2016 Nissan Sentra Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, November 18, 2015
- New styling aligned with Altima and Maxima
- Updated interior with new steering wheel
- Retuned steering, suspension, transmission
- New safety and infotainment technologies
With the introduction of last year’s redesigned Murano crossover SUV, Nissan debuted a new design language that it calls “Energetic Flow.” Following the Murano, the Maxima and then the Altima also adopted a similar appearance, characterized by a large “V-motion” grille design, boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights, machined-finish aluminum wheel choices, and other stylistic flourishes.
Now, it is the 2016 Nissan Sentra’s turn to receive this styling makeover. The automaker introduced the updated Sentra at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing that it would be offered in S, FE+ S, SV, SR, and SL trim levels.
Like the 2016 Altima, the 2016 Sentra is restyled from the windshield forward. Nissan has redesigned the hood, front fenders, front bumper, grille, and headlights. On the SR and SL trim levels, LED headlights are standard.
Around back, the new Sentra receives updated taillights designed to mimic the boomerang-shaped headlights as well as a new rear bumper design.
A new optional 16-in. aluminum wheel design is available for the Sentra SV, while the SR and the SL individually receive new 17-in. wheel designs. A new Blue Pearl color also debuts for 2016.
Revised instrumentation with a new high-resolution LCD driver-information display is tucked behind a redesigned steering wheel that Nissan says is reminiscent of the 370Z sports car. Updated seat fabrics, a new center console design and shift knob, and a revised center control panel give the 2016 Sentra’s interior a welcome upgrade, and the top-of-the-line Sentra SL receives new piano black interior trim.
A new SV Driver Assist package contains a navigation system, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, blind-spot warning system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
A new Technology package is offered for the Sentra SR and SL. It contains an adaptive cruise control system with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems, plus new NissanConnect Services technology.
Under the Hood
For 2016, the Sentra’s 130-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine returns, and in most versions it is paired with an improved continuously variable transmission (CVT) that includes revised D-step programming logic for a more natural sound and feel, according to Nissan. A 6-speed manual gearbox remains available in the base Sentra S.
Drivers can select from Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes. Additional updates for 2016 include enhanced body stiffness, retuned suspension, new tire selections, and what Nissan claims is improved steering feel and response, all adding up to what the automaker hopes will prove to be a more engaging driving experience.
New safety technologies include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert systems. To get the forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking technologies, it is necessary to buy the Sentra SR or SL, and then add the optional Technology package.
The Technology package also contains new NissanConnect Services. With a paid subscription this system provides remote access to various vehicle features, automatic collision notification and emergency services, and alerts when the car exceeds a pre-set speed, geographic boundary, or curfew time. All of these features are great to have when teenaged drivers are using the car.
Additionally, Nissan now offers Siri Eyes Free technology as standard equipment for the SV, SR, and SL trim levels.