Nissan Sentra

Nissan SentraIn the U.S. the Nissan Sentra currently serves as Nissan’s compact car and directly competes with other compact models such as the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cobalt, Mitsubishi Lancer, VW Jetta, and Honda Civic. In the U.S. prices range from $15,000 for a base model to $21,000 for a loaded top-of-the-line Sentra. While previous Sentras were subcompact cars, the Sentra has grown over the years, and now the Nissan Versa has replaced the Sentra in the subcompact area, although it is rated by the US EPA as a mid-size car due to its interior volume. The Sentra finally crossed over into the compact class for 2000. Previously, the compact class had been occupied by the Altima, which moved to the mid-size class in 2001, and its wheelbase remained unchanged from the previous generation. Also to be noted is that while earlier Sentras were very similar to their Japan-market B-series Nissan Sunny twins, the B15 Sentra diverged greatly from the B15 Sunny (a.k.a. Nissan Super Sunny). Production shifted from Smyrna, Tennessee to Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the Smyrna production line was retooled to build the Nissan Xterra.The 2000-2001 Sentra SE with the SR20DE , which has 145 hp (108 kW) and 136tq ,occupied the top of the line Sentra until the SE-R’s came out in 2002. The 1.6 L GA16DE engine was dropped in favor of the 1.8 L QG18DE (126 hp) QG18DE. Numerous upgrades were made over the previous generation. The new model featured a new interior with higher quality plastics and more comfortable seats. The exterior was also substantially updated and now featured body-side moldings and clear headlights. In 2002, a new SE-R (170 hp) was introduced, trading its SR20DE engine for the Altima’s torquier but lower-revving QR25DE. The SE-R came in a base model with a 5-speed manual transmission or optional automatic. The SE-R Spec V (180 hp) featured a 6-speed manual transmission with a helical Torsen limited slip differential. The Spec V is capable of a 15.4 second quarter-mile, but suffers a relatively slow 7.4 second 0-60 mph time (equal to the B13 SE-R’s time) due to extra-short gearing making 60 mph (100 km/h) unreachable in second gear. 2004 saw a minor face-lift for all Sentras. Gearing was changed in 2004-2006 SE-R Spec V for quicker quarter mile times of 15.2. SE-R’s came only in automatic transmission from 2004-2006 and is capable of quarter mile time of 16.0. Nissan also started cost-cutting and took the front stabilizer bar out of 1.8 L models. The QR25DE was not only sported in the SE-R and SE-R Spec V trims of the B15 Sentra, but also came in the 2003 Sentra 2.5LE and 2004 Sentra 2.5S. These versions did not sport any exterior resemblance as the SE-R trims did, they clone the exterior and interior of the lower trims (GXE, 1.8S), to include clear head lamps, beige-colored interior cloth, lighter colored taillights (2004-2006), and softer suspension than the SE-R’s. These trims were perfect for any driver that wanted the appearance of a regular Sentra with the power of a SE-R under the hood. The 2003 LE and 2004 2.5S filled the void left by the 2001 Sentra SE (SR20 powered). The 2000-2006 2.0L and 1.8L automatics use the RE4F03B transmission. The 2.5L 2.5S, SE-R automatics use the RE4F03A transmission.

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