2009 Nissan Sentra

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24 CITY / 31 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • New cloth seat trims in the standard models
  • Refreshed rear trunk lid
  • MP3 playback capability in the audio system
  • New option packages
  • Standard automatic door locks
Now in its sixth generation, the compact Nissan Sentra competes with the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Civic, among others. To hopefully edge out the competition, Nissan offers the 4-door Sentra in five different models, ranging from an economical entry-level family sedan to a high-performance, 200-hp, enthusiast-targeted sport sedan. According to Nissan, all models feature a roomy, high-quality interior with a long list of standard amenities including air conditioning and power windows. As it did in 2008, Nissan only makes minor changes to all Sentra models in 2009.

Nissan's New Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the 2009 Nissan Sentra during the first 3 years/36,000 miles. A powertrain warranty extends to 5 years/60,000 miles. There is no deductible on either warranty, and towing may be reimbursed if the vehicle is less than 36 months old.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Nissan Sentra is available in five different models: Sentra 2.0, Sentra 2.0 S, Sentra 2.0 SL, Sentra SE-R and Sentra SE-R Spec V. All five models are 4-door, front-engine sedans with front-wheel drive. All Sentra 2.0 models share the same 4-cylinder powerplant, while the performance-oriented SE-R and Spec V models feature larger and more powerful engines and other sport-tuned mechanical upgrades. For 2009, Nissan has redesigned the trunk lid on all models. The standard models receive new seat cloth trim, standard automatic door locks, and MP3 playback capability (S and SL models). The SE-R model gains a new premium audio package and an SE-R upgrade package.

The standard Sentra 2.0 is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, split fold-down rear seats, 160-watt audio system, and 15-inch steel wheels. The Sentra 2.0 S adds items including fog lights, power outside mirrors, upgraded audio system, 16-inch wheels, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Building on those options, the Sentra 2.0 SL features a standard Xtronic CVT transmission, Intelligent Key keyless entry, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and leather-appointed seats, to name just a few of the enhancements. While the Sentra 2.0 SL model offers nearly every option as a standard feature, standard models may be optioned with popular groupings such as the Convenience package, Alloy Wheels package, Audio package, Moonroof package, and XM satellite radio.

The Sentra SE-R models are aimed directly at the enthusiast. With more powerful engines under the hood, both the SE-R and SE-R Spec V models offer sport-tuned suspensions, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, and sport bucket seats. Popular options include the Audio package, Moonroof package, and the Helical Limited Slip Differential (HLSD).

The 2009 Nissan Sentra is offered with one of three different engines. Standard Sentra 2.0 models feature Nissan's MR20DE 2.0-liter, all-aluminum, inline 4-cylinder powerplant. It is rated at 140 hp and 147 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions-certified as a LEV2-ULEV engine on regular unleaded fuel. The engine is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission (EPA fuel-economy estimates of 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway), or Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), with EPA estimates of 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

The 2009 Sentra SE-R features a larger, QR25DE 2.5-liter, all-aluminum, inline 4-cylinder powerplant. It is rated at 177 hp and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions-certified as a LEV2-LEV engine on regular unleaded fuel. The engine is mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT (EPA fuel-economy estimates of 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway). The Sentra SE-R Spec V features a high-output version of the same engine. It is rated at 200 hp and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions-certified as a LEV2-LEV engine on premium unleaded fuel. The SE-R Spec V is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission (EPA estimates of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway).

The standard Sentra models feature front disc brakes and rear drums. The front suspension is independent, while the rear is of a torsion bar design. Stabilizer bars are standard. All SE-R models have upgraded 4-wheel disc brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension with heavier stabilizer bars. The steering system on all 2009 Nissan Sentra models is electrically power-assisted and vehicle-speed sensitive.

The body and chassis of the 2009 Nissan Sentra are manufactured from high-strength steel. Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System includes driver and front passenger front air bags, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant protection. Standard equipment includes 3-point seat belts in all seating positions. Driver and front passenger belts are equipped with pre-tensioners, load limiters, and manual height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors. The Sentra is equipped with the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system to simplify child-seat installation to the outer rear seat positions. Child safety rear door locks and an emergency inside trunk release are both standard. All models may be optioned with an anti-lock braking system (ABS).

The 2007 Nissan Sentra was crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It earned a perfect 5-star rating for driver and front passenger in the frontal impact test, and 5-star front/4-star rear ratings for the side-impact test. The rollover rating was 4 stars. The current-generation Nissan Sentra has not yet been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

All 2009 Nissan Sentra models, except the base Sentra 2.0, are available with the optional Audio package. While the standard stereo features a 160-watt amplifier pushing sound through a 6-speaker system, the upgraded Audio package (engineered by Rockford Fosgate) features a 340-watt amplifier. Heavily upgraded over the standard radio, the 8-speaker system features two 8-inch subwoofers, two 6-by-9-inch speakers, and 4 mid-range tweeters. The package also includes an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, XM satellite radio controls, MP3 capability, auxiliary input, speed-sensitive volume, and the Radio Data System.


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