With the advent of the 2007 Sentra, one could argue that Nissan's revitalization is effectively complete. After all, it was essentially the only model not to receive a major redesign in the company's Post-Altima Renaissance. So, congratulations are due to the automaker for turning the ship around.
If you checked in with us this morning, you probably saw the first official images here, but you'll still want to see more of Autoblog's exclusive photos, commentary and official press release after the jump.
That the Sentra fairly rotted on the vine while the rest of brand's lineup received autodome's version of Extreme Home Makeover seemed unfair for a nameplate that sired the great Sentra SE-R of the early 1990's. Well, the littlest Nissan's number has finally come up, so how does it look?
Not to put too fine a point on it, it looks like a Maxima that's been left in the Maytag an extra cycle (oh, and apparently rubber shrinks disproportionately on high-heat. All of which is to say: it's a little polarizing. Of course, in light of Honda's recent styling act of Civic disobedience, the Sentra almost strikes as a bit conservative.
Riding on Nissan's new "C" platform, the Sentra comes packing a standard 2.0L four-banger mated to a six-speed manual. As is the way with everything these days, it's larger than the outgoing version, with an almost 10-percent increase in passenger volume.
Slated to hit dealer lots in early September, base MSRP is to be around $15k, with juiced locks and windows as well as side-curtain airbags and air-con, so it strikes as a good value. Nissan's Xtronic CVT will be available as an option, as will a 'smart' key, leather seating surfaces and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, other rare fixtures at this pricepoint.
Multi-Dimensional 2007 Nissan Sentra Offers Distinctive
Style, Surprising Roominess and Innovative Features
– All-New Sentra Targets Active Lifestyles of Echo Boomer Generation –
The all-new 2007 Nissan Sentra, which makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is designed to live in two worlds – weekdays and weekends. It offers all the expected attributes of the previous generations of Sentra – good fuel economy, high levels of durability, quality and reliability, safety, an affordable price and low cost of ownership – and adds a completely unexpected level of style, roominess, responsiveness and versatility to meet the needs of its young, active, highly social target buyers.
The 2007 Sentra sedan is scheduled to go on sale in fall 2006 at Nissan dealers nationwide, with pricing expected to begin at around $15,000 (nicely equipped with power door locks and windows, side-impact curtain air bags and air conditioning).
The new Sentra is much larger than the previous generation and should offer one of the largest interior volumes in the compact car class (final specifications will available closer to on-sale date). Built on Nissan’s new “C” platform, this sixth generation Sentra has a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase than the 2006 model. It is 2.3 inches longer in overall length, 3.2 inches wider and sits 4.0 inches taller for easier ingress and egress and enhanced headroom.
The new, roomy interior also features an array of innovative comfort and convenience features, including a 60/40 split double-folding rear seat with a fold-flat seat back angle for better utilization of the wide trunk pass-through opening; a special trunk divider panel which creates a hidden trunk storage compartment; and an integrated overhead compact disc holder.
Under the dramatically styled body is a totally all-new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine designed to combine responsive acceleration with good fuel economy and efficient operation. The new Sentra will be available with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional Nissan Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
Along with more roominess and enhanced performance, the 2007 Sentra will be offered with the widest array of premium equipment ever – including leather-appointed seating, Intelligent Key keyless entry system, BluetoothÆ Hands-Free Phone System and premium Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with 6-disc autochanger, 8-channel amplifier and 8 speakers.
“The biggest change in the new Sentra is in concept, moving from ‘entry-level’ to ‘aspirational,’” said Brad Bradshaw, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “The addition of the new Nissan Versa hatchback and sedan allows us to move Sentra up in terms of both size and style. As a result, the new Sentra is a much stronger match for the image and usage needs of its active target buyers who lead highly social, morning-to-morning lifestyles.”
The dramatic exterior of the new Sentra addresses one of the major “unmet needs” of compact sedan buyers – style and emotion. In keeping with Nissan’s distinctive design language, the new Sentra features a sporty front end with Nissan signature headlights and grille. The profile includes a long wheelbase, short front and rear overhangs, crisp character lines and large door openings, while in the rear the high deck accentuates the roomy cabin and cargo area. Inside, the interior continues the sporty, functional theme of the exterior, with the use of high quality materials, large gauges and a spacious, flexible center console. Designed to accommodate full-size adults in comfort, the new Sentra’s passenger volume of 97.7 cubic feet is 9.2 cubic feet larger than the previous generation Sentra.
In the front, head room, shoulder room and hip room have all increased, while rear seat shoulder room, knee room and head room have all also been enhanced. The revised front and rear hip points help improve ingress and egress from the front and rear seats.
Along with the roomy, social space of the interior, the new Sentra supports active lifestyles with flexible and functional storage – including innovative, compartmentalized storage areas.
The cargo volume of 13.1 cubic feet is an increase of 1.5 cubic feet over the 2006 Sentra. The trunk itself is designed to accommodate long, bulky and “unexpected” items by increasing the size of the trunk pass-through opening. Combined with the new 60/40 split double-fold rear seat (the cushion folds forward, allowing the seat back to fold flat), Sentra offers exceptional cargo flexibility for carrying snowboards, hockey sticks and even bikes.
One of Sentra’s true innovations is the patented (pending) trunk divider, which allows the trunk to be used for short term and long term/hidden storage. A removable divider wall, which can be positioned flat on the trunk floor when not in use, can be raised into a vertical position, creating two separate compartments. The durable polymeric material divider (carpeted on one side to match the rest of the trunk and waterproof on the other side for easy cleaning) also includes hooks mounted on the outer surface to help secure items such as grocery bags.
“As impressive as the dimensional enhancements are, the real revolution in this new Sentra is in its improved functionality,” said Bradshaw. “A typical entry-level buyer has only one vehicle, so we designed the 2007 to serve as a 24-hour mobile knapsack, a home base for people who are anything but homebodies.”
Other storage solutions include an integrated, removable overhead compact disc holder (patent pending) above the driver’s sun visor which can hold up to eight CDs, net storage pockets on the upper backs of the front seats for rear seat passengers’ cell phones and mp3 players, a rear seat armrest with cupholders that can accommodate a 20-ounce bottle and 32-ounce drink cup, extra instrument panel storage next to the driver’s door, and a large, lighted, locking glove compartment that can fit a 8x11-inch tablet or a large-sized map book. The center console offers multiple storage options, including an adjustable cup holder design and cell phone space.
“The other element missing in most compact sedans is a sense of driving excitement. We think we’ve exceeded expectations on both counts – whether for everyday commuting or weekend road trips –with this dynamic new Sentra platform and powertrain,” said Bradshaw.
The new 2.0-liter Nissan MR20DE aluminum block engine is designed to offer an exceptional balance of responsive acceleration, excellent low and mid-range torque and increased thermal efficiency. The engine is rated at 135-plus horsepower (estimated) and 140-plus lb-ft of torque (estimated). Up to 90 percent of the torque is achieved by 2,400 rpm – providing comfortable driving and excellent fuel consumption in real world driving when mated to the Xtronic CVT. Estimated fuel economy is 29/36 miles per gallon City/Highway with the CVT.
The 2007 Sentra utilizes a new CVT design with the latest generation CVT technology, one of three Nissan CVTs available for a range of applications. The CVT for Sentra features reduced friction, wide gear ratios and improved shift speed.
“Nissan is a world leader in CVT design, applications and units in operation, with our first CVT-equipped production vehicles going back to 1992,” said Bradshaw. “With the 2003 Murano, we began using CVT with our 3.5-liter V6 and our customers tell us they really appreciate the smoothness, reliability and fuel efficiency. We expect a similar reaction with CVT-equipped models of the new Sentra.”
The 2007 Sentra also offers responsive handling. The front suspension is an independent strut design with coil springs and stabilizer bar. The rear features a torsion beam with integral stabilizer bar, with the rear shock absorbers mounted below the trunk floor for improved trunk roominess. Sentra’s ride comfort has been enhanced through use of special “ripple control” shock absorbers, an insulated front cradle-type subframe with pendulum engine mount system, roller-type front strut bearings and large, tuned rear beam isolators.
Standard safety features for the new Sentra include Zone Body Construction, Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage front air bags and occupant classification system for the front passenger seat, and front seat Active Head Restraints. Front seat side air bags and side curtain air bags (for front and rear outboard seat protection) are also standard.
The 2007 Sentra will be manufactured by Nissan Mexicana S.A. de CV (NMEX-DF), Aguascalientes, Mexico, which builds the current generation Sentra.
“Nissan has sold over 3.8 million Sentras in the United States alone since it was introduced in 1982. It has a well-earned reputation for quality, dependability, value, performance and style,” said Bradshaw. “But this is the Sentra that people won’t believe is a Sentra – unlike any Sentra ever seen.”