TQ Auto Bond: 2016 Nissan Sentra SL

Nissan-SentraOver the past few years of test driving for Nissan Infiniti, the common complaint about the Sentra is that it never changes. The vehicles is made for those who want to go from point A to point B with no frills.  This year, the 2016 Sentra comes with a little bit more than no frills. 

I eas surprised to noticed the subtle details on the exterior redesign which makes the vehicle a lot more appealing to a younger demographic. Now, with its new look, it’s not only for those who live in the suburbs but for convenient and efficient city driving. 

When it comes to performance, of course, the Sentra is still a stone. When you’ve got a package that weighs nearly 3,000 pounds, a 130-hp engine has to work pretty hard, and this ultra-long-stroke, 1.8-liter inline-four doesn’t sound very happy in its work.

As for fuel economy, the Sentra averaged 8.9 L/100 km, reasonable considering about two-thirds of my time in the car was spent on city streets. 

At least Nissan doesn’t skimp on the tech and toys, tossing everything into the SL that will fit — push-button start, leather seats, six-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, piano black door/console trim, auto-dimming mirror, NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps, etc. Safety doesn’t get short shrift either. A number of Nissan’s Safety Shield Technologies are now available on the 2016 Sentra — Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert — all very helpful as day-to-day commuting descends into chaos.

Any thought that the Sentra is a terrible car should be banished. It isn’t. It does everything a compact sedan — as family transportation — needs to do. It just doesn’t do it with any spark, any passion. And for the $25,998 cost of the top-of-the-line SL, it is outclassed by the newer competition. One just has to drive the Touring version of the Honda Civic to see how far the bar has been raised.

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