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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.

2011 Nissan Sentra Features
Review And Pricing

(See Also: The Ultimate New Nissan Sentra Negotiation Secret)

The 2011 Nissan Sentra offers excellent gas mileage, plenty of features, respectable power, high crash safety ratings and a spacious interior for a vehicle in the small car segment. It's also available in SE-R and SE-R Spec-V variants for those who place a higher value on brisk acceleration and more athletic handling.

While the 2011 Sentra makes a solid small sedan choice, to help make an informed final buying decision it also makes sense to check out other competing vehicles. Some worthy of consideration include the Honda Civic, the Kia Forte and the Mazda3.

Trims, Standard Features And Options:

The 2011 Nissan Sentra is available in six trims: the base, S, SR and SL models are based on the 2.0-liter engine, while the SE-R and SE-R Spec V are high-performance models.

2011 Nissan Sentra

Standard features on the base-model Sentra include power windows, power doorlocks, air conditioning, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt steering wheel, 15-inch steel wheels and a 4-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack, while the Sentra 2.0 S adds keyless entry, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, 16-inch steel wheels and a 6-speaker stereo with an iPod interface.

The Sentra 2.0 SR is similarly equipped but also sports some of the design elements from the high-performance models, including both front and rear sport fascias, a rear spoiler, foglamps, rocker sill extensions and 16-inch wheels, while moving up to the SL adds keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a Rockford Fosgate stereo system with satellite radio, a color display an a USB audio input.

Most of the upgraded features on the SL are available options on the 2.0 S and 2.0 SR models. Highlights of other optional features available for the SL (often grouped into packages) include leather upholstery, navigation, a sunroof and heated front seats.

The Sentra SE-R is outfitted similar to the 2.0 SR, but adds a more performance-oriented suspension tuning, sport seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, an aerodynamic body kit, the color-display audio system and oil pressure and g-forces gauges. There's also an SE-R Upgrade package that includes nearly all of the SL's standard features and options.

The SE-R Spec V then ups the ante in terms of performance with an even firmer suspension, a lower ride height, higher-performance tires, larger front brakes and sportier interior trim accents. A mechanical limited-slip front differential is also available for the Spec V as an option.

2011 Nissan Sentra rear view

Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:

Powering the Nissan Sentra 2.0 models is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Under the hood of the Sentra SE-R is a 2.5-liter engine that delivers 177 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, while the the Spec V boosts the output of this engine to 200 horsepower and 180 pound-feet. In performance tests, the Spec V has been timed from a standstill to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds, a very quick time for this segment.

The 2.0 base model comes with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is standard on the 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL and SE-R (the SE-R also comes with shift paddles). The Sentra Spec V comes only with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.

The fuel economy for 2.0 Sentras with the CVT are particularly impressive with an EPA gas mileage estimate of 27 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway. Manual 2.0 models are rated at 24 mpg city and 31 mpg city. Even the more powerful SE-R comes in at a very good 24 city and 30 highway, while that of the Spec V is a quite respectable 21 and 28, respectively.


Standard safety features on all 2011 Sentras include stability control, antilock brakes (ABS), front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags. The SE-R models are equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, while the 2.0 models come with rear drums.

In government crash tests, the Nissan Sentra received the highest possible ratings of five stars for front passenger protection in both front and side impacts, while earning four stars for rear passenger protection in side impacts.


2011 Nissan Sentra interior

The Sentra's cabin is attractive, logically designed and user-friendly. With its slick looks, decent materials quality, sporty gauges and orange backlighting, most shoppers will likely be pleased with its appearance for this price range.

The seating is comfortable, supportive and surprisingly roomy in the front, although legroom in the rear is on the tight side. Trunk cargo capacity comes in at a respectable 13.1 cubic feet (in comparison, for example, that of the Honda Civic is 12 cubes).


The 2011 Nissan Sentra is a decent road-performer for a car with this kind of fuel economy. Power in the 2.0 models is adequate and handling is unremarkable yet competent, although the ride can get somewhat noisy when accelerating or a bit harsh on rough roads, similar to many cars in its class.

The SE-R and SE-R Spec V models offer significantly more power and sharper handling for those who seek higher levels of performance.

Also, For 'Used' Car Buyers ...

Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.

And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.


2.0, manual: list price: $15,520, invoice price: $14,890
2.0, CVT: list price: $16,700, invoice price: $16,018

2.0 S, CVT: list price: $17,450, invoice price: $16,280

2.0 SR, CVT: list price: $17,450, invoice price: $16,280

2.0 SL, CVT: list price: $18,850, invoice price: $17,582

SE-R, CVT: list price: $19,580, invoice price: $18,260

SE-R Spec V, manual: list price: $20,080, invoice price: $18,725

Other Vehicles Of Possible Interest:

Nissan Sentra Used Model Buying Guide
2011 Nissan Versa Features And Invoice Prices
2011 Nissan Altima Invoice And Features Review
2011 Nissan Maxima Pricing And Features Overview
Nissan Murano 2011 Invoice And Feature Overview
2012 Nissan Altima Overview And Pricing
2012 Nissan Rogue Features And Invoice
Used Nissan Altima Model & Price Guide

Additional Models Of Possible Interest:

Nissan Maxima Used Buying Guide
Nissan Versa Models At Wholesale
Nissan Murano Overview & Auction Sources
Nissan Rogue Used Model Overview
Nissan Titan Truck Info & Auction Sources
Pre-owned Nissan Pathfinder Info & Wholesale Price Tips
Used Nissan Xterra Overview
Used Nissan Vehicle Best Buy Tips

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