New 2020 Nissan Sentra Sedan
Nissan Sentra Sedan
With new style, impressive safety and tech features and solid driving dynamics Nissan’s 2020 Sentra is one competitive compact sedan.
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The all-new 8th-generation 2020 Nissan Sentra gets a sophisticated new exterior that mirrors Nissan’s design language for its family of sedans. Inside evokes a cockpit-like environment with upscale touches. The Sentra punches above its weight class in the safety category, offering Safety Shield 360 as standard across all trim levels. Tech isn’t an afterthought, either, with excellent connectivity options.
Improved handling, with an all-new chassis and suspension, and a new-to-the-Sentra powertrain make the drive spirited yet stable.
However, the Sentra does not offer a hybrid-powertrain option like some other competitors. Price-wise the Sentra lands mid-pack in the compact segment, but fuel-economy numbers aren’t as strong, leaving the Sentra more toward the bottom of that list. Comprehensively, the 2020 Nissan Sentra is a strong package in a competitive compact-sedan market.
You'll Like This Car If...
- All-new exterior & interior styling
- Excellent standard tech features
- Best standard safety equipment in mid-priced compact-sedan category
- All-new platform w/improved driving dynamics
- Comfortable interior
You May Not Like This Car If...
- Rear visibility feels compromised
- No hybrid-engine option available
What's New for 2020
- Slightly larger footprint for larger interior
- All-new exterior styling
- Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 standard on all trims
- Simplified trim ladder
- One engine option
The powertrain in the 2020 Nissan Sentra is all-new, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine making 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. This is the same engine that powers the Rogue Sport, and it does a nice job in this compact sedan.
Acceleration feels spontaneous, and of course there’s no pesky turbo lag. Pedal feel on the brakes is firm, offering confident and solid stopping power, making a nice match for what the engine puts down. We also like how the pedals are positioned. They’re close enough together that we don’t need to put in a ton of effort going back and forth.
Steering is equally pleasing. There’s nice weight to its feel, with virtually no play in the wheel. The Sentra rides on an all-new chassis that sports a multilink independent suspension in the rear and an independent-strut front suspension. Thanks to such systems as Active Ride Control and Intelligent Trace Control, the 2020 Nissan Sentra eats up corners and turns. It feels stable and balanced, yet nimble.
All models get the Xtronic CVT. These continuously variable automatic transmissions are getting much better at mimicking real gear ratios, and except for under hard acceleration. the Sentra’s doesn’t make that infernal droning noise. Overall, the 2020 Nissan Sentra presents an impressive driving experience in its segment.
Exterior styling makes the Sentra look like a more expensive sedan. With design language similar to other Nissan sedans — including the floating roof and signature grille, LED headlights and fog lights — this new Sentra strikes a handsome stance.
SAFETY SHIELD 360
Nissan’s suite of safety comes standard across all trim levels and is comprehensive. Features include blind-spot warning, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. It’s a comprehensive package for any segment.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s interior takes on a cockpit-type feel, with gauges and switchgear designed with the driver in mind. Nissan’s NASA Zero Gravity-inspired seats are some of the most comfortable not only in this segment, but all across the lineup.
The standard 7-inch or optional 8-inch touch screen sits atop the center stack above Nissan GT-R-inspired jet-engine heat/vent/air-conditioning vents. Upscale touches that include contrast stitching and quilted leather seats and leather steering wheel are options in higher trim levels.
Interior space feels generous for a compact sedan, and there are 60/40-split rear seats that provide solid cargo space. Overall, the 2020 Nissan Sentra offers a pleasing interior cabin.
The 2020 Sentra adopts Nissan’s sedan design language, giving it a sporty and sophisticated look without being excessively aggressive. Nissan’s signature V grille, the floating roof and sporty roofline all make it feel like part of the family.
Standard on the S base trim are 16-inch wheels, though 17- and 18-inch upgrades are available. The 2020 Nissan Sentra comes in eight colors with an upgradeable option for a 2-tone roof. The highest SR trim offers a rear spoiler and black side mirrors for an even sportier appearance. Jewel-style LED headlights are an additional option as well as a moonroof.
Notable Standard Equipment
For 2020, the Nissan Sentra offers a great list of standard features, starting with Nissan’s suite of safety features, the Safety Shield 360 (see Favorite Features). Power windows and locks as well as a push-button start are included.
In the tech department, a 7-inch touch screen as well as a 4.2-inch digital display in the gauge cluster come standard as well. Suspension-enhancing software including Active Ride Control and Intelligent Trace Control offer a pleasing ride to even the base S model.
Notable Optional Equipment
Optional equipment on the higher SV and top SR models of the 2020 Nissan Sentra includes an 8-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus a 7-inch digital display in the gauge cluster.
Other extras including remote start, intelligent cruise control, dual zone climate control, leather heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as an upgraded Bose audio system, can all be had either with upgrades via the trim ladder or as premium add-on packages.
Under the Hood
Gone are the previous-generation Sentra’s 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine as well as the 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder in exchange for one powertrain, a 2.0-liter line-4. This is the same engine in Nissan’s Rogue Sport, and it works well in the 2020 Nissan Sentra. Acceleration feels solid without the lag from the old turbocharger.
Being mated to the Xtronic CVT no longer feels like the worst thing ever. The transmission mimics gear ratios well and only makes that high whine when the driver aggressively engages the throttle. While the engine bay and platform can accommodate the motor and battery package for a hybrid, Nissan isn’t making one yet and wouldn’t comment on any future plans for one.
149 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/39 mpg (S, SV) 28/37 mpg (SR)
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the base-model 2020 Nissan Sentra starts at $19,090. That’s about mid-pack in the compact-sedan segment. The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic base models both cost more, but the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte are both less. For a fully loaded SR Sentra including the Premium Package, expect to pay $23,600. Neither of those numbers includes Nissan’s $925 destination and handling fee.
Remember to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their 2020 Sentra.
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How does it compare?
|#1||2020 Subaru Impreza||152|
|#2||2020 Nissan Sentra||149|
|#3||2020 Kia Forte||147|
|#4||2020 Volkswagen Jetta||147|
|#5||2020 Hyundai Elantra||147|
|#1||2020 Hyundai Accent||36|
|#2||2020 Toyota Yaris||35|
|#3||2020 Kia Forte||35|
|#4||2020 Hyundai Elantra||35|
|#5||2020 Toyota Corolla||33|
|#1||2020 Hyundai Accent||5 / 5|
|#2||2020 Kia Forte||4.6 / 5|
|#3||2020 Toyota Yaris||4.5 / 5|
|#4||2020 Volkswagen Jetta||4.4 / 5|
|#5||2020 Hyundai Elantra||4.4 / 5|
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