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2007 Nissan Sentra (1/2)
Grown up in size and position...

2007 Nissan Sentra - front side view.

2007 Sentra: a size and status leap forward, above the new Versa (below).

23rd January 2006.

It won't be just another new generation model.

This time, the new generation Nissan Sentra is a grown-up model on more than one count.

Of course, its dimensions have grown, but this is not the whole story.

It is the status of the well known compact model which changes from the entry-level category in Nissan's North American line-up, to the next level up, just above the new Nissan Versa which will handle the entry level position from this summer, with prices starting from around $12,000.

2007 Nissan Versa compact car, just under the new Sentra in size and price.

2007 Nissan Versa: it will take the entry level role from the Sentra.

Hence, the all-new 2007 Sentra will move up to fit between its smaller sister Versa and the bigger mid-size Altima and Maxima.

Both Versa and Sentra will play in the under $20,000 compact (Sentra) and entry-level (Versa) segments which account for nearly 1.9 million annual sales there (around 1.5 million compact unit, or 9.0% of the US market, plus 322,000 entry-level units, or some 1.9% of the market).

Scheduled to go on sale in fall 2006, the sixth generation Sentra will be introduced in North America just after the new entry-level Versa, first the 5-door Hatchback Versa which will be available in early summer 2006, before the 4-door Versa sedan follows in late 2006.

2007 Nissan Sentra - front side view.

2007 Nissan Sentra - back side view.

6th generation Sentra for 2007 (above)...

... and the current 5th generation Sentra (below).

2005 Nissan Sentra (old) - front side view.

2005 Nissan Sentra (old) - back side view.

Widening its compact offers, Nissan has many reasons to be even more optimistic about its continuing success in the U.S. market. With its luxury brand Infiniti, Nissan's combined sales passed the one million mark in calendar year 2005, with a total of 1,076,670 units representing an increase of 9.6% over calendar year 2004.

And that's just in volume terms. On an equally interesting point, Nissan has also increased its U.S. market share by over two points – from 4.0% in 1999, to 6.3% last year – while increasing, in the same period, its total vehicle sales (U.S. market) by 58%.

After size and positioning, the 6th generation Sentra got a technical leap forward, being built on Nissan’s new “C” platform, which is developed with Renault (Renault owns 44 percent of Nissan Motor while the latter owns 15% of the French carmaker) and adopted in the very successful C-segment Renault Mégane.

With the European brands reputation for dynamic suspensions, and the Mégane particular success in technical as well as in design terms, the new Sentra gets even more cards in its hands to seduce the young and trendy compact car target audience.

In the U.S., the 2007 Sentra will feature an all-new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or the fuel-efficient Nissan Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).

Inside, the cabin comes with useful features such as a 60/40 split double-fold rear seat, an optional hidden trunk storage compartment, an integrated overhead compact disc holder. It will be even available with a wide range of unusual amenities in its segment, like the luxury leather seating or the convenient Nissan’s Intelligent Key keyless entry system.

The 2007 Sentra is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. market at an expected starting price (MSRP) of around $15,000, equipped with power door locks and windows, side-impact curtain air bags and air conditioning. (2007 Sentra in more details).

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