Complete Nissan Sentra lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

2020 Nissan Sentra VIII (B18) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2019 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra VIII (B18)2 Trims 149 Hp 2016 Nissan Sentra VII (B17, facelift 2016) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2016 - 2019 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra VII (B17, facelift 2016)6 Trims 124 to 188 Hp 2013 Nissan Sentra VII (B17) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2012 - 2015 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra VII (B17)2 Trims 130 Hp 2007 Nissan Sentra VI - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2006 - 2012 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra VI1 Trim 135 Hp 2000 Nissan Sentra (B15) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2000 - 2006 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra (B15)2 Trims 127 to 177 Hp 1995 Nissan Sentra (B14) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1994 - 1999 Nissan Sentra SedanSentra (B14)3 Trims 86 to 107 Hp

The Nissan Sentra is a series of compact and subcompact cars first produced in 1982.

Nissan Sentra Design and Introduction

When Nissan decided to discontinue the US market's Datsun 210 (known as the Nissan Sunny in other markets, which continued to be sold), the Nissan Sentra (B11) was developed to take its place. It was the second car to be sold under the Nissan name, rather than Datsun, in the US. The Sentra was created to be a highly versatile car to appeal to many different needs. It was available in four different body styles, including a two or four-door sedan, five-door wagon, and three-door hatchback. One major change from the outgoing 210 was the switch from rear-wheel drive to the Sentra's front-wheel drive.

Engine and Available Features

A 1.5L inline-4 gasoline engine was first used, providing a minimal 67 horsepower with 85 lb-ft of torque. It was paired with a four or five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. In 1983, a 1.7L diesel inline-4 was added to the lineup, and the 1.5L gasoline engine increased to a 1.6L displacement. While the power was fairly low, the Sentra used an electronic fuel metering to adjust fuel/air mixture for maximum fuel efficiency. It was one of the most fuel efficient vehicles around with an EPA rating of 48 mpg city and 58 mpg highway. It's less than one-ton weight also helped to achieve this incredible mileage, clocking in at around 1,875 pounds for most variants. The exterior shape resembled many other economy cars from the era, with square shapes taking over most body panels, including rectangular headlights surrounding a wide front grille. The passenger compartment was roomy without being overly large, providing enough space for people or cargo without excess. While the Nissan Sentra was an economy car, it was available with many premium options, including front disc brakes, bucket seats, power steering, and a sunroof. It was an immediate hit as the best-selling import in the US. 

Second Generation Changes

In 1986, the second generation Nissan Sentra (B12) was released. It was once again kept to the North American markets under this moniker, sold as the Nissan Sunny or Tsuru in other countries. The body styles remained with the vast options of the previous generation, now adding a Sport Coupe hatchback as well. This B12 platform would be the last of the Sentra station wagon offerings. The exterior look remained largely angular, with some more rounded body panels coming in 1989. The 1.6L E16 inline-4 engine, now producing 70 horsepower. Some variants received a throttle-body injection. The five-speed manual transmission was the base equipment, but you could opt for a three-speed automatic if desired. In 1989, the engine changed to the 1.6L GA16i with 90 horsepower.

Third Generation Updates

The third generation Nissan Sentra (B13) was released in 1990. This received a much-improved engine of the 1.6L GA16DE with up to 126 horsepower and 108 lb-ft of torque. A sport SE-R variant was also introduced, using a 140-horsepower 2.0L SR20De engine. The wagon was never offered and the hatchback variant was dropped from the lineup shortly into production, leaving the two or four-door sedan body styles. While the base models remained an economic vehicle with a low price tag and incredible fuel efficiency, the higher trim levels could add power windows, locks, and mirrors in addition to alloy wheel and a sunroof. The 1993 model year received a slight exterior design update.

Fourth and Fifth Generation Nissan Sentra

In 1995, Nissan introduced the fourth generation Sentra constructed on the Nissan B platform, giving it a much needed design update to bring it in to the new era and remain a competitive option. It now used torsion beam suspension instead of the previous independent rear design. The engine choices remained similar, with a 1.6L and 2.0L options, with a five-speed manual transmission standard, although a four-speed automatic was available as an option. Another update came in 1999 as the fifth generation Nissan Sentra (B15). It grew substantially in size, moving from the subcompact segment to the compact class. It was built on the Nissan MS platform and used engines from 1.8L to 2.5L, all inline-4 design with up to 175 horsepower in the top-tier SE-R Spec V variant. This was the first design to move away from the Nissan Sunny sold in other markets and instead became an independent design.

21st Century Changes

In 2006, the sixth generation Sentra (B16) was released, now moving into the mid-size class due to its robust cargo space, but it kept the overall body size in the similar realm as the past generation. The smaller engine was dropped, and choices now included a 2.0L or 2.5L inline-4, paired to a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). A hybrid option was available when oil prices skyrocketed in 2008 and 2009, but was eventually discontinued as Nissan turned to hydrogen and EV alternatives instead. 

The seventh generation came out in 2012, once again creating a much more appealing design. A forced-induction engine option was now available as the 1.6L turbocharged inline-4, along with a naturally-aspirated 1.6L, 1.8L and 2.0L options. Select markets received a 1.5L Renault-sourced inline-4 diesel engine. In 2019, the eighth generation Nissan Sentra (B18) was unveiled, ushering in a new era of modern design with even thinner headlights, more rounded body panels, and just two engine options, both naturally-aspirated, 1.6L and 2.0L inline-4 options with up to 149 horsepower. China variants had a 1.2L inline-3 hybrid.

Nissan Sentra Sales

The Sentra has been one of Nissan's top sellers in the US market for many decades. Its sales figures have reached well over 200,000 units in the US alone for many years in the 1980s and 2010s, with most other years breaking at least 100,000 units. It has also sold well in Mexico, with between 20,000 and 40,000 units sold annually since 2005.