- Nissan’s popular compact sedan continues to stand out with “class-above” style, premium design qualities and enhanced driving experience
- Exterior redesign brings Sentra closer in look and feel to the bold new 2016 Maxima and redesigned 2016 Altima – reflecting Nissan’s new design language
- Revised interior features new TFT-type (Thin Film Transfer) LCD flat panel display, available Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition
- Available technology includes NissanConnectSM Services powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
The Nissan Sentra compact sedan has achieved some impressive numbers over its more than 30 years and seven generations of production. In the United States alone over four million Sentras have been sold, with more than 93 percent of Sentras sold in the last 10 years still on the road today*. Sentra is also Nissan’s third best-selling vehicle, behind Altima and Rogue. And, since the introduction of the latest generation design in fall 2012, Sentra has experienced tremendous growth in sales and market share, making it one of Nissan’s fastest growing nameplates.
Now, to help keep the momentum going for the 2016 model year, Sentra has undergone a significant refreshening – starting with a revised exterior and the addition of an expanded suite of available safety and driving aid technologies.
The 2016 Sentra has a starting MSRP** of $16,780 for the Sentra S with 6-speed manual transmission. A Sentra SV with the Driver Assist Package, which includes NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps and the innovative active safety features customers highly desire and utilize on a daily basis – such as Blind Spot Warming (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) – is estimated to be priced at under $20,000. Full pricing on all grade levels and packages will be announced later.
“In what is turning out to be ‘the year of the sedan,’ Nissan has made major changes to our three best-known sedans – launching an all-new Maxima 4-Door Sports Car, a major makeover of our number one selling Altima, and now a redesigned Sentra,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
A Revised Nissan “Family” Exterior
The new 2016 Sentra exterior redesign brings its appearance closer in look and feel to its more upscale showroom siblings. All three Nissan sedans – Maxima, Altima and now Sentra – reflect Nissan’s new design language first introduced on the dramatic Nissan Murano crossover.
“A major element of Nissan’s ‘Innovation that excites’ philosophy is innovative styling that continues to excite buyers throughout the entire period of ownership,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “The 2016 Sentra’s new exterior adds a sense of sportiness to the refined style and proportions, as well as adding a strong connection to the Nissan sedan and crossover family.”
Key features of the 2016 Sentra exterior include a new front fascia, grille, fenders, hood and signature boomerang-shaped headlights. New LED low-beam headlights with LED signature accents are offered on Sentra SR and Sentra SL grades. In the rear, a new fascia with redesigned boomerang-shaped taillights adds a more premium appearance. There are also two new 17-inch wheel designs for SR and SL grades, as well as a new SV 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheel design.
As in previous years, Sentra’s exterior design is elegant, modern and refined, reflecting a “professional” character targeted at upwardly bound buyers who aspire to drive something more upscale than other designs in the segment. Exterior features include chrome door handles and chrome window accents and available heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals. The coefficient of drag is 0.27 for the Sentra FE+S, 0.29 for S, SV and SR grades and 0.30 for the SL trim level.
The 2016 Sentra SR offers a sportier appearance, with unique design 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher.
New for 2016 is one exterior color, Blue Pearl. Nine other colors are available – Red Alert (SR grade only), Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Aspen White (premium charge), Gun Metallic, Graphite Blue, Titanium, Cayenne Red and Fresh Powder.
A Roomy, Refined Interior Environment
The roomy Sentra interior has also been revised for the 2016 model year, with a new steering wheel similar to the Nissan 370Z design, a new available 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar (standard on Sentra SL and optional on Sentra SR), a new center cluster design, a new console and shifter knob, and refined seat fabrics.
The instrument panel offers a new TFT-type (Thin Film Transistor) LCD flat panel display with higher resolution than previous LCD screens. Sentra SV, SR and SL grades include a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) located between the tachometer and speedometer.
For 2016, Sentra again offers ample roominess in a compact-size exterior – featuring one of the largest interiors in class, with 111.0 cubic feet of total interior volume. Helping make this possible is the long wheelbase (106.3 inches), which helps provide both ample rear seat legroom of 37.4 inches and large trunk capacity of 15.1 cubic feet. The rear seat is a standard 60/40-split fold-down design, adding versatility to the large trunk space.
“The high resolution of the new instrument panel display needs to be seen to be believed,” added Loing. “And, as always, Sentra’s interior spaciousness is unexpected and immediately apparent to occupants – even with the front seats in the rear-most position.”
The high-quality interior design includes soft-touch instrument panel and door armrests and available leather-appointed seating. Other available features range from Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control and a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers, to Nissan Intelligent Key® keyless entry and push button ignition system and RearView Monitor.
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 and available Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system.
Other features include 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 Sentra audio system is an AM/FM/CD system with four speakers and USB connection for iPod® and other compatible devices. Other available audio systems include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 5.0-inch color display. Also available is SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), while Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System is standard on all grades.
Advanced Connectivity and Safety Shield Technologies
The 2016 Sentra offers advanced technology features that help owners stay connected – including NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, which is standard on SV and SR grades and includes iHeartRadio, Pandora® and Facebook.
The system features a 5.0-inch color display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android phones.
Standard on Sentra SL and available on SV and SR grades is NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, featuring a 5.8-inch color touch-screen, NissanConnect Apps (including iHeartRadio, Pandora®, Facebook, Twitter®, TripAdvisor and Online Search powered by GoogleTM), SiriusXM® Traffic, SiriusXM® Travel Link™ with fuel prices, weather, movie listing, sports scores and stock prices (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), and Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation.
New for 2016 is NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM®. It offers emergency preparedness, remote access, customizable alerts and convenience services (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately). The system allows the driver to set customized alerts for family and friends – such as speed, curfew and boundary notifications. It is available on Sentra SR and SL grades as part of the Technology Package.
Also new for 2016 is Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition, which makes it easy to make and receive calls, read and send text messages and emails, select and play music from a compatible device, read notifications, request directions and more via a hands-free voice connection to Siri™ commands. Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition is standard on Sentra SV, SR and SL grades.
A number of Nissan’s advanced Safety Shield Technologies are now available on Sentra for the first time for the 2016 model year – Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) are combined as part of the new Technology Package offered for Sentra SR and SL grades. ICC uses radar to maintain a set speed and distance between Sentra and the vehicle ahead, even braking to maintain that distance.
FEB provides audible and visual warnings to help alert the driver of a potential collision with the vehicle ahead in the traveling lane and can help reduce speed if necessary. If a collision is unavoidable, the feature will engage the brakes to help reduce both the speed of the impact and the severity of the collision.
Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are included in the Navigation Package (SV and SR grades) and are standard on Sentra SL. The new Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system utilizes radar to detect a vehicle approaching from either side of the Sentra when backing out of a parking space. The radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system provides an audible alert if the driver puts the turn signal on with a detected vehicle in the blind spot area of an adjacent lane and issues a visual alert if a detected vehicle enters the blind spot area in the adjacent lane.
“The 2016 Sentra brings a new level of available advanced Safety Shield Technologies and driving technologies to our high-value Sentra,” said Loing. “This is also the most connected Sentra ever offered, including its new NissanConnect Services telematics system.”
In addition, Sentra’s list of standard safety and security features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
The 2016 Sentra also offers child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
Fuel-Efficient 1.8-liter Engine and Advanced Xtronic Transmission
All 2016 Sentra models utilize a fuel-efficient 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an advanced Xtronic transmission with sub-planetary gear. A 6-speed manual transmission is also available with the Sentra S grade.
The advanced 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cyinder engine offers 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 Xtronic transmission 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 Xtronic’s acceleration feel is enhanced with a D-mode step shift program that simulates shifts, giving a more natural acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds. For 2016, the D-Step Logic Control has been revised to help provide enhanced drivability with a more stable, natural and crisper shift feel (versus the previous design).
The 2016 Sentra also delivers enhanced performance and handling through a retuned suspension design featuring a 10 percent increase in spring and damper rates (from the prior model year), as well as enhanced body stiffness for improved roll and body control through adoption of a new front tunnel stay similar to that used on the JUKE NISMO RS. The Sentra suspension features an independent strut front layout with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar.
Steering feel and response has also been improved through use of optimized Electric Power Steering (EPS) mapping in conjunction with the revised suspension and new tire design. 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 tire combinations include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers or 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/55R16 size all-season tires, for S and SV grades, along with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires for SR and SL grades.
A Range of Well-Equipped Models
The 2016 Nissan Sentra is offered in six models: S 6MT, S Xtronic, FE+ S, SV, SR and SL. “The new 2016 Sentra has more content and greater value across the range of six well-equipped models,” added Loing. “And, with a number of special option packages, it’s easy to configure just the right level of features for every driving preference and budget.”
Along with the high-value list of standard equipment on Sentra S and FE+S grades, the popular SV grade content has been enhanced for 2016 with standard Siri Eyes Free™, new meter display with chrome accents, Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) with 5.0-inch display, new seat fabric and new door and console trim design
Sentra SV also includes Nissan Intelligent Key®, RearView Monitor, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), sliding front armrest, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and Easy-Fill Tire Alert.
The sporty Sentra SR adds LED low beam projector headlights with LED accents, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights, chrome exhaust finisher, unique design 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires, rear disc brakes, sport interior trim, new premium sport cloth seats, driver’s seatback pocket, new door/console trim design, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, rear disc brakes, and SR badge.
The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds standard leather-appointed seats, 6-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, heated front seats, driver’s seatback pocket, new Piano Black door/console trim, auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control.
Additional Sentra SL equipment includes NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, LED low beam projector headlights with LED accents, fog lights, disc brakes, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires and SL badge.
Seven option packages are available for the 2016 model year, including a new Technology Package with Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) and NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).
The SR Premium Package offers a power sliding glass moonroof with tilt feature, Bose® Premium Audio system with eight speakers, leather-appointed seats, 6-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar, NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and more.
The Style Package, available for Sentra SV, features a power sliding moonroof, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 16-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and rear spoiler.
Other available packages are the SL Premium Package, Driver Assist Package, All Weather Package and 16-inch Alloy Wheels Package.
The 2016 Sentra is assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.