2013 Nissan Sentra Preview

Jeff Youngs | Aug 31, 2012
  • Larger than previous model, and lighter
  • New 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • New Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Rated to get 34 mpg in combined driving, according to Nissan
  • Optional NissanConnect with navigation


Nissan says the 2013 Sentra "is the most revolutionary design in the nameplate's 30-year history." The new compact 5-passenger sedan is offered in S, SV, SR and SL trim levels. Additionally, the Sentra S and SV can be equipped with an FE+ (Fuel Economy Plus) package designed to provide an incremental gain in fuel economy.

Exterior Features

Nissan characterizes the 2013 Sentra's appearance as "elegant, modern and refined, reflecting a "professional" character targeted at upwardly bound buyers." All Sentras include standard LED running lights and LED taillights, and the base Sentra S rides on 16-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers. The new Sentra's trunk holds 15.1 cubic feet of cargo.

Interior Features

The 2013 Nissan Sentra S is equipped with soft-touch material for the dashboard and driver's side armrest, height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding rear seat, and electroluminescent gauges. Air conditioning, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, and a 4-speaker stereo with a CD player are also included.

Optional Features

The 2013 Nissan Sentra SV adds a continuously variable transmission (CVT), cruise control, 6-speaker stereo, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded cloth and door trim, and a vehicle security system.

The 2013 Sentra SR adds restyled "sport" front and rear fascias, "sport" grille, side sill extensions, rear spoiler, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and fog lights. Inside, the Sentra SR receives silver interior trim and premium sport cloth seats.

The 2013 Nissan Sentra SL sits at the top of the model lineup. In addition to the features on the Sentra SV, the SL adds unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, and an Easy Fill Tire Alert system. The Sentra SL is also equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, Nissan Intelligent Key keyless entry with push-button ignition, Bluetooth hands-free calling, 4.3-inch color radio display with USB port, and satellite radio. The Sentra SL's cabin offers a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, and imitation maple wood trim.

Options for the new 2013 Sentra, depending on trim level, include leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bose premium audio system, reversing camera, power sunroof, and NissanConnect with Navigation. A set of 4-wheel-disc brakes is also available.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Nissan Sentra is equipped with a new 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 130 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard on the Sentra S, with a CVT optional. The CVT is standard on all other trim levels.

According to Nissan, the new Sentra with the CVT will get 30 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg in combined driving. Fuel-economy estimates for the manual transmission, or for the Sentra FE+, is unavailable as this preview is written.

The 2013 Nissan Sentra also offers electric steering, front disc/rear drum brakes, and a front strut/rear torsion beam suspension.


Nissan has not finalized details of the 2013 Sentra's safety features as this preview is written. A RearView Monitor reversing camera system is confirmed as an option.


The redesigned 2013 Sentra can be equipped with NissanConnect with Navigation. This system features a 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen, navigation system, NavTraffic service, and NavWeather service. Additionally, the technology includes a hands-free text-messaging assistant that reads incoming text messages and allows the driver to respond without removing their hands from the steering wheel. Bluetooth audio streaming, Pandora Internet radio, Google POI search, and speed-limit information are also provided with the system.

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