Kicking Tire's Joe Wiesenfelder recently had a chance to drive the new 2007 Nissan Sentra and was kind enough to blog about it for all the world to see. Wasn't that generous of him? Anyway, the 2007 Sentra was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show way back in January. It had been so long since the last Sentra makeover that it was the only sedan left in the lineup that didn't look like an Altima. Well, they fixed that. The Maxima, Altima, Sentima Sentra now look like the same car in three different sizes. Not that there's anything wrong with that, unless you dislike the look of one of them in which case you'll probably dislike all three. Looks aside, this seems to be a huge improvement for Nissan going up against the Corolla and Civic.

The new C-platform promised a larger, more refined and quieter package, and it appears Nissan has delivered. In fact, the new one is "so much better than the outgoing model, comparisons are pointless," according to Joe. As we've come to expect with all-new vehicle introductions, the new Sentra offers a bigger cabin and there is added sophistication showing itself in a "church quiet" cabin, among other things.

A new, larger 2.0-liter four should provide around 135 hp and 140 pounds of torque, and your choice of 6-speed manual or CVT transmissions put the power to the pavement. While not perfect, the manual seemed to be better than the CVT when it came to smoothness and noise. But not on gas mileage. The CVT is rated 29/36 mpg (city/highway), while the manual rates 28/34. Brakes were adequate if a bit disappointing in Nissan's choice of rear drums.

Surprisingly quiet with a good ride, decent handling, fairly smooth power and a good set of standard features should all help the Sentra gain some ground against the competition, especially with pricing that starts around $15,000. Personally, we'll wait for the SE-R variant to be introduced.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

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