With the next-generation model arriving for 2007, the 2006 Nissan Sentra and its SE-R and SE-R Spec V models receive only minor changes. A new six-CD changer is added to the Audio Fanatic Package on SE-R models; there are new Sapphire Blue and Sunburst exterior colours; and there are minor interior upgrades.

The Sentra uses a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder with a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic; the SE-R models carry a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that uses a four-speed automatic in the SE-R and a close-ratio six-speed manual in the SE-R Spec V. The SE-R makes 165 hp, the Spec V 175 hp.

The Sentra is available in the 1.8, Special Edition and 1.8 S. The 1.8 features 15-inch steel wheels, speaker pre-wiring (a radio is not included), manual remote mirrors, 60/40 folding rear seat, cloth seats, tilt column, and fixed intermittent wipers.

The Special Edition adds air conditioning, centre console, CD player with four speakers, power locks with keyless entry, power mirrors, power windows, and variable intermittent wipers.

The 1.8 S adds fog lights, heated mirrors, cruise control, seven speakers with subwoofer, cruise control, map lights, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter knob, and trip computer. ABS and side impact airbags can be added as options to this 1.8-equipped model only.

The SE-R includes four-wheel disc brakes, sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, side sill extensions, dual chrome tailpipe finishers, and SE-R seat cloth.

The SE-R Spec V adds performance-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, sport bucket seats with two-tone sport fabric, and fixed rear bench seat. An optional Brembo package can be added, which puts that company’s brakes on the front end, among other goodies.

The Sentra offers a bargain-priced entry into the Nissan family, but it really is basic; even less expensive competitors offer a radio in their entry-level models, and usually with a CD attached, and low-end cars with ABS, standard or optional, aren’t that rare anymore. The Sentra offers a fairly roomy interior, nice seating position and generous cargo space, but it’s getting long in the tooth, and the upcoming makeover will be welcome. The torquey little SE-R Spec V is still a great deal of fun for the price, though.

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