Small But Significant
From the reinvented Mini to the newly introduced FIAT 500, little is bigger than ever in the automotive world. Nissan, Japan’s number-three automaker is again bringing its little Sentra sedan to the big American market for compact 4-doors. The 2012 Nissan Sentra is a carryover from last year; it features a wide range of trim levels and available options on this classic long-wheelbase, but short-profile vehicle. Prices start at $16, 060 and range up to $19, 390 for a 2.0-liter SE version with a CVT; SE-R versions start at $20, 120 and top out at $20, 620 for a sports-minded 2012 Nissan SE-R Spec-V, with a 2.5-liter engine and manual transmission. You can expect fuel economy that averages 24 city/31 highway with the manual and 27/34 with Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). Among Sentra’s competitors are the Ford Fiesta, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Chrysler 200.