For 2007, the Nissan Sentra is all-new, moving into its sixth generation.

The Sentra was Nissan’s entry-level offering in 2006; that position has been taken by the all-new Versa, and so the Sentra, built on the company’s new C platform, is larger than the model it replaces.

The Sentra uses an all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine; it is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, and can be optioned to an Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is standard on the SL trim line. SE-R and SE-R Spec V models use a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, specifically designed for them, which includes unique intake and exhaust manifold, higher 10.5:1 compression ratio, higher 6,800 rpm redline, and unique camshaft profile, pistons and connecting rods; the SE-R churns out 177 hp, while the Spec V makes 200 hp. The SE-R uses a CVT with paddle-shift manual mode; the SE-R Spec V uses a six-speed manual transmission.

Features on the 2.0 include 15-inch steel wheels, tilt wheel, variable intermittent wipers, four-way manual-adjust seats in suede cloth, CD stereo with auxiliary input jack, and side and curtain airbags. The 2.0 can be optioned with an anti-lock brake package, and with a Value Option package including air conditioning, power locks and 60/40 folding rear seat.

The 2.0 S adds 16-inch steel wheels, anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, cruise control, six-way manual adjust driver’s seat, 60/40 folding rear seat and upgraded speakers. It can be optioned with a Luxury Package including alloy wheels, premium stereo, Bluetooth hands-free phone system and leather-wrapped wheel.

The 2.0 SL adds 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, heated mirrors, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, integrated overhead CD holder, trunk cargo system, trip computer, and six-CD Rockford Fosgate audio system with wheel-mounted controls and eight speakers.

Features on the SE-R and Spec V include 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, sill extensions, SE-R grille, fog lamps, rear spoiler, air conditioning, twin pod metres with oil pressure and G-sensor displays, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, cruise control, tilt wheel, and CD stereo with auxiliary jack.

The all-new Sentra offers considerably room over the model it replaces, with a more powerful engine that delivers better fuel mileage, and a CVT that has a more conventional feel than some. The base model doesn’t have a lot of features, but it keeps the price down, and even fully-loaded, the Sentra remains at the lower end of the mid-line scale where Nissan is positioning it. The SE-R models up the ante, offering even more driving fun but at a fraction of the price of a traditional sportscar, especially with the Spec V’s horsepower increase and six-speed manual gearbox.

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