The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a must-see car if you are shopping for an affordable four-door car in 2020. With a new engine, new style, and a more comfortable ride it’s going to catch your eye. Inside, you’ll find all the latest technology, loads of driver-assist features, and a significant amount of value.
This is a compact car that starts under $20,000 and is $25,325 as tested in the SR trim level with Premium features and Premium paint. The design of the 2020 Sentra makes this look like a more expensive car, and the designers did an excellent job bringing the sporty front end into the body of the car, which helps it share the style with the larger Maxima.
While the driving dynamics aren’t as sporty as you can find on some competing compact cars, the 2020 Sentra is an amazing option that you need to check out if you are shopping in this segment.
The 2020 Nissan Sentra earns a Gotta Be Mobile Editor’s Choice Award for the excellent mix of style, technology, driver convenience features, and overall value. Here’s more on why the 2020 Nissan Sentra captured our attention.
2020 Nissan Sentra Interior & Design
The 2020 Sentra interior is more modern and luxurious than the outgoing model. While this is not a luxury car, the interior is punching above its weight class.
Contrast stitching on the seats, the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shifter elevate the interior style of the Sentra. Even though this is a compact car, there is a lot of room in the front for the driver and passenger. The interior offers a very modern vibe and style. Small touches throughout the cabin add up, including the flat bottom of the steering wheel, the accent stitching, and light in the USB area.
The flowing lines of the dash combine with the circular upscale looking vents to elevate the interior style significantly. The seats are comfortable, though they are not the zero gravity seats that you will find in some Nissan models. With the premium package, the driver seat is a 6-way power adjustable seat with 2-way lumbar support, and both front seats and the steering wheel are heated.
In the backseat, there is room for two adults, but there is limited headroom so taller passengers will feel a bit cramped even though there is enough legroom. The same styling carries over to the back seat. There is a fold-down armrest in the middle and storage cubbies on both doors. Nisan includes a Rear Door Alert, which will signal to remind you that you may have left someone or something in the back seat. The trunk is large enough for several sets of golf clubs or a full-on grocery run.
The exterior of the Nissan Sentra is especially eye-catching in the two-tone Monarch Orange paint job with a black roof. There’s no reason an affordable car needs to be bland. We spoke with Marcus Quach, Senior Designer at Nissan Design America, about the Sentra and he shared that a lot of care went into laying out the surfaces on the Sentra so that they connect seamlessly and balance with the V-Motion grille.
2020 Nissan Sentra Tech & Safety
The 2020 Nissan Sentra is packed with tech options including an easy to see screen and infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With these options, you can easily use your phone for navigation, music, calls, and texts as well as for voice control using Siri or Google Assistant. The base system is useful, but ultimately most buyers will want to plug in and use one of these options. There is a 7-inch touch screen on the S, but if you choose the SV or the SR trim level you get a larger 8-inch display that adds in support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Combined with the addition of push-button start and the Intelligent Key as well as other upgrades, it is worth the cost to jump up to the SV trim.
The 2020 Sentra SR Premium that we tested includes several smart upgrades that we like including LED headlights, a power sliding moonroof, an 8-speaker Bose system, and an intelligent around-view monitor. We came away impressed with the Bose system, which excelled for podcasts and audiobooks as well as rocking out to our favorite music. Call quality over the built-in microphone and speaker system was good while using Bluetooth or plugged in with Apple CarPlay.
Connectivity is good with USB C and standard USB as well as a 12V outlet up front, and there is one USB port in the back seat.
Nissan packs in a lot of driver convenience features on the Sentra. Blind Spot Monitoring is standard, as is Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Automatic Braking, Rear Sonar, a backup camera, and High Beam Assist. This is an impressive set of features on a base model.
On the SV and higher trim level, you get Intelligent Cruise control, which works very well. Intelligent Cruise lets you set your desired speed, then choose how much space to keep in between you and the car in front of you. From there, the car will automatically slow or speed up to keep you with the flow of traffic. It is great for longer trips, and one of our favorite car features. The Premium package adds in a 360 view system that makes getting into and out of tight spots easier.
Driving the 2020 Nissan Sentra
The new engine in the Sentra offers more power and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) is better than others that we’ve driven, but it’s not quick and doesn’t match up to the sporty looks. There is no longer a manual option, so you’ll end up with the 2.0L engine and the CVT. This is not a bad combination if you are just looking to get around town, take road trips, and enjoy a cruise.
It’s not super quick, but thanks to good handling and nice steering setup, the Sentra is fun on country roads or on a winding journey. The engine and transmission are underwhelming when you mash on the gas, especially when you are going from a full stop up to highway speeds. The suspension does a good job of handling imperfect roads and even soaking up mid-size potholes.
The fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. This is in line with the numbers we saw while testing a pre-production version of the Sentra in early 2020.
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