The all-new Nissan Sentra compact sedan is a winner.

Redesigned inside and out, the five-passenger, front-wheel drive Sentra is stylish, comfortable affordable and delivers exceptional fuel economy.

With a base price starting below $16,000, a new 130 horsepower 1.8-liter I-4 engine powers the new Sentra.

Mated to either a six-speed manual or new Xtronic CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission), it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, 34 mpg combined for Sentra models equipped with the CVT (27 mpg city/36 mpg highway for models equipped with manual transmission).

There is a lot to like about the new Sentra, in addition to its impressive styling and value.

Nissan North America Vice President and General Manager Al Castignetti said it all when unveiling the new Sentra.

“The 2013 Nissan Sentra is the most revolutionary design in the nameplate’s 30-year history, a worthy addition to what is without question the most innovative, highest quality, highest value sedan lineup in Nissan history. With the complete redesign for 2013, Sentra is closer in look and feel to Altima than to a typical compact sedan. Like Altima, the new Sentra offers numerous attributes, such as high fuel economy and easy-to-use connectivity, that offer real customer value and convenience.”

Al hit the nail on the head.

While I’m impressed with the new Sentra’s fuel economy, I am absolutely blown away by the styling. This is a very elegant sedan with a high degree of premium amenities and (depending on the trim level) features that you would expect in top shelf full-size sedans.

The new Sentra is 2.3-inches longer than its predecessor, more aerodynamic and provides a 13 percent increase in fuel economy. Consumers have the option of five Sentra trim levels — S, FE+, SV, SR and SL.

Sentra SV models (starting at $17,390) add CVT, cruise control, audio system upgrade, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, vehicle security system and premium cloth seating and door trim.

Sentra SR models (starting at $18,690) adds 17-inch forked 5-spok aluminum-alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, sport front grille, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, sport silver interior trim, premium sport cloth seats and driver’s seatback pockets.

The top-of-the-line Sentra SL (starting at $19,590) adds smart auto headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, Nissan Intelligent Key, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, audio system upgrade with 4.3-inch display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, maple wood interior trim and dual zone automatic climate control.

For those in the market for a compact sedan, the new Nissan Sentra should be a must for the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts


2013 Nissan Sentra

5-seat compact sedan  

Front-wheel drive

Trim packages:

S, FE+, SV, SR, SL




1.8L I-4 (130 hp/128 T)


6-speed manual

Xtronic CVT

EPA: 27/30 mpg city, 36/39 mpg highway (MT/CVT)

FUEL: Regular unleaded


Vehicle dynamic control with traction control system


LENGTH: 182.1 inches

WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.

WIDTH: 69.3 inches

HEIGHT: 58.9 inches

WEIGHT: 2822-2851 lbs.

TRACK: 60.2/60.2


FUEL TANK: 13.2 gallons

TIRES: 16-, or 17-inch

CARGO: 15.1 cubic feet.