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All-new 2013 Nissan Sentra compact sedan comes lighter
With better fuel economy and higher levels of equipment

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: front-side.

The Sentra SR gets 17 inch 5-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels.

05 Sep. 2012, Tony Kanaan: With U.S. deliveries starting this fall, the all-new 2013 Sentra will be Nissanís third of five all-new vehicles being introduced in 15-month, following the recently unveiled Nissan Altima and Pathfinder.

The Japanese brand says that despite its slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room, the new Sentra is 150 pounds (68 kg) Ė or five percent Ė lighter than the outgoing generation, allowing the use a more fuel-efficient 1.8-litre engine (1.6-litre in the 2012 Versa), which along with the new Xtronic CVT with sub-planetary gear, will improve EPA combined fuel economy.

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: profile.

The wheelbase  is longer by 0.6-inch (15.24 mm).

With a family resemblance to the 2013 Nissan Altima, the new Sentra adopts Nissanís new signature trapezoid-shaped grille and large wraparound headlights with standard LED accents, like the also standard rear LED taillights.

Compared to its predecessor, the beltline has been lowered with a new line running from the front fenders, along the sides, to the sculpted taillights and trunk lid. Other features include chrome door handles and accents, optional heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, and also optional sport front and rear fascias and rear spoiler.

 Dimensions

Dimensionally, the 2013 Sentra comes with a 0.6-inch (15.24 mm) longer wheelbase (106.3 inches, 2700 mm, instead of the previous 102.4 inches) and a 2.3-inch (58.4 mm) longer body (182.1 inches, 4625 mm).

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: rear-side.

The front overhang is shorter while the rear one is extended.

While the front overhang is shorter, the rear one is extended, giving an enhanced rear seat legroom (37.4 inches, 950 mm) and better trunk (boot) space (15.1 cubic feet, 428 litres), with 2.0 cubic feet (56.6 litres) more than the in the previous generation.

The roof is slightly lower (-0.6 inches, -15.24 mm) and the body is also slightly narrower (-1.2 inches, 30.5 mm) than in the outgoing model. However, Nissan points out that the 2013 Sentra still offers nearly identical total interior volume (111.0 cubic feet / 3143 litres versus the previous 110.8 / 3137 litres). The aerodynamic improvement is reflected in a significantly reduced coefficient of drag, from 0.34 to 0.29.

 Engine

The new Sentra features an all-new engine and CVT transmission. Displacing 1.8 litres, Sentraís DOHC 4-cylinder engine is equipped with a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system which modulates both the intake and exhaust valve opening time (similar to that used on the Nissan Maxima). The output is rated at 130 horsepower (was 109 horsepower in the 2012 model) with 128 lb-ft (173 lb-ft) of torque (was 107 lb-ft, or 145 Nm).

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: interior.

The Sentra SR: sport silver trim with sport cloth seats.

Compared to the previous CVT, the new Xtronic CVT is lighter and more fuel efficient, with a wider gear ratio of 7.3:1 through use of a sub-planetary gear and smaller pulleys, for better high-speed fuel efficiency at low rpm and responsive acceleration. A six-speed manual transmission is available in the base Sentra S model.

Fuel economy is rated (with the CVT) at 30 U.S. miles per gallon (City, equivalent to 36 UK mpg, 7.84 litre/100 km and 12.75 km/litre), 39 mpg (Highway, 46.8 UK mpg, 6.03 l/100 km and 16.6 km/litre) and 34 mpg (Combined, 40.8 UK mpg, 6.92 l/100 km and 14.45 km/litre).

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: gearshift with gater.

New Xtronic CVT gearshift with sport silver trim.

Nissan adds that the Sentra FE+ models achieve up to 40 US mpg on the highway (equivalent to 48 UK mpg, 5.88 L/100 km and 17 km/litre). Other CVT-equipped models are rated at 39 US mpg (46.8 UK mpg, 6.03 L/100 km and 16.6 km/litre) on the highway.

 Equipment

The 2013 Sentra is available in S, FE+ S, SV, FE+ SV, SR and SL trim levels. All models come with standard Xtronic CVT, except the base Sentra S that is available with a choice of 6-speed manual or CVT.

The Sentra S standard interior features include the 60/40 split folding rear seat, AM/FM/CD system with four speakers, 6-way manual driverís seat, front centre console with padded armrest and cup holders, rear seat armrest with upholders, air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter, tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows with driverís one-touch auto up/down and auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets, remote keyless entry, remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.

 Options

Optional systems (depending on versions) include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 4.3-inch colour display, USB connection for iPod and other compatible devices, a Bose Premium audio system with eight speakers and an amplifier that has been tuned to either the cloth or leather interior.

2013 Nissan Sentra sedan: headlight with LED.

Large wraparound headlights with standard LED accents.

Other options include the SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required), Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, the NissanConnectSM with Navigation (provides a hands-free text messaging assistant that reads incoming text messages and allows drivers to reply without taking their hands off of the steering wheel), Pandora radio capability, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth and a large 5.8-inch touch-screen display.

The optional navigation system includes NavTraffic and NavWeather functions (separate subscription required), along with POIs powered by Google and Google Send-to-Car functions. The Navigationís map views now features warnings for curves and speed limit information.

Other optional technology covers the RearView Monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with illuminated push-button ignition switch, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert feature (if air is being added or removed from a tire, the system signals the user when the recommended tire pressure has been reached by sounding the horn), the NissanConnectSM with Navigation system, leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, rear disc brakes, power sliding glass moon roof and RearView Monitor.

Available wheels and tires include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers with 205/55R16 size all-season tires or 17-inch aluminium-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires.

 Versions

Above the basic Sentra S version, the Sentra SV models add cruise control, two additional speakers, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, vehicle security system and premium cloth seating / door trim.

The sportier Sentra SR adds 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, sport front grille, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher. Inside, it features sport silver trim, premium sport cloth seats and driverís seatback pocket.

The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds 17-inch split 7-spoke aluminium-alloy wheels, Smart Auto headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, Nissan Intelligent Key, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, 6-speaker audio system with 4.3-inch display and Sirius XM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever knob, maple wood-tone trim, dual zone automatic temperature control (ATC), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert. 

The new Sentra has an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar, power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum braking system (4-wheel disc brakes are optional), and vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering.

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