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2013 Nissan Sentra Overview
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Unveiled in August, the 2013 Nissan Sentra, the seventh generation of the Japanese automaker’s small sedan, was long overdue for an overhaul. Fighting what appeared to be a long battle against models such as the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3, Nissan made numerous changes to the Sentra. Many of those changes result in the Sentra looking like a smaller version of Nissan’s top-selling sedans, the Altima and Maxima, especially with new upscale styling cues added inside and out.
Six trims are available to 2013 Nissan Sentra buyers: S, FE+ S, SV, FE+ SV, SR and SL. All Sentra trims make their way to dealer showroom floors with a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder direct-injected MRA8DE engine—a change from the 2.0-liter MR20DE and 2.5-liter QR25DE inline-4 engines found in last year’s Sentra—that makes 130 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. The S trim is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the other trims are paired with an Xtronic continually variable transmission (CVT), which is an available option for the S trim. All trims are front-wheel drive, powered by regular gasoline and estimated by the EPA to get 30 mpg city. The S, SV, SR, and SL trims are rated at 30 mpg highway, while the FE+ S and FE+ SV trims are estimated to achieve 40 mpg highway.
Starting with the S trim, all 2013 Nissan Sentras come factory equipped with air conditioning, power locks, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth seating surfaces, 6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat, 4-way manual adjustable front passenger’s seat, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback capability, dual power outside mirrors, halogen headlights with LED accent lights, LED taillights and 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and all-season tires.
The FE+ S trim for the 2013 Nissan Sentra comes with everything found on the S trim, but adds a rear spoiler, aero deflectors and low-rolling resistance tires. The SV adds cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, a premium cloth interior, and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system to the standard equipment found on the S trim, and the FE+ SV adds everything found on the S and SV trims, plus dual power exterior mirrors, a rear spoiler, aero deflectors and low-rolling-resistance tires.
The 2013 Nissan Sentra SR trim level has all the equipment found on the S and SV trims and adds a sport grille, front and rear fascias, premium sport cloth seating surfaces, dual power exterior mirrors, fog lights, a rear spoiler and 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires. The SL has everything found on the S and SV trims, then adds dual-zone automatic temperature control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, dual power heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, smart auto headlights, fog lights, a Nissan Intelligent Key, and 17-inch split 7-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires. Options that are part of packages available on some trims include a power slide-and-tilt moonroof, an 8-speaker Bose premium audio system, a navigation system with 5.8-inch color touchscreen and voice recognition, rear-view camera, leather seating surfaces and heated seats.
Safety features found on all 2013 Nissan Sentra trims include the Nissan advanced airbag system with dual-stage supplemental front airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags for front and second-row seats, a 4-wheel antilock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, vehicle dynamic control with traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system. A vehicle immobilizer is available on all trims, while a vehicle security system is standard on all trims except the S and FE+ S trims.
With a complete redesign, thee 2013 Nissan Sentra is trying to carve a new path in the accordable small sedan market. Competition is stiff, with nearly every major automaker offering at least one competitor to the Sentra, sometimes even two. However, with the redesign and the improved fuel mileage achieved from the new 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, Nissan should find itself with another winner. The 2013 Sentra should be available at Nissan dealerships in the late fall or early winter.
by Mark S. Baker
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