Reuglar readers of TireKicker will know that while I appreciate the awesome (see TireKicker's Top Ten cars), I also have a soft spot for simplicity.
After two and a half decades of being merely inexpensive, the new Nissan Sentra has achieved desirable elegant simplicity.
The S is the mid-level Sentra, delivering a 140 horsepower 2-liter four cylinder engine with continuously variable transmission (CVT), anti-lock brakes, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system and more for $16,960.
The test car had three options...splash guards ($140), the Convenience Plus package (Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, overhead CD holder, Divide-N-Hide trunk system, cargo net and keyless entry and ignition for $850) and floor mats and a trunk mat ($165). Total price with delivery: $18,740.
The Sentra also comes with five-star frontal crash ratings for both driver and passenger and EPA mileage estimates of 25 city/33 highway.
All the good stuff, no needless fluff, and a reasonable price. So what's it like to drive?
Well, 140 horsepower isn't going to set the world on fire, but it's more than adequate...helped along by the CVT (so far, Nissan builds the best CVTs).
The styling is a matter of taste, and while there are prettier cars out there, that seemingly too-high roofline pays off big when you get inside.
The addition of the Versa at the bottom of the Nissan product line has freed up room for Sentra to grow. It's now a very good small sedan and very much worth a test drive.