- This is our first look at the next-generation Nissan Sentra compact sedan, courtesy of the closely related Nissan Sylphy that was just unveiled for the China market.
- Much-improved styling both outside and in suggests that the Sentra will be a more competitive entry in its class.
- Nissan says that we'll hear more about the new U.S.-market Sentra later this year.
It seems like the Nissan Sentra is about to come out of the doldrums. The China-market Nissan Sylphy that you're looking at is a close indication of what our next-gen Sentra sedan will look like, and it's a huge improvement in terms of styling if you ask us.
Visually lower, wider, and longer than the current Sentra sedan, this new model looks considerably less gawky and incorporates some interesting visual elements from Nissan's other sedans such as the Altima and Maxima. We're not quite sold on the "floating" C-pillar effect that's now a mainstay of Nissan designs, but the front and rear fascias look clean, and the surfacing treatments on the doors keep the car from looking too slab-sided.
Based on these photos, we're impressed by the looks of the interior, too. There's a compelling-looking dashboard layout with a tablet-style center screen and three circular air vents. Upscale touches such as diamond quilting for the seats and a large screen in the gauge cluster are nice additions, too.
The most likely choice for the Sentra's base powertrain is the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four from the Rogue Sport, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It produces 141 horsepower, a slight but useful improvement over the current Sentra's 130 horsepower from a buzzy, unrefined 1.8-liter four. We can also hope that Nissan will keep the more powerful turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four as part of the lineup. It makes 188 hp in the current Sentra SR Turbo and Sentra NISMO models and can be had with a six-speed manual transmission.
We won't know more official details about the U.S.-bound Nissan Sentra for a while, but Nissan does say that we'll hear more about it by the end of this year, suggesting that it will make its debut as a 2020 model and go on sale sometime either at the end of 2019 or in early 2020.
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