Jump to content
  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    First Drive: 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo

      Nissan ups the power on the Sentra


    Nissan’s compact Sentra has been on the market for 35 years. For 2017, Nissan is improving the SR trim which adds a 188 horsepower, turbo-charged direct injection engine.  The Sentra’s place in the market is that of a value leader. While it is roughly the size of competitors like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Sentra is priced against their smaller siblings the Fit and Yaris iA (nee Scion iA).  Starting at $21,990, the value equation translates into the SR trim as well.

    The primary change for the Sentra SR is under the hood.  In place of the standard 1.8 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, Nissan has fitted the 1.6 liter direct injected turbo. This engine, originally installed in the Nissan Juke crossover, produces 188 hp at 5,600 rpm and 177 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 rpm – 5,200 rpm. This translates to an increase of 65 horsepower over the standard Sentra and 52 more lb-ft over a broader RPM range. Customers can select either a 6-speed manual or a retuned version of Nissan’s Continuously Variable Transmission with no change in cost.  Further enhancements include a retuned suspension and larger brakes.

    Changes inside the Sentra SR are minimal, however a premium package will be offered that adds leather seats, Bose audio system, blind spot warning, cross traffic warning, and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

    We recently took the 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo CVT for a spin. Check out page 2 for more.

     


     

    While the Sentra SR is not a dedicated sport model like a Ford Fiesta ST or Subaru WRX, it does have more energy than others in the sedate  small sedan segment. In normal driving, the thick torque band allows the Sentra’s CVT to accelerate smartly without needing to wake the engine up.  Acceleration under full throttle is impressive by economy car standards as the car pulls hard throughout the RPM band, but the CVT does the Sentra no favors in terms of engine sound.   That said, in all cases, the 1.6T is a much more refined sounding engine than the base 1.8 liter unit in non-SR Sentras.

    On the dash, there is a sport mode button that changes where the CVT holds the engine rpm in standard driving. This keeps the engine more "at ready" than normal, roughly the equivalent of downshifting in a manual transmission car.  Don’t leave it in sport mode for too long or you will start to feel it at the gas pump.  Next to the sport mode button is an Eco mode button.  Don’t press this one; it takes all of the energy out of the car. Throttle and transmission response are so lethargic that I found the car to be unacceptably slow to respond to throttle inputs.

    Handling is improved over the base Sentra and the SR model can actually be pretty fun to whip around corners. The leather seats up front are easy to get comfortable in, but they lack the side bolstering to really make this a sports sedan. 

    The 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo fills an interesting niche.  It has more power, verve, and premium features than most of the competition’s standard models for not much more cash, yet it isn’t the hardcore sports car like the higher priced Subaru WRX or Ford Focus ST.  It’s a niche that has largely been abandoned by the industry, so maybe Nissan can fill it.

    Nissan provided the 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo during a meeting of the Mid-West Automotive Media Association that author attended.

     

    Edited by Drew Dowdell



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Well with the refresh it's at least a decent looking little blob of a compact, but I still vastly prefer the Focus, Cruze, and Civic. That dash design and steering wheel leave a LOT to be desired.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    13 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    Well with the refresh it's at least a decent looking little blob of a compact, but I still vastly prefer the Focus, Cruze, and Civic. That dash design and steering wheel leave a LOT to be desired.

    Overall I agree with you, however this is faster than all of the non-sport models. This is a car for someone who wants some satisfying pull without stepping up in price to a WRX or Focus ST.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cool, very nice to hear. My wife had a sentra when we married, the only time I have ever owned a non american car. It was a solid little eco box for commuting to work every day.

    Over all love to see the big bump in engine numbers, but still not thrilled by these high HP and Low Torque numbers on a turbo motor. 

    Bet Sentra could easily beat this if it had a proper current EV powertrain.

    • Downvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Just to clarify, the SR trim has been out for a few years... for 2017, Nissan is adding some bite with the turbo engine.  If it were available in a hatch (not the Juke) it would be on my list of candidates.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Just to clarify, the SR trim has been out for a few years... for 2017, Nissan is adding some bite with the turbo engine.  If it were available in a hatch (not the Juke) it would be on my list of candidates.

    Edited for clarity.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Seems to vbe a decent improvement and even makes the styling somewhat palatable.  Would really love to see a comparison of this, the Elantra Sport, Mazda 3S with the 2.5, Jetta 1.8T and the Civic 1.5T (all manuals please). 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 10/10/2016 at 3:40 PM, Stew said:

    Seems to vbe a decent improvement and even makes the styling somewhat palatable.  Would really love to see a comparison of this, the Elantra Sport, Mazda 3S with the 2.5, Jetta 1.8T and the Civic 1.5T (all manuals please). 

    Mazda is much nicer, as is the Civic.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 6/15/2017 at 4:51 PM, A Horse With No Name said:

    Mazda is much nicer, as is the Civic.

    Seen some testing of it and it is pretty bad.  The Nissan is, no surprisingly, the worst in this segment. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, Stew said:

    Seen some testing of it and it is pretty bad.  The Nissan is, no surprisingly, the worst in this segment. 

    It would not be a car I would choose.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I distinctly remember these cars from my short stint at Nissan, and I hate the Sentra. It's so cheap and lame. I felt bad any time someone wanted to look at one. 

    The SR Turbo and NISMO are jokes. Somehow, they're better with the CVT than the manual. :confused0071:

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    11 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    I distinctly remember these cars from my short stint at Nissan, and I hate the Sentra. It's so cheap and lame. I felt bad any time someone wanted to look at one. 

    The SR Turbo and NISMO are jokes. Somehow, they're better with the CVT than the manual. :confused0071:

    I have a friend from College who has never gotten married and her life has not worked out the best in some ways....she drives a Sentra...I weep a little bit every time I even look at a picture of her car...

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      Los Angeles - Nissan has unveiled the 2020 Nissan Sentra at the LA Auto Show Today. The new Sentra takes on the look of the larger Altima and Maxima to bring some harmony to the Nissan sedan lineup. The Sentra is Nissan's best selling model in the U.S.
      Nissan is adding Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard equipment for 2020 with additional driver assisted technologies available.  The platform is all new, now with an independent rear suspension and electric rack steering. A new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit.  The new motor produces 149 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft of torque, an increase of 20 percent and 16 percent respectively. Fuel economy is also projected to improve. All 2020 Sentra models come equipped with the latest generation Xtronic transmission.
      The center of gravity has been lowered by lowering the overall height 2.2 inches and increasing the track by 2.0 inches. 
      Trim levels have been simplified to S, SV, and SR with just two option packages. The interior has been upgraded and refined to be more premium feeling. Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are standard with NissanConnect. 

      The 2020 Sentra goes on sale in January 2020.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Los Angeles - Nissan has unveiled the 2020 Nissan Sentra at the LA Auto Show Today. The new Sentra takes on the look of the larger Altima and Maxima to bring some harmony to the Nissan sedan lineup. The Sentra is Nissan's best selling model in the U.S.
      Nissan is adding Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard equipment for 2020 with additional driver assisted technologies available.  The platform is all new, now with an independent rear suspension and electric rack steering. A new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit.  The new motor produces 149 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft of torque, an increase of 20 percent and 16 percent respectively. Fuel economy is also projected to improve. All 2020 Sentra models come equipped with the latest generation Xtronic transmission.
      The center of gravity has been lowered by lowering the overall height 2.2 inches and increasing the track by 2.0 inches. 
      Trim levels have been simplified to S, SV, and SR with just two option packages. The interior has been upgraded and refined to be more premium feeling. Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are standard with NissanConnect. 

      The 2020 Sentra goes on sale in January 2020.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
      Mazda is on a mission lately to make their products feel more premium. They have been tuning their vehicles to be quieter and more refined in order to give them an air that they are above their class. This second generation of the Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque.  For 2019, Mazda added the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine from the CX-9. On regular gas, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque, but if you fill it up with 93 octane, the horsepower figure bumps up to 250.  Available only on the Grand Touring and Signature trims, the 2.5-T makes the CX-5 the compact crossover with the most available torque.  Mazda sent a CX-5 Signature for me to try for a week to see what I thought.
      There’s no replacement for displacement… maybe
      The biggest CX-5 news for 2019 is the engine options. There is the 2.5-T mentioned above and a 2.2-liter turbo diesel. Both are exciting entries into a relatively conservative segment.  The 2.5-T is the second-largest displacement engine available in the segment, behind the 3.2 liter V6 in the Jeep Cherokee.  This 4-cylinder puts out quite a bit more torque than the bigger V6, though the Jeep produces more horsepower (271 @ 6,500 rpm). Even among 4-cylinders, this is the largest displacement you can get, but none of those others offering 2.5 liters also offers a turbocharger. This engine is rated by the EPA to get 22 city / 27 highway.  I got about 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Zero to 60 is a claimed 6.2 seconds.
      Under normal driving, the engine is quiet and composed, with torque coming on quickly when called for. When the pedal is mashed at speed, the CX-5 leaps forward with minimal turbo lag and gives off a strong growl from under the hood. The only time you can really feel any lag in the turbo is if you are starting from a dead stop. Overall, you never feel without power at the tip of your toes and the sounds, and lack of sounds, from the engine room is quiet and refined.
      One area the CX-5 falls behind on is in the transmission department. Although the transmission offers smooth shift and is willing to downshift when called upon, a 6-speed automatic almost feels anachronistic in a time when all of its direct competition is sporting 8 or 9 speeds. I never thought there would come a day when 6-forward gears aren’t enough, but here we are. Adding 2 or 3 more gears to the CX-5 would further liven up the already sporty crossover and help keep the turbocharged engine firmly in the good places of its torque band.
      Ride: Al dente – Firm but tender
      If there is a brand that Mazda is looking to emulate here by being premium without the premium badge, it would likely be BMW.  The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to spill your latte. Steering is on the heavy side with precise control and great on-center feel.  Body roll is minimal. Pushing the CX-5 into corners is fun and the standard G-Vectoring Control Plus makes sure you stay planted where you intended to be.  The i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive mostly runs in front-wheel-drive mode until microscopic amounts of wheel slip are detected and then some torque is instantly transferred to the rear wheels.  Mazda programs the AWD system to always have at least a little bit of torque going to the rear in order for the transfer of torque to happen faster. 
      It’s what’s inside that matter most
      Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
      There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
      The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
      There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
      Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
      The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
      Mazda is on a mission lately to make their products feel more premium. They have been tuning their vehicles to be quieter and more refined in order to give them an air that they are above their class. This second generation of the Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque.  For 2019, Mazda added the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine from the CX-9. On regular gas, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque, but if you fill it up with 93 octane, the horsepower figure bumps up to 250.  Available only on the Grand Touring and Signature trims, the 2.5-T makes the CX-5 the compact crossover with the most available torque.  Mazda sent a CX-5 Signature for me to try for a week to see what I thought.
      There’s no replacement for displacement… maybe
      The biggest CX-5 news for 2019 is the engine options. There is the 2.5-T mentioned above and a 2.2-liter turbo diesel. Both are exciting entries into a relatively conservative segment.  The 2.5-T is the second-largest displacement engine available in the segment, behind the 3.2 liter V6 in the Jeep Cherokee.  This 4-cylinder puts out quite a bit more torque than the bigger V6, though the Jeep produces more horsepower (271 @ 6,500 rpm). Even among 4-cylinders, this is the largest displacement you can get, but none of those others offering 2.5 liters also offers a turbocharger. This engine is rated by the EPA to get 22 city / 27 highway.  I got about 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Zero to 60 is a claimed 6.2 seconds.
      Under normal driving, the engine is quiet and composed, with torque coming on quickly when called for. When the pedal is mashed at speed, the CX-5 leaps forward with minimal turbo lag and gives off a strong growl from under the hood. The only time you can really feel any lag in the turbo is if you are starting from a dead stop. Overall, you never feel without power at the tip of your toes and the sounds, and lack of sounds, from the engine room is quiet and refined.
      One area the CX-5 falls behind on is in the transmission department. Although the transmission offers smooth shift and is willing to downshift when called upon, a 6-speed automatic almost feels anachronistic in a time when all of its direct competition is sporting 8 or 9 speeds. I never thought there would come a day when 6-forward gears aren’t enough, but here we are. Adding 2 or 3 more gears to the CX-5 would further liven up the already sporty crossover and help keep the turbocharged engine firmly in the good places of its torque band.
      Ride: Al dente – Firm but tender
      If there is a brand that Mazda is looking to emulate here by being premium without the premium badge, it would likely be BMW.  The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to spill your latte. Steering is on the heavy side with precise control and great on-center feel.  Body roll is minimal. Pushing the CX-5 into corners is fun and the standard G-Vectoring Control Plus makes sure you stay planted where you intended to be.  The i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive mostly runs in front-wheel-drive mode until microscopic amounts of wheel slip are detected and then some torque is instantly transferred to the rear wheels.  Mazda programs the AWD system to always have at least a little bit of torque going to the rear in order for the transfer of torque to happen faster. 
      It’s what’s inside that matter most
      Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
      There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
      The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
      There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
      Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
      The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Nissan unveiled the Nissan Sylphy at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this month and spies have caught it in the US virtually confirming it will be coming to the US as the next generation Nissan Sentra.
      Looking like a mini-Nissan Altima, Nissan says the chassis is now much stiffer and they have gone and improved the suspension and steering feel.  The interior has been made to look much more luxurious with quilted seats and a slicker looking dashboard.
      The infotainment system is a 8-inch TFT screen and the driver gets a 7-inch TFT gauge cluster. Nissan's ProPilot Assist will be available and includes things like collision warning, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, cross traffic alert, and others. 
      No details yet on powertrain except that Nissan says the 4-cylinder engine and CVT have been updated. 


      View full article
  • Posts

  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. ichbinjohnk
      ichbinjohnk
      (36 years old)
    2. Paolino
      Paolino
      (43 years old)
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...