Exclusive! 2023 Nissan Sentra Compact Sedan Review

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2023 Nissan Sentra is a tempting choice among small and affordable sedans. As is the case with many cars in this class, the Sentra delivers a lot of features for the money and is loaded with the latest safety technology. Unfortunately, it’s held back by a rather weak engine, outdated infotainment system, and longer-than-average braking distance.

We’d like to say that this issue will be addressed in the 2023 model year, but it looks like the Sentra will return largely unchanged. As a result, we believe you will be better served by a Honda Civic, Kia Forte, or Hyundai Elantra all of which are rated higher than Sentra.

Acceleration isn’t too bad, but Sentra loses power as you pick up speed. We measured a 0-60 mph time of 8.8 seconds. That’s slightly below average for a small sedan class but similar to other slow cars like the Kia Forte and Toyota Corolla.

In routine driving, the Sentra continuously variable automatic transmission is smooth and unobtrusive. But it doesn’t have much of an engine braking effect when you release the gas, so you may need to apply a little more of the brakes than you’d expect when slowing down.

The brake pedal is smooth and easy to control in normal use. Emergency braking performance, however, is subpar. Our test center required 131 feet to stop from 60 mph. For context, the segment average is about 123 feet. Steering and handling are mediocre but should be enough for the average owner for everyday use.

Comfort is one of Sentra’s stronger attributes. The ride is very quiet and easily smoothes out road imperfections. This gentleness, however, can make Sentra feel light at higher speeds. Street noise is always present but never intrusive, and nothing that a stereo can’t easily mask.

The front seats have decent cushioning and support. The best seat in the house is surprisingly found in the back. They are luxurious, comfortable, and accommodating for two average size adults. The climate control system is not very powerful, but the airflow coverage from the vents is good. Our test car didn’t have rear air vents, but that’s typical for this class.

  • Comfortable ride
  • Improved cab materials and design
  • Many standard security features and advanced technology
  • No significant changes are expected for 2023
  • Part of the eighth generation Sentra introduced for 2020

2023 Nissan Sentra Review

The Nissan Sentra 2023 remains a competent and comfortable 5-passenger compact sedan that saves your budget and is good at the fuel pump. The 2023 Sentra should see very few cosmetic changes or adjustments to the available options, as the current model only applies to the 2020 model year.

2023 Nissan Sentra

Since this generation of Nissan’s compact sedan was introduced, more safety features and technology have been installed as standard for each trim level.

The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an optional Wi-Fi hotspot, and each Sentra is equipped with a forward collision warning system that has automatic emergency braking. The Nissan Sentra 2023 also has blind-spot monitoring, rear automatic emergency braking, and standard automatic high-beam headlights.

It’s worth noting that many of these safety items especially reverse automatic braking and blind-spot monitors cost extra for a car that costs thousands more than the Sentra. So in terms of safety and value, the Nissan Sentra scores highly.

Where this small Nissan sedan stumbles is in how it drives compared to its competitors. While the Sentra’s 149-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) deliver strong fuel economy, the powertrain is far from the most powerful or fuel-intensive on the compact sedan market. The Honda Civic and Mazda3 are more fun to drive, for example, while the Toyota Corolla offers great mileage (especially on the hybrid trim).

If there’s a downside to the Nissan Sentra 2023, it’s here: There’s no particularly sporty model (like the SE-R) or hybrid variant that can squeeze 53 miles out of a gallon of gasoline (like the canned Corolla Hybrid).

At least the cabin has a classy look and feels, considering Sentra’s attractive pricing. And the trunk, at 14.3 cubic feet, holds plenty of gear.

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2023 Nissan Sentra Specs

For 2023, Nissan is rumored to be giving Sentra a refresh. The compact sedan underwent a complete redesign in 2020, so while we can’t be sure that a refresh is in the books, we imagine that it wouldn’t be too drastic if it were.

No spy shots are available to confirm the design changes to the next Sentra, but refreshes usually come with minor updates to the grille, fascia, head, and taillights. In the interior, a refresh may be a slightly larger display screen and other options for upholstery.

The Sentra currently has only one powertrain option, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that produces 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. The top EPA rating is 29 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. It’s speculated that the refresh could introduce a new independent rear suspension. If so, it can improve ride, handling, and fuel economy. It is also possible that a performance version of the Sentra comes with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine.

Redesign

2023 Nissan Sentra reasonable, spacious, and fuel-efficient are the three best descriptors we can think of for the current Nissan Sentra. Despite its compact size, the Sentra offers passenger space and cargo capacity on par with some of the larger midsize sedans. And with strong fuel economy ratings and a host of standard and advanced driver assistance available, the Sentra continues to make a good case for itself, even with rivals like the Honda Civic and Mazda 3.

The Sentra had a complete redesign just three years ago, so it’s unlikely that Nissan will make any major adjustments to its formula for 2023. That’s not to say we don’t want to see some changes. For starters, the Center could use a little more power.

Even if it comes at the small cost of some fuel economy, Sentra is downright slow when compared to its competitors. And, moving inside, we’re eager to see Nissan’s latest infotainment system integrated into the Sentra dashboard.

These two changes alone are likely to see the Sentra move up a few spots in our small sedan rankings. For those of you who are too lazy to click on the link, the ranking is currently dominated by the Honda Civic, followed by the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra behind. Honda is once again running a packaging, engineering, and efficiency master class with the current Civic, while offerings from Kia and Hyundai boast great value with big warranties and plenty of standard features.

The Nissan Sentra 2023 remains a competent and comfortable 5-passenger compact sedan that saves your budget and is good at the fuel pump. The 2023 Sentra should see very few cosmetic changes or adjustments to the available options, as the current model only applies to the 2020 model year.

Since this generation of Nissan’s compact sedan was introduced, more safety features and technology have been installed as standards for each trim level. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an optional Wi-Fi hotspot, and each Sentra is equipped with a forward collision warning system that has automatic emergency braking.

Nissan Sentra 2023 also has blind-spot monitoring, a rear automatic emergency brake, and standard automatic high-beam headlights. It’s worth noting that many of these safety items especially reverse automatic braking and blind-spot monitors cost extra for a car that costs thousands more than the Sentra. So in terms of safety and value, the Nissan Sentra scores highly.

Where this 2023 Sentra small sedan stumbles is in how it drives compared to its competitors. While Sentra’s 149-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) deliver strong fuel economy, the powertrain is far from the most powerful or fuel-intensive on the compact sedan market.

For example, the Honda Civic and Mazda3 are more fun to drive, while the Toyota Corolla offers great mileage (especially on the hybrid trim).

If there’s any downside to the Nissan Sentra 2023, it’s here: There’s no particularly sporty model (like the SE-R) or hybrid variant that can exhaust 53 miles of a gallon of gasoline (like a can of Corolla Hybrid) At least the cabin has a classy look and feels, considering the attractive prices of Sentra. And the trunk, at 14.3 cubic feet, holds plenty of gear.

2023 Nissan Sentra Interior

Inside, the Sentra has one of the prettier designs in the segment. Drivers face a simple set of analog gauges flanking the 7.0-inch screen on all but the base model. The center of the dashboard houses a trio of circular air vents on top of the rugged climate control.

The interior material is a mix of soft and hard plastic, but it’s the former that covers the surface that counts and helps cover the rest. The model equipped with upholstered leather looks very luxurious, although it doesn’t match the sporty steering wheel with a flat bottom.

Nissan also pampers passengers in the front with extra comfortable Zero Gravity seats, which are roomy, flexible, and supportive. Opting for an available sunroof cuts into the headroom of the cabin but otherwise, adults have ample room at the front and back.

We also managed to fit seven pieces of carry-on luggage into the 14-cubic-foot Sentra luggage; it’s another one from the Corolla sedan. The touchscreen appears from the center of each Sentra dashboard and is equipped with physical volume and adjustment buttons.

While the base model has a 7.0-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the rest have 8.0-inch units as well as USB access in the front and rear seats. The latter system is also compatible with better options such as SiriusXM satellite radio, an eight-speaker Bose stereo, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The controls are easily accessible to the driver and passenger and easy to understand whether tuning the radio or adjusting climate control. The 8-inch touchscreen is equally easy to read and use.

There is plenty of interior space for the front occupants. The rear legroom is among the most spacious in its segment. Most drivers will find it easy to adjust to a comfortable driving position thanks to the decent range of adjustments that come from the seats and steering wheel. Visibility is good to the front and sides, but the thick rear roof pillars and slanted rear windows hinder over-the-shoulder and rear visibility.

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Sentra is equipped with many standard safety features and driver assistance. Adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree parking camera system are still options, but overall Nissan’s standard safety suite is pretty generous. However, we did experience some glitches with the backup camera and one false alarm with the forward collision warning system in our test car.

The infotainment system is a bit slow to respond and the graphics look dated, but you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration as standard. Nissan does not offer an onboard navigation system.

The Sentra’s 14.3 cubic feet of luggage space is better than average for a small sedan. The 60/40 split rear seats fold down to help accommodate longer cargo items. But the only release is from the back seat; no release in the trunk. The seats also don’t fold flat, which can make loading longer objects, such as flat-screen TVs, more of a hassle.

There’s interior storage for small items, cups, and bottles, although others including the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta do this better. There’s also plenty of child seat space, but you may find the cushions make access a bit tight to the car seat anchors.

2023 Nissan Sentra MPG

The Sentra achieves a combined EPA-estimated 33 mpg (29 city/39 highway), which is the average for a basic engine vehicle in this class. We observed 28.7 mpg over three tank fills in our test vehicle, with a top fill of 32 mpg. That’s slightly below what we expected given the EPA figures.

Sentra Features

Nissan packs its compact sedan with a standard payload of driver assistance technology. Buyers can also get adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system on all models except the base model.

For more information on Sentra’s crash test results, visit the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Key security features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear traffic warning
  • Standard rear automatic emergency braking

Nissan offers a competitive, albeit mediocre, limited warranty and powertrain. However, compact rivals from Kia and Hyundai have much better coverage. Likewise, both Toyota and Volkswagen come with free maintenance.

  • The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • The powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • No free scheduled maintenance

Models

We expect the 2023 model to have a similar lineup and we will update this section once we have complete information. The Center is a small sedan available in three trims: S, SV, and SR. All versions are powered by a 149-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The center is only front-wheel drive. Feature highlights include:

S

The basic model starts the Sentra line with:

  • 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers
  • Start the push button
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility
  • Four-speaker audio system

Standard security features include:

  • Monitor blind spots (warns you if a vehicle in the next lane is in your blind spot)
  • Lane departure warning (warns you if a vehicle starts to deviate from its lane)
  • Front and rear collision mitigation with pedestrian detection (alerting you to an impending collision and using the brakes in certain scenarios)

SV

The mid-level SV trim brings an enhanced assortment of features:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear disc brakes (for better braking performance)
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Keyless entry
  • Leather-wrapped steering
  • Improved driver information display
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Additional USB ports
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains the driver-set distance between the Center and the car in front)

The All-Weather package adds these features:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Remote engine start
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel

You can also choose to add SV Premium packages:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Sunroof
  • Leather upholstered seats
  • Adjustable driver’s seat

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SR

The top models in the line enhance the Center by:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • LED headlights and fog lights
  • Sportier exterior trim, including rear spoiler
  • Dark chrome grille
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Sport fabric seat trim with contrasting orange stitching

The Midnight Edition package is exclusive to the SR trim. It includes:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels painted black
  • Blackwashed exterior trim and badging

SR also has an SR Premium plan available. It includes:

  • Surround-view parking camera system (gives you top-down views of the Center and its surroundings for narrow parking situations)
  • Improved LED headlights
  • Sunroof
  • Adjustable driver’s seat
  • Simulated leather upholstery with orange stitching
  • Heated front seats and steering wheel
  • Eight-speaker Bose audio system
  • NissanConnect connectivity service with onboard Wi-Fi hotspot

Nismo

Nissan has acknowledged that it could expand the Nismo lineup in the United States. Currently, the only Nismo model sold in the US is the flagship variant of the Nissan GT-R. For six years, the 370Z Nismo was also sold locally.

The only other Nismo models sold in America are the Sentra and Juke, but during a recent interview with Auto News, Nissan’s global chief executive Takao Katagiri revealed that the brand is in discussions about how it can introduce more Nismo models locally.

Nissan has long wanted to expand its Nismo presence and boost sales worldwide. Katagiri stated in 2017 that the Japanese automaker would double the number of models offered with the Nismo variant and he wanted to increase global Nismo shipments from 15,000 units in 2016 to 100,000 units in the early 2020s.

So far, Nissan hasn’t hit that target and, as Auto News notes, isn’t even releasing sales figures for its Nismo brand. Katagiri did not suggest which Nissan models sold in the US could get the Nismo variant.

Nismo for realz for $27K? No chance. At least not in the sense you’d expect – the badges are there, and boy-racer trim pieces, but a front-drive car with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is never going to be a recipe for track-day fun.

Nissan should have known better than to melt the Nismo’s niche stamp even with building this thing. The good news is that there are sticks available, and the Nismo suspension tuning makes this little scooter quite agile.

I had a blast driving our manual-trans Sentra Turbo SR a few months ago, and there’s no reason to think that, with comparable gear, the Nismo wouldn’t be more entertaining. Plus, when you need something for your daily work, the Sentra is a roomy base to start with, with ample luggage space.

Take it for what it is an economy car with a sporty trim package rather than a budget GT-R and the Sentra NISMO offers above-average smiles at an affordable price. Do yourself a favor: if you want an automatic transmission, look elsewhere.

2023 Nissan Sentra Price

We expect the 2023 Nissan Sentra in standard trim to have a starting price of around $20,000, plus destination costs.

It’s slightly cheaper than major rivals, such as the Honda Civic and Mazda3, so budget-conscious sedan buyers take notice. On the other hand, the Subaru Impreza is slightly cheaper than the Sentra and comes with the added advantage of having standard all-wheel drive (AWD).

Since there’s only one powertrain option and no high-performance halo models (like the Honda Civic Type R or Hyundai Elantra N), the price difference from the base Sentra to the range-topping trim isn’t much different.

In SR trim and loaded with every amenity available, the 2023 Sentra rings around $26,000. This includes cosmetic embellishments such as larger alloy wheels and 2-tone exterior paint.

2023 Nissan Sentra Release Date

We don’t have a release date, but the next Sentra will likely be out in late 2022.

Is Nissan Centra SR a Good Car

Is Nissan Sentra a Good Car? Yes, the Nissan Sentra is a fine compact car. It has adequate power, decent handling, and good mileage. The well-built cabin looks great, and the two rows of seats are spacious and comfortable.

People Also Ask Nissan Sentra

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Sean Tucker is a writer specializing in consumer-focused coverage of the automotive and energy industries. As an automotive news journalist, I have contributed to US News and World Report, Yahoo Autos, MSN, Dub Magazine, and other publications. He has been on TV news as an expert guest to talk about automobile shopping.