This engine adds significant power to the Sentra, making it a lot more fun to drive. The turbo boost is very smoothly applied, with no turbo lag and no sign of torque steer in the standard front-wheel drive. Passing on two-lane country roads is a breeze in this car.
This was the first NISMO application for a mass-market Nissan sedan, joining an elite group that also includes NISMO versions of the GT-R and 370Z sports cars, as well as the Juke NISMO and Juke NISMO RS subcompact crossover utility vehicles.
That 188 horsepower doesn't come close to putting the Sentra NISMO in the same class as the Nissan sports cars, but it does spice up an otherwise sedate small sedan. That gives the Sentra a boost over key competitors such as the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra.
The Sentra NISMO looks good, too, thanks to its aggressive exterior styling. It has the signature NISMO "layered double wing" design in the front, side and rear lower body panels. There is a thin red stripe that runs along the lower body panels.
Nissan says the Sentra NISMO's body was designed to hold to the ground 30 percent better than the regular Sentra, thanks to the unique rear spoiler and rear bumper design.
The unique front end includes standard LED daytime running lights; a dark chrome V-Motion grille; and NISMO badges.
Other touches include unique side sills, a NISMO rear fascia and exhaust finisher, dark chrome door handles and trunk finisher, and black NISMO outside mirror caps with integrated turn signals and the signature NISMO red stripe.
The car rides on 18-inch, 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 215/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. High-performance 215/45WR18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires are available through Nissan dealers.
Included is a unique four-wheel disc brake system with 11.7-inch vented front discs and 11.5-inch solid rear discs.
Four exterior colors are available – Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Super Black and Aspen White. Our tester came in Gun Metallic, which is a pleasant medium-dark blue-gray hue.