Consumer Reviews Summary
15 of 16 (93%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2012 Nissan Sentra Overview
Virtually unchanged from last year, the 2012 Nissan Sentra continues to do battle in the competitive compact segment and holds its own.
The Sentra comes with seating for five and this sedan is available in no less than six trim levels: 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, and the sportier SE-R/SE-R Spec V trims. Looking at the Sentra, what stands out about it is its size, notably its height. 2.0 SR and SE-R trims get their own unique grille, front and rear fascias, and side skirts to separate them from their less sporty stable mates.
Peek under the hood of most trims of the 2012 Sentra and you’ll find a 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 147 pounds-feet of torque. The SE-R gets a larger and more powerful 177-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while the SE-R Spec V tops the pile with a 200-horsepower version of the same engine. The majority of Sentras (except the base trim) come equipped standard with an efficient CVT transmission. Moving up to the SE-R adds paddle shifters which gives you some more control, while the Spec V gets a close-ratio six-speed manual.
Fuel economy for the Sentra is decent, but falls short of the top competitors in this segment. With the CVT equipped the Sentra checks in at 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The more powerful SE-R dips those numbers to 24 and 30 respectively, while the Spec V and its six-speed manual only gets 21 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway.
When it comes to interior features, much of them are optional which allows you to configure the Sentra exactly to your liking. Standard features include air conditioning, power windows and locks, and an auxiliary input jack. From there, the Sentra can be outfitted with keyless entry and ignition, Bluetooth® connectivity, USB port for iPods, a navigation system, or a rear view camera. Both of the SE-R trims get special cloth seating with special embroidery, as well as special instrumentation that relays information to the driver including lateral g-forces and oil pressure.
The 2012 Sentra was rated at four stars overall (out of five possible) by the NHTSA for its performance in crash tests. Standard safety features include six airbags, stability system and traction control, and antilock brakes. A rear view camera is optional.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the standard Civic or Corolla in the compact segment, the 2012 Nissan Sentra won’t steer you wrong. And if you plan on carrying people around more often, the larger Sentra is better suited for passengers than most other compact sedans.