Nissan Sentra – 2007 Review: Nancy Kerrigan might’ve put it best when she wondered aloud, “Why?!?!” That’s kinda what we were wondering after a week in our 2007 Nissan Sentra tester – why does this car have us longing for the smaller and less powerful Nissan Versa? Minus a window sticker, we guesstimated that our mid-level 2.0S model decked out with a Convenience Package, a Rockford Fosgate Audio Package, a 16-inch alloy wheel and ABS package, and a satellite radio package retailed for $18,565. That’s on par with a Honda Civic EX and is within a couple grand of a similarly-equipped Nissan Versa, both of which we’d choose hands-down over the boring boulevard cruiser that is the 2007 Sentra.
Why We Drove It
With the recent release and popularity of an entirely new generation of subcompact cars (Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and others), vehicles that once wore the “brand’s smallest car” designation have moved up in size, power, and price. After driving the all-new Nissan Versa and walking away with a positive mindset, we were anxious to get behind the wheel of a redesigned Sentra. Honda has done a fine job of sliding the Fit in while moving the Civic upmarket enough to clearly distinguish the two vehicles. However, Nissan offers a line that blurs between the Versa and Sentra, ultimately leaving us more impressed with the less powerful, less expensive, though more entertaining Versa.
Nissan packs the 2007 Sentra with decent power that’s perfectly acceptable for this type of car and price point. The 140-horsepower 2.0-liter engine is high-revving like most four cylinders, yet it feels refined and delivers what power it has fluidly. The clutch is a little stiff compared to the competition and has a high take up point, though the six-speed manual transmission is precise and offers moderately short throws. At the end of our one-week run, we were recording 24.7 mpg, but that was after a final weekend with our heavy-footed editor. On highway excursions, the Sentra easily climbed near 30 mpg, and would likely have surpassed that figure had those drives been longer.