The Nissan Sentra is a four door five passenger compact sedan that is offered in six trim levels with two basic power train combinations ranging from a fuel sipping four cylinder mated to the Japanese automaker’s gas saving continuously variable transmission that gets up to 34 MPG to a 200 HP high output four banger with a close ratio six speed manual gearbox and a helical limited slip differential that is good for a 6.7 second 0 to 60 MPH run, al packaged in an affordable four door.

The base Sentra 2.0 is powered by a 2.0 Liter four cylinder that makes 140 HP and 147 lb-ft of torque that gets an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway when connected with a six speed manual or as much as 27 MPG around town and as much as 34 MPG at cruising speeds when shifting duties are taken over by the optional Xtronic CVT, starting at $16,250.  The entry level Sentra rides on a set of 15 inch steel wheels and comes with power accessories, an AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack and six standard airbags that include roof mounted side curtains.  The next level Sentra 2.0 S starts at $18,180 and adds a few more pleasing features like a set of 16 inch wheels with decorative covers, power mirrors and available remote keyless entry as well as iPod connectivity for the stereo and is only available with the Xtronic CVT.  The next level Sentra 2.0 SR brings the sporty look of the more powerful SE-R models with goodies like a set of 16 inch alloys, more aggressive aero package including different front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts and a new grill to go with the smoked lights all around finished off with a chrome exhaust tip for the commuter car price of $18,180.  The most luxurious of the fuel efficient Sentras is the 2.0 SL, with available leather seating and steering wheel, unique 16 inch rims, Nissan Intelligent Key keyless entry and starter as well as Bluetooth hands free connectivity and a premium audio system with a 4.3 inch color display starting at $19,580.

The SE-R is the first of the high performance Sentras and wears a badge that enthusiasts have come to respect for over a decade.  Powered by a 2.5 Liter four cylinder that produces 177 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque being shifted through an Xtronic CVT with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters that gets an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway, the $20,310 SE-R rides on a set of 17 inch alloys wrapped in sticky rubber housing a sport tuned suspension on the outside and gets special sport cloth buckets with embroidered logos and set of aluminum sport pedals to dress up the interior.  However the top of the line Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V comes with a high compression high output version of the 2.5 Liter QR25DE engine that pumps out a total of 200 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque being shifted via a close ratio six speed manual gearbox which returns an estimated 21 MPG in traffic and 28 MPG on the open road.  Being a Spec-V, Nissan pulled out all the stops by scavenging the Nismo parts bins for items like large exotic Italian Brembo brakes, a dual mass flywheel, one helical LSD and a couple of extra chassis braces to ensure that drivers will get the most out of the $20,810 sport compact’s lowered suspension.

A list of cars similar to the Sentra includes the 2012 Honda Civic, 2012 Toyota Corolla and 2012 Hyundai Elantra.

See more details about the 2012 Nissan Sentra.