Automotive media doesn’t have a great concept about the Sentra. According to most experts in this industry, late releases of the model has been a lazy effort from Nissan to compete in the entry-level sedan market while offering an inadequate price.
Close rivals like the Cruze have been dominating the market since a while ago. In the meantime, Nissan hasn’t made massive changes to its long-time sedan. Despite that, alternative versions have been released, trying to represent an attractive option for those looking for a cheap high-performance sedan.
Early this year, Nissan released the Sentra SR Turbo. The whole point was getting more attention from the sedan market. For Nissan, the results of this strategy were pretty scarce.
Now, the 2017 Sentra NISMO will try to accomplish the same but by offering a little bit more. The NISMO badge is always capable of convincing users and they know it. The changes are way more significant right now, representing a more interesting alternative in a crowded sedan market where innovation is rare.
The 2017 Sentra NISMO will pack the same engine and transmission combination than the SR Turbo, which is a questionable thing to do. Nevertheless, the specs are still exciting.
The engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, capable of producing 188 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 177 lb-ft at 1600 rpm. Along to it, users will have two options for the transmission: a six-speed manual gearbox or a Xtronic CVT with manual mode. As usual, we recommend you to the get the manual.
The suspension, wheels, and brakes will be unique, making a difference with what the SR Turbo offers right now. The NISMO version is adding monotube rear dampers and retuned front springs and struts when it comes to suspension, with a lower ride height by 0.4 inches.
The gorgeous wheels are NISMO-branded, 18-inch made of aluminum and wrapped with 215/45R-18 Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The stopping power will be provided by 11.7-inch vented discs at the front and 11.5-inch solid discs at the rear.
As expected, NISMO’s aerodynamic enhancements are present. These changes include lower body kits in all the fronts, a stylish-but-discrete rear spoiler, and a new bumper. These modifications go beyond what we can see at first sight and include a more rigid structure and reinforcements on the floor.
The front fascia is clearly modified, with a different grille and LED daytime running lights. Other additions we appreciate are red accents all over the body kit, dark chrome door handles, and black mirror caps.
On the inside, the same sporty spirit is present. The red accents are less abundant that we expected, along with a deep black for the entire decoration. The microsuede-and-leather wrapping for the steering wheel comes as standard.
The Bottom Line
As a NISMO model, we could easily expect much more from this model. Unfortunately, Nissan decided to keep things simple and borrow plenty of stuff from the SR Turbo. While this is not the best idea they had so far, the 2017 Sentra NISMO could be a solid choice.
The price tag will be above US$25,000.