Nissan didn’t hold back with its 2020 redesign of the Sentra, metamorphosing the dowdy-looking, also-ran sedan into one that now stands with the top models in the compact sedan class. This is the best Sentra we’ve ever tested, with its comfortable ride, nimble handling, great fuel economy, roomy cabin, and intuitive controls.
The upgraded powertrain is a pleasant 149-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that replaced the rougher and older 1.8-liter. The continuously variable transmission acts like a refined conventional automatic transmission and ensures a predictable, unobtrusive power delivery. Together, they endow the Sentra with relatively quick acceleration and commendable fuel economy of 32 mpg overall. Still, it’s only 1 mpg better than Nissan’s larger Altima midsized sedan.
The lower stance, combined with more advanced rear suspension improves both the ride and handling characteristics. The Sentra is now enjoyable to drive. It feels responsive in corners and remains utterly secure even when pushed to its limits on our track. The ride is steady and absorbent, and feels supple and composed over bumps. But, we would caution that the wider tires on the SR trim take away from comfort.