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Nissan's Sentra NISMO sport sedan returns for 2018 with extra features

G. Chambers Williams Iii, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Automotive News

The package: Compact, four-door, five-passenger, four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive sedan.

Highlights: Significantly updated just two years ago, the Sentra last year got its first NISMO turbocharged performance model, along with a less-expensive SR Turbo model with the same engine. Besides having great styling and fuel economy, this is a surprisingly delightful car to drive, especially with the NISMO treatment.

Negatives: Back seat a tight fit for three people (common in this segment).

Engine: 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder, normally aspirated (S, SV, SR, SL); turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder (SR Turbo, NISMO).

Transmission: Six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic.

Power/torque: 130 HP./128 foot-pounds (1.8-liter); 188 HP./177 foot-pounds (1.6-liter turbo).

Length: 182.1 inches (182.5 SR only).

Curb weight range: 2,857-3,105 pounds.

Brakes, front/rear: Disc/drum, antilock (standard); disc/disc, antilock (optional; standard on SR Turbo, NISMO).

Trunk volume: 15.1 cubic feet.

Air bags: Front; front knee; front seat-mounted side; roof-mounted side-curtain for both rows.

Electronic stability control: Standard.

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Fuel capacity/type: 13.2 gallons/unleaded regular.

EPA fuel economy: 29 mpg city/37 highway/32 combined (1.8, CVT); 27/35/30 (1.8 manual); 27/33/29 (SR Turbo, CVT); 26/32/28 (SR Turbo, manual); 25/31/27 (NISMO, manual); 25/30/27 (NISMO, CVT).

Major competitors: Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza.

Base price range (2018): $16,990-$25,790, plus $885 freight.

Price as tested: $26,675, including freight, no options (NISMO Xtronic).

On the Road rating: 9.3 (of a possible 10).

Prices shown are manufacturer's suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.

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