Nissan continues to refine the fifth generation Sentra sedan for the 2004 model year with the addition of several styling enhancements, new convenience features and a new exterior color, continuing its styling leadership in the small car segment. One thing that hasn’t changed is the continued use of the 1.8-liter engine, meeting SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles) standards, with zero evaporative emissions (when equipped with California emission specifications). The 2004 Sentra is also available with a powerful 165-horsepower DOHC 2.5-liter engine.
“The 2004 Sentra continues to set the pace in the very aggressive small car segment,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “With the new exterior and interior enhancements and more available options, we are confident the 2004 Sentra will again exceed customers’ expectations of performance, quality and value.”
The fifth generation Sentra was designed with inspiration from around the world. It features an exterior styled at Nissan Design America (NDA) in La Jolla, Calif., an interior inspired by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Geretsried, Germany and was engineered at Nissan Technical Center (NTC) in Japan and Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) in California, Michigan and Arizona. Sentra is manufactured by Nissan Mexicana (NMEX) in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Stylish Exterior Design
The majority of the enhancements made to the 2004 Sentra are in the exterior design. The 2004 model adds more flair to the body design, making it more stylish, assertive and self-confident. With an overall length of 177.5 inches, body width of 67.3 inches and a height of 55.5 inches, Sentra features restyled headlamps and rear combination lamps, a new smooth front and rear fascia with a fresh, distinctive hood design and distinctive grille and a new sport-inspired exterior color – Bronze Shimmer.
Nissan Design America, Inc. (NDA), designers of the 350Z and the all-new Nissan Titan full-size pickup, wanted to take the styling of the Sentra to a new level. “Although the Sentra is an ‘entry level’ product, we didn’t want it to look like one,” said Tom Semple, president, NDA. “Our goal for the exterior was to give it a fun, in-motion design seen in more expensive car segments.”
The Sentra maintains its flush-mounted, one-piece “multi-parabola” halogen headlamps as well as its body-color front grille, side moldings and bumpers. The Sentra carries into 2004 a sleek low hoodline, high rear deck, and strong rear fenders, while also preserving its distinct front-to-rear character line.
Confident and Distinct Interior
The Sentra’s crisp exterior is complemented nicely by its clean-cut interior. The 5-passenger Sentra continues to offer a rewarding interior environment with excellent front and rear head room and leg room combined for a total interior volume of 100.1 cubic feet (88.5 cubic feet passenger compartment/11.6 cubic feet of cargo area).
The front interior features large bucket seats with an 8-way adjustable (4-way on Sentra 1.8) driver seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat to suit occupants’ needs. The seat design provides an open feeling through use of a large, one-piece cut pattern around the shoulder area and the raised hip point aids in easier entry and exit. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with locking seat back is now standard on all models (except Sentra 1.8). Cloth bucket seats are standard on all models in three all-new colors, depending on model and trim levels.
The Sentra also receives several new interior amenities including enhanced Rockford Fosgate®-powered sound quality, trip computer (standard on Sentra 2.5 S), sunroof (now available on all models except Sentra 1.8) and a remote keyless entry system. Along with the new features, the 2004 Sentra maintains the basics with power windows and doors, vanity mirrors, map lights, assist grips, conveniently placed cup holders and an optional 180-watt 7-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system (standard on Sentra 2.5 S).
The instrument panel features a cluster design with large easy-to-read gauges. For a vehicle in the small car market, the Sentra is equipped with a substantial amount of storage capacity and storage pockets including a stylish center-console with lid and a large glove box.
Setting Performance Standards
The 2004 Sentra continues to set the performance standard in the small car market with its base model 126-horepower 16-valve DOHC 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. Also standard on 1.8 and 1.8 S models is a 5-speed manual, with optional 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. An important carry over from the 2003 model is the impressive California emission level of SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) on all 1.8-liter models.
The 2004 Sentra 2.5 S (formerly designated the 2.5 Limited Edition model) continues to feature the Sentra SE-R’s 2.5-liter DOHC engine producing 165-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Sentra 2.5 S also comes standard with a responsive 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive. It features an adjusted clutch pack and modified shift schedule creating an effortless performance and torque converter to increase performance and fuel economy.
Sentra’s suspension combines front independent MacPherson struts with Nissan’s rear Multi-Link Beam™ design with rear stabilizer bar. The Multi-Link Beam reduces road noise and improves Sentra’s handling capabilities through the use of a unique lateral link.
The 2004 Sentra’s brake package features a power-assisted front disc/rear drum braking system on 1.8 and 1.8 S models, while the 2.5 S features 4-wheel disc brakes with standard 4-wheel/4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). ABS is optionally available on the Sentra 1.8 S.
All 2004 Sentra models utilize platinum-tipped spark plugs with 100,000-mile maintenance intervals. Both engines are also outfitted with numerous performance enhancing design features, including variable valve timing, exhaust manifold, microfinished crankshaft and camshafts, 32-bit engine control module and a special swirl control valve, which increases air/fuel mixing during engine warm-up to improve combustion.
Safety and Security
Again in 2004, all Sentra models feature standard dual front supplemental air bags, 3-point outboard seatbelts, front seatbelt limiters and pretentioners, manual height-adjustable front-seat shoulder belt anchors, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system and child safety rear door locks.
Along with those standard features, Sentra also offers an energy-absorbing steering column, front and rear crumple zones, and body side reinforcements. Sentra 2.5 S comes standard with front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags (optional on Sentra 1.8 S).
2004 Models and Packages
Sentra model designations have been changed for 2004, with Sentra 1.8, Sentra 1.8 S and Sentra 2.5 S replacing the XE, GXE and 2.5 Limited Edition models names respectively. The 2004 Sentra is also available in two performance models, the SE-R and SE-R Spec V (information available separately).
A number of option packages are available for the 2004 Sentra, including the Convenience Package with air conditioning and a 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 4 speakers; and the Road Trip Package, which includes cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob (manual transmission) and 180-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 7 speakers. Other available optional equipment includes side-impact supplemental air bags and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) (standard on Sentra 2.5 S) and power sunroof.