It's not that the Nissan Sentra is a 'bad car,' so to speak, but it's about as exciting to anyone with even a modicum of automotive enthusiasm as a haircut. Sadly, that milquetoast feeling even extends to the more powerful SE-R and 200-horsepower SE-R Spec V. Said another way, the current Sentra is a long time gone from the SR20DE-engined B13 Sentra SE-R of the early '90s.
But there may be light at the end of the tunnel: Nissan knows that its current Sentra is too boring. Al Castignetti, Nissan Division Vice President of Sales recently admitted to AutoWeek that "We miss the heart of the market right now. A lot of people reject the Sentra because of its looks... it is not a natural progression to move down to it from the Altima."
While you could certainly argue that the Sentra needs more than just a restyling – like, perhaps having more content and sporting potential to properly differentiate itself from the almost-as-large and significantly cheaper Versa – looking more like the handsome Altima sounds like a solid step in the right direction.
One thing's for certain: Nissan has big hopes for its next-gen compact car, which should hit the market in about two years. Castignetti believes that Nissan has the opportunity to increase sales from 100,000 units per year to 300,000. Lofty goals for sure, but both the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla prove that it can indeed be done.