Recently, I had arranged with Nissan to evaluate the Sentra in Florida, USA. Due to scheduling conflicts, the delivery of the sedan would be the day after my arrival in Miami. But it turned out to be an interesting opportunity.
Fortunately, the rental company had a Sentra to borrow. A unit with only 6 miles on it and in mid-range SV configuration – the factory had disassembled the SR version for me. Production of this car for America is the responsibility of the Mexican subsidiary, which also produces the Versa for the Brazilian market.
In both, the same set of mechanics: a 2-liter naturally aspirated engine linked to an automatic transmission. Thanks to direct petrol injection, this naturally aspirated engine produces 151 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 20 kgfm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The transmission is a CVT – the same type adopted in the Corolla – so don’t expect much feel behind the wheel. However, if you are looking for fuel economy, go the right way and good results will come. In our tests, driving 50% on the road, the combined measure of consumption was 13.2 km / l.
With this engine, the Sentra competes with the Corolla’s combustion versions, which are flex and produce up to 177 hp. At the factory, the company does not offer a hybrid configuration, like the one it sells in China – the country where the Sentra, or Sylphy, was the best-selling car in 2021.
Overall, the Sentra’s finish is better than that of the Toyota Corolla, which will be its main rival in Brazil. Nissan has already been sold in Brazil in different generations and it was just an addition, however, the game has changed.
In the past, before the rise of SUVs, in the mid-size sedan market, Corolla’s biggest competition was the Civic. But Honda stopped making the car in the interior of São Paulo and this increases the possibility of Sentra.
The top-of-the-line version has a leather finish, sunroof and a Bose sound system
Interior space is one of the sedan’s strong points.
The digital display is clearly visible on the instrument panel
The media center appears to float on the console
There is a push button start and the transmission is a CVT type.
The Nissan model still benefits from the departure of the Volkswagen Jetta – which is only offered in a sports version – and the disappearance of products such as the Citroen C4 and the Peugeot 408. Even Caoa Chery, which wanted a piece with the Arizo 6, finished. national production. That leaves, along with the Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Cerato.
mistakes and successes
Despite the excellent finish, which includes the key, Nissan commits the sin of offering a pedal parking brake – the same system that Toyota adopted for the Corolla Cross on the Brazilian market.
The trunk has a capacity of 466 liters, just 4 liters less than the Corolla. The equipment is the same, electrically adjustable seats in the most complete version, involuntary lane change warning, 360-degree camera and traffic alert.
|The trunk of the sedan has a capacity of 466 liters (Photo: Antônio Meira Jr./ MAIL)|
If Nissan gets the price right, the Sentra has a good chance of winning over those who enjoy the handling of a good sedan. In the US, the evaluated versions cost US$20,870 (SV) and US$22,400 (SR) – values that do not include shipping, which has an average cost of US$1,000. That is, the middle version costs the same as R$100,000 and the highest version, R$107,300. With all options and shipping to Florida, the price of the SR version costs the equivalent of R$132,220.
In Mexico, where it is produced, the SR version costs 495,900 pesos, which is equivalent to R$121,300. As Brazil’s tax burden is higher than in these two countries, the price should be higher. Currently, in the Brazilian market, the Corolla hatchback costs between 146,390 (GLI) and 176,590 (GR-S).