Nissan's compact Sentra sedan, which got extensive updates two years ago and the addition of a NISMO motorsports version just last year, returns for 2018 with a few enhancements.
Trim levels for the 2018 model year include the Sentra S six-speed manual ($16,990) or Xtronic automatic ($18,275); SV Xtronic ($19,085); SR 1.8 Xtronic ($20,500); SL Xtronic ($23,440); SR 1.6 Turbo manual ($22,200) and Xtronic ($22,490); and NISMO manual or Xtronic ($25,790). Those prices do not include the $885 freight charge.
Also continuing for 2018 is the SR Midnight Edition Package introduced in the middle of the 2017 model year.
Changes for 2018 include making Automatic Emergency Braking standard on all but the manual-transmission and NISMO models; the RearView Monitor and five-inch color display with streaming audio and Siri Eyes-Free are now included on base S models; 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are standard on the SV; dual-zone automatic climate control is included on SV models and higher; and radar cruise control is standard on SR 1.8L and SL models.
Also the items from the previous SL Premium Tech Package are now standard on SL models, including the moon roof, Bose Premium Audio System and NissanConnect Services powered by Sirius XM. And the previous NISMO Premium Package features are now standard on the NISMO models, included in the base price.
For 2018, the Sentra SR Midnight Edition Package ($495) includes 17-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels, black heated outside mirrors, and black rear spoiler, license plate finisher, V-motion grille, fog light trim, exterior name/grade badges and Midnight Edition badge.
The base engine remains the normally aspirated 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 128 foot-pounds of torque, with either the six-speed manual or continuously variable (Xtronic) automatic transmission.
The Sentra NISMO comes with a turbocharged 188-horsepower 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine with 177 foot-pounds of torque and the choice of either a six-speed manual or sport-tuned Xtronic transmission at no extra charge. We had the automatic on our tester.
Special features of the turbo engine are a 10.5:1 compression ratio, Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System, spray-coated and mirror-finish cylinder bores, a variable-pressure oil pump, and a low-pressure EGR system, which helps lower exhaust gas temperature and improve knock sensitivity.
Sentra NISMO – short for "Nissan Motorsports" – is the most-expensive model in the lineup, but you can get the same engine from the NISMO in the SR Turbo version, also new last year, for about $3,500 less.