SUM UP (2 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Sentra in 2014

The 2014 Nissan Sentra receives a new front seat lower cushion, retuned continuously variable transmission (CVT), revised steering and suspension, updated NissanConnect smartphone integration with navigation, auto hazard warning signal, and standard sliding front armrest for the SL grade...
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Vehicle Overview

The Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan slotting above the subcompact Versa and under the midsize Altima and is sold in S, FE+S, SV, FE+SV, SR and SL trims. A six-speed manual transmission is only available in the S grade while a CVT is standard on the rest of the range.

Summary

The 2014 Nissan Sentra excels at being a commuter car with its excellent fuel economy particularly in FE+S and FE+SV grades, which were designed for maximizing efficiency. The EPA rates CVT-equipped models at 30/39 mpg city/highway, six-speed manual cars at 27/36 mpg and FE+ variants at 30/40 mpg. Due to the emphasis on fuel economy, acceleration is unimpressive, with the 1.8-liter I-4 producing a lackluster 130 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, causing the CVT to rev as high as possible to extract as much power from the engine as it can. Likewise, handling is middling with a clear focus on comfort and ride quality over driver engagement.

Inside, the 2014 Sentra has a roomy cabin and a host of available tech features including a navigation system with NissanConnect smartphone integration and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. A roomy interior with room for five and a large trunk makes the Sentra viable as a compact, fuel-efficient family car with an intuitive infotainment system. Cabin isolation is one of the car’s strong points, reducing the amount of road noise and making the interior more refined than some competitors.

The 2014 Nissan Sentra has a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and earned a good score in four categories of IIHS testing (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2014 Sentra excels at being a commuter car, delivering impressive fuel economy and ride quality while offering a host of tech features that make it feel more premium than it actually is. In a 2013 review, we noted that the use of soft-touch materials in touch points makes the interior “luxurious,” complimenting the soft ride that keeps the cabin “isolated from both road noise and feedback.” We said in a 2014 review that its noisy engine falls short, stating that “it’s straight-up geriatric merging from an on-ramp,” indicating that highway maneuvers require more planning in the Sentra than in competitors with more powerful engines.

You’ll Like

  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressive fuel economy on FE+S and FE+SV grades
  • Roomy interior

You Won’t Like

  • Anemic powertrain
  • Mediocre handling
  • Tech features only available in higher end grades

Key Competitors

  • Mazda3
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Ford Focus
  • Kia Forte
  • Honda Civic

Rating

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2014 Sentra Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Trip Computer

Exterior

  • Rear Spoiler

Interior

  • Cup Holders

Safety

  • Brake Assist
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Side Air Bag(s)
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player

Tires and Wheels

  • Wheel Covers
What are the factory warranties? See Warranties
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