange

Seating capacity: 5

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB
Power and PerformanceB-
Fit and FinishB+
Fuel EconomyA
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyB
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Engine Specs149-horsepower 2.0-liter
Engine Type4-cyinder
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive WheelsFront-wheel drive

Miles driven: 150

Observed fuel economy: 34.1 mpg

Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 30/38/33 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type:  Regular gas

Snow performance: N/A

Base price: $23,720 (not including $1095 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Special paint ($645), Premium Package ($2490), floor mats ($270)

Price as tested: $28,220


Quick Hits

The great: Roomy and refined cabin, easy on the gas

The good: Lots of tech for the money

The not so good: No surplus of power


Tom Appel:

“The Godfather, Part II” is better film than the “The Godfather.” This isn’t an especially controversial take, but some hard-core film buffs bristle a bit at the suggestion. And while “II” is longer than the original film, and while it feels very much the same, there are subtle elements of the second Godfather movie that just work better.

2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

I mention the popular film sequel because I recent spent time in the freshened-for-2024 Nissan Sentra, and we can, without fear of contradiction, say that the updated car—the sequel if you will, is better than original. In this case, much better.

Completely redesign for the 2020 model year, Nissan’s compact sedan—no other body styles are offered in the U.S.—was gifted crisp new sheet metal, a surprisingly roomy cabin, and a serious dose of tech features with which to lure young and connectivity-savvy shoppers. What the Sentra was not blessed with was an upscale cabin, interior quietness, or a refined powertrain.

2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

We at Consumer Guide appreciated the updated Sentra’s excellent dollar value and general utility, but found it somewhat wanting, especially when compared to the class-leading Honda Civic.

But a funny thing happened for 2024…

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2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

Much how “The Godfather, Part II” is subtly better in many ways than the original film, the 2024 Sentra is—in aggregate—a much better car than the one it replaces. Let’s look at the changes that took place for ’24:

  • Freshened front Fasciae
  • New wheels (size dependent on trim level)
  • More safety tech (as part of Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of features)
  • Available Bose premium audio
  • Upgraded cabin trim
  • Upgraded CVT automatic transmission
  • Assorted other minor updates

For 2024 the Sentra is again offered in three trim levels: entry S (starting around $22,000), popular SV ($23,000), and sporty and well-equipped SR ($25,000). All three trim levels are powered by the same 149-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cyinder engine mated to a CVT automatic. Depending on wheels and trim level, the Sentra is EPA rated at an estimated combined 33-34 mpg.

Consumer Guide recently spent a week with a fully equipped 2024 Sentra SR in extra-cost Monarch Orange and black roof, and the Premium Package, which, among other things, includes a power sunroof, leatherette-trimmed seating, the aforementioned Bose audio system, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and other niceties. All told, our test car came to $28,220.

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2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

The $2490 Premium Package goes a long way towards making the Senta a little luxury sedan. And, as American commutes grow longer—and slower—every year, Nissan’s focus on comfort over sportiness will make plenty of sense for many work-a-day drivers.

In SR trim—we have not yet spent time with a S or SV—the Sentra cabin comes off as entry premium. Credit the leather-like seat trim, and the leather-look dash-top with red contrasting stitching. But the steering wheel, door inserts, and leather-skirted gear selector are all nicely finished, as well.

While the Sentra’s infotainment-system touchscreen isn’t huge, it is well placed, and the primary icons are large and easy to read, and the menu system mostly straightforward. And, as we like them, climate control functions are handed by real, physical switch gear, which is located just below the screen, and is simple to manipulate.

The Sentra cabin is usefully roomy, and accommodates this large editor with ease. Rear-seat space is decent, too, and four passengers will fit just fine—even for a long trip—providing none of the rear-seat occupants is too long legged. Also, thanks to relatively thin corner pillars, and a generous amount of glass, the Sentra cabin feels open and airy, and outward visibility is excellent.

On the road, Nissan’s compact sedan does what it should, and that’s move along in traffic with refined ease. First, the updated CVT automatic, now branded Xtronic, works smoothly with the power available, and is free of many of many of the operational peccadilloes that haunted earlier Nissan CVTs. The transmissions works well with the mostly smooth and quiet 2.0-liter engine, and serves up impressive real-world fuel-economy numbers. We saw better than 34 mpg in mostly city driving.

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2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

A note about CVT transmissions: While the media is fond of calling out the CVT’s “rubber-band” power-delivery characteristics, new and younger drivers aren’t going to care very much if driving their car doesn’t feel like the old stepped-gear automatics that everyone over 40 years of age is used to. Yes, CVT-equipped cars can feel different than conventional-automatic-transmission cars, but they work about as well, and generally return better fuel economy.

While not actually sporty, the Sentra rides and handles very well, and cabin quietness is much improved. If your Sentra is equipped with the available Bose-brand sound system, you may appreciate how much a quiet cabin contributes to enjoying music played back via a quality stereo. (Do we still call them stereos?)

A couple of other Senta highlights: The trunk holds a reported 14-cubic-feet of cargo, and the large opening makes loading and unload cargo relatively easy. The “leatherette” seat and cabin material found on the SR looks like leather to us, and go some distance towards classing up the cabin. Finally, We are big fans of Nissan’s Monarch Orange exterior color, though we find the $645 tab for the orange-with-black-roof-treatment scheme a little rich for a vehicle in this segment.

A point about value: The 2024 Sentra starts around $22,000. And while the Sentra is not as much fun to drive, nor as sharp handling, as the benchmark Honda Civic, Civic pricing starts fully $3000 higher than the base Sentra, and is EPA rated 4 mpg lower. For comfortably less than $30,000, the Sentra SR delivers an efficient, refined, and comfortable conveyance that looks like it costs more money than it does.

If your commute isn’t a venue for sporty character, or if you simply don’t appreciate a firm ride and sharp steering—and many folks don’t—the Sentra may make sense to you. And if you’ve driven any earlier examples of this generation Sentra and decided to pass, you need to spend time with this very successful “sequel.” It is, indeed, better than the original.

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2024 Nissan Sentra SR
2024 Nissan Sentra SR

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