Totally revised just last year, Nissan Sentra enters the 2014 model year with a number of additions and refinements, keeping it at the head of the segment in terms of style, premium design, connectivity and value. For example, Sentra's available NissanConnect™ with Navigation now includes all-new NissanConnect™ Apps smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android, allowing the user to connect with Pandora®, iHeartRadio, Facebook and more. It also has improved voice recognition and one-shot destination entry. In addition to the new app integration, the NissanConnect™ with Navigation system's capabilities now includes SiriusXM Travel Link® (fuel prices, movie times, stock updates and weather; SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
The 2014 Sentra's performance enhancements include:
- A reduction in the transmission of engine noise into the passenger cabin through use of improved body insulation and sealing, along with a change in engine mount layout
- More responsive steering feel, through use of a quicker steering ratio (16.3:1 versus the previous 18.6:1) and retuning of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system
- Body roll has been reduced through use of retuned springs, shocks and thicker stabilizer bars (22.0 mm front versus previous 19.0 mm, 24.6 mm rear versus previous 21.7 mm)
- Ride comfort has been increased through improved body motion control, due to shock absorber damping force tuning
- And acceleration feel has been enhanced through retuning of the Xtronic CVT, including the addition of a D-Mode step shift program
Seat comfort has been improved with new seat frame spring tuning and revised foam density and shaping, additional lateral support and a feeling of seat plushness. In addition, a sliding front armrest is now standard on the SL grade and added to the SV and SR Driver Packages. New front seat lower cushion storage pockets are standard on all models and an Auto Hazard Warning Signal is added for all models.
Sentra continues to offer class-above design standards inside and out, as well as efficiency in engineering. Versus the previous generation, this Sentra is 150 pounds - or five percent - lighter, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room.
The lighter and more aerodynamic design allows Nissan to use a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine, which along with the next generation Xtronic CVT® with sub-planetary gear helps deliver a 13 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy (versus the previous generation Sentra).
With the FE+ models, Sentra achieves an EPA rated 40 mpg on the highway. Other CVT-equipped models are rated at 39 mpg on the highway. All CVT models achieve an EPA rated 34 mpg combined (city and highway, 50-state emissions) and more than 415-miles of real-world driving range*.
Modern, Premium Design and Class-Above Interior
Sentra's exterior design is elegant, modern and refined, reflecting a "professional" character targeted at upwardly bound buyers who aspire to drive something more premium than some of the other designs in the segment. It adopts Nissan's bold signature trapezoid-shaped grille and large wraparound headlights with standard LED accents. In the rear, LED taillights are also standard, which complement the sophisticated styling.
Compared to the previous generation design, Sentra's beltline has been lowered and a character line has been added that runs from the front fenders, along the sides, and finishes at the sculpted taillights and trunklid, giving Sentra a more aggressive stance and enhanced outward visibility for passengers. Other exterior features include chrome door handles and chrome window accents, available heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, and available sport front and rear fascias and rear spoiler. The coefficient of drag has been significantly reduced to 0.29 from the previous design's 0.34.
Sentra's long wheelbase (106.3 inches) provides roomy total interior volume of 111.0 cubic feet, one of the largest interior volumes in class, along with ample rear seat legroom and large trunk capacity. Rear seat legroom of 37.4 inches is among the largest in class and immediately apparent to occupants, even with the front seats in the rear-most position. The rear seat is a standard 60/40-split fold-down design, offering versatile access to expand the already ample 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space.
The high-quality look and feel of the exterior continues inside with materials not usually found in compact vehicles, including a soft-touch instrument panel and door armrests, available leather-appointed seating and available Maple wood-tone trim. Along with offering mid-size roominess in a compact-size exterior, the intuitive interior layout emphasizes driver control and outstanding seat comfort for all occupants. The instrument panel curves out towards the doors and features Fine Vision electroluminescent gauges that are backlit even in daylight, providing a high-quality look that is also easy to read.
Standard interior features include a 6-way manual driver's seat, 4-way manual front passenger's seat, front and rear door pockets, front center console with padded armrest and cupholders, rear seat armrest with cupholders, air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter, available Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system, tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows with driver's one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
The standard audio system is an AM/FM/CD system with four speakers. Other available systems include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 4.3-inch color display, USB connection for iPod® and other compatible devices; and a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers and an amplifier that has been specially tuned to either the cloth or leather interior for best performance.
Also available is SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.
NissanConnect™ with Navigation and Other Technology Features
Like the 2014 Altima, Sentra offers a major step forward in technology that helps owners stay connected. NissanConnect™ with Navigation is an advanced system featuring a Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant that reads incoming text messages and allows drivers to reply without taking their hands off of the steering wheel.
The system also offers entertainment options such as NissanConnect™ Apps and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®. Its large 5.8-inch touch-screen display helps make maps and other information easy to read, especially when paired with SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link® functions (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately). The Navigation's map views features warnings for curves and speed limit information. NissanConnect™ Apps include Online Search powered by Google™, Pandora® and Facebook.
Other available technology ranges from the RearView Monitor and Nissan Intelligent Key® with illuminated Push Button Ignition to the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy-Fill Tire Alert feature. If air is being added or removed from a tire, the system signals the user when the recommended tire pressure has been reached by sounding the horn.
Fuel-Efficient 1.8-liter Engine and Advanced CVT
As part of the 2013 Sentra redesign, Sentra features a new drivetrain anchored by an advanced 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cyinder engine offering a longer stroke than typical engines in its class, resulting in improved combustion speed and efficiency. The engine is equipped with a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system which modulates both the intake and exhaust valve opening time (similar to that used on the flagship Nissan Maxima).
The engine's internal friction has been reduced (versus the previous design), improving efficiency. In addition, the valve springs are shaped similar to a beehive, with a smaller diameter towards the top - reducing inertial weight, improving valvetrain efficiency and smoothing engine operation. The engine is rated at 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is matched with a new-generation Xtronic CVT® (a 6-speed manual is available on the Sentra S model). The CVT features a host of enhancements (versus the previous CVT) that contribute to an improvement in fuel efficiency and lower vehicle weight. It offers a wide gear ratio range of 7.3:1 through use of a sub-planetary gear and smaller pulleys, resulting in high-speed fuel efficiency and responsive acceleration. The CVT's acceleration feel has been enhanced with the addition of a D-mode step shift program for 2014.
Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon City, 39 miles per gallon highway and 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*. Sentra FE+ S and FE+ SV grades achieve 40 mpg on the highway.
The 2014 Sentra again features an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar - with increased stabilizer bar diameters front and rear (versus 2013) to help reduce body roll.
A power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum braking system (4-wheel disc brakes are available) is standard along with retuned vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering. Available wheels and tires include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers with 205/55R16 size all-season tires or 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires.
A Range of Well-Equipped Models
The 2014 Nissan Sentra is again offered in a selection of seven well-equipped trim levels: S 6MT, S CVT, FE+ S, SV, FE+ SV, SR and SL. All trims levels come with standard Xtronic CVT® except the base Sentra S 6MT with 6-speed manual transmission.
In addition to the Sentra S model's long list of standard features, the Sentra SV model adds cruise control, two additional speakers, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, vehicle security system and premium cloth seating and door trim.
The Sentra SR adds a sportier appearance, starting with 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, sport front grille, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher. Inside, the Sentra SR includes sport silver interior trim, premium sport cloth seats and driver's seatback pocket.
The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds 17-inch split 7-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, Smart Auto Headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, Nissan Intelligent Key®, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, 6-speaker audio system with 4.3-inch display, USB connection port, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
Additional Sentra SL equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever knob, Maple wood-tone interior trim, sliding front armrest, Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy-Fill Tire Alert.
Five option packages are available for the 2014 Sentra: the SV Driver Package, SR Driver Package, Navigation Package, Premium Package and Leather Package. In addition, 16-inch alloy wheels are offered as a factory-installed accessory.
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*415 mpg estimated range calculated using estimated 2014 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate 34 mpg Combined multiplied by 13.2 gallon capacity, minus 1 gallon. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions - use for comparison only.