Continuously-variable automatic transmissions (CVTs) are often criticized – and that criticism is often well deserved. Some CVTs, however, operate seamlessly and smoothly, and Nissan makes more than a few of those.
Unfortunately, the CVT in the 2021 Nissan Sentra SR I tested earlier this year does the opposite. Its unrelenting whine and drone spoil an otherwise surprisingly good time.
I was focusing on the road while piloting the 2020 Nissan Sentra down the canyon roads just outside Los Angeles, yet somehow I didn’t notice the previous-generation Sentra headed in the opposite direction that my drive partner pointed out.
In fact, I had a hard time even picturing in my head what the outgoing Sentra looks like. That’s because, like the cheaper Versa, the old Sentra had become quite forgettable.
And just like the newest Versa, the newest Sentra is actually memorable again.
With America now fully retreated from the compact car space, Japan is left holding the bag in a dwindling market. For two automakers — Honda and Toyota — the abandonment of the compact car market has added wind to slackening sails, but their gain comes at the expense of other players. Nissan is one of those players.
With its next-generation Sentra, Nissan hopes to steal from its rivals’ plates and amass a bigger slice of the pie.
While public interest in crossovers has encouraged Nissan to rejigger its global offerings, the automaker has refused to abandon small sedans. It’s something we’ve seen across the board with Japanese automakers. As the crossover craze hit full swing, both Toyota and Honda said that abandoning entry-level automobiles might mean leaving first-time buyers behind. Despite crossovers bringing in more customers and money, small sedans and hatchbacks have a tendency to reel in new, young customers. Japanese brands sees the prospect of gaining life-long patrons as an advantage, especially as other automakers (*ahem, the Detroit Three*) shift away from such vehicles.
Nissan’s situation is more complicated. It can’t ignore its bottom line after last months’s dismal financial report, and rumors abound that it will soon begin to pair down its lineup. However, that will not involve culling its small-car offerings.
As journos pack themselves into cramped regional airliners headed for New York, Auto Shanghai 2019 is already delivering the goods, providing a taste of global-market vehicles to come. We showed you a brace of Buick Encores yesterday, but Tuesday brings another model destined to arrive on your doorstep, albeit with another name: the 2020 Nissan Sentra.
It’s not called that in China and other Asian markets. There, the compact Nissan sedan bears the name Sylphy. Meet Sylphy.
Nissan is ending sales of its last two compact cars in Europe and Russia, citing a the growing demand for crossover vehicles as the reason. The automaker stopped producing the Pulsar hatchback for Europe in June and says it will end production of the Almera sedan in Russia later this year. Both models are the sister car to our own Nissan Sentra.
The Pulsar was launched in 2014 to give Nissan a fighter for the competitive compact-featherweight category and fill a gap left in the brand’s European range in the wake of the discontinued N16 Almera. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the sales success Nissan hoped for. The Pulsar never quite managed to match the N16’s volume. Nissan’s decision to abandon it leaves the Leaf EV as the only non-utility compact sold by the manufacturer in the region.
In our last Buy/Drive/Burn entry, we traveled to the heady year of 1995 to peruse a trio of alternative luxury cars. One American and two Swedes vied for a place in the fantasy garage. The comments seemed to indicate a desire for more Japanese cars in the running, and commenter JohnTaurus suggested a trio we might discuss.
The year is 1995 (again). The cars are three unsuccessful Japanese luxury sedans that time forgot. Are you feeling… Vigorous?
Today’s Rare Ride comes to us — for the first time — from the nation’s capital. As we ponder what the owner was thinking, we’ll pore over a tidy Nissan Sunny imported from Japan. It’s rare, square, and almost exactly the same as the Nissan Sentra your aunt had in 1991. I’m really not sure.
I often joke that not only are we all destined to buy a crossover in the near future, we’ll one day become crossovers. Oh, how the TTAC guys laugh…
Still, it’s hard to avoid the crossovers-are-replacing-cars narrative, as it isn’t some far-out theory — it’s a cold, hard reality. Crossover and SUV market share grows each year as buyers abandon traditional passenger cars in favor of a vehicle that does everything at least marginally.
That said, not every model faces the same rate of abandonment. Certain cars — through a hazy combination of performance, value, nameplate recognition, and other, more nebulous factors — haven’t yet been dropped off on the front steps of the orphanage by their once-loving guardians.
Let’s take a look at some surprisingly healthy performers in the non-premium, non-sports car class. Cars that aren’t declining in popularity, as this analysis isn’t about overall volume. Guess what? None of these vehicles are the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, two models currently locked in a battle for midsize sedan supremacy (and worthy of their own singular coverage).
Hard to believe, we know, but there’s loyalty and desire to be found elsewhere.
Two months after bringing the Juke’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the Sentra lineup, Nissan is one-upping the Sentra SR Turbo with the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO.
It’s been three years since Nissan showcased a Sentra NISMO concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, but the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sees the arrival of a production version that is, according to Nissan, more than just a bodykit.
In this case, NISMO also means a stiffened structure, unique suspension tuning, and the requisite exterior upgrades.
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- Stanley Steamer What is that white roadster in the background?
- Bufguy The Seville was not an X car....Yes the Seville was based on the x car platform but the changes were so extensive that GM designated the platform “K,” because it very little in common with the X. Only the rear subframe, front suspension, part of the floor and the roof were carried over unchanged.
- Spookiness I kind of like this. Somebody in my building had a late (77?) Chevy Concours, silver with burgundy cloth interior.
- Jeff S These were good cars. Came close to buying a new 75 Chevy Nova 2 door. My father had a 62 Chevy II 300 for 12 years which my 2 brothers and I drove to high school and then I drove the 1st year of college. My middle brother had a 2 door Limited Skylark X car with the 4 cylinder, fuel injection, and 4 speed manual that went well over 200k miles--it had the most comfortable red velour seats it was light gray with a maroon half vinyl top. He never had to replace the clutch and mostly routine mileage mostly highway.
- MrIcky Toyota keeps hinting at 'the next big' and hasn't really delivered that much new since the prius. Maybe the most conservative company on the face of the planet for good and bad and if it's a 3-5 year time frame to come into existence, who cares. Hopefully the new Taco brings that vehicle up to date and it isn't just a new fascia and a 12 inch touch screen. Yes I've read all the rumors, we'll see. Maybe they'll close the c channel frame and put disc brakes on it?