The Nissan Sentra might be synonymous with the term “rental car,” however, the all-new 2020 rendition is out to change your mind. With completely new looks inside and out, a new engine under the hood, and better driving dynamics, the Sentra is ready to make a bigger splash in the compact carpool while getting the Honda Civics attention in the process. Here are five ways in which we think the new 2020 Sentra is actually better than the leader of the pack.
Unlike previous Sentra models, which came with a choice between two different engines, the new Sentra offers only one engine choice for 2020. Nissan forwent a turbocharged setup in favor of a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 149 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.
It could be better in the horsepower department, however, the Civic’s equivalent 2.0-liter engine only produces 138 lb-ft of torque. It’s a tiny contrast, we know, but every bit of torque counts when it comes to having quicker acceleration.
No turbo lag
Speaking of the Sentra’s naturally aspirated engine, another plus side is that it lacks the turbo lag that the Civic has. Sure, the lag might not be that much, however, lag is lag and it can feel like a lot of time and momentum lost with the hesitation it causes under hard acceleration situations.
The base Nissan Sentra has a starting price of $19,090 compared to the Civic LX’s entry price of $19,850. It’s not a huge price difference, but the difference between a fully-loaded Nissan Sentra in contrast to a similarly equipped Honda Civic is around $2,000, which is a pretty big difference.
Dark-contrasting roof design
Some may not care for black-contrasting roof designs, but love it or hate it, we think it makes the Sentra look much sportier. Its new redesign came with a very bold stance and athletic look, which is further accentuated by the black rooftop. The Honda Civic, on the other hand, doesn’t have that kind of attention to detail.
Handsome interior styling
We know, looks are subjective, but we have to admit, the Civic’s interior is getting a little long in the tooth right about now, especially considering it’s existed for the past four years. The Nissan Sentra received a handsome new interior complete with higher-quality materials and classy styling cues that make the Civic look even more outdated. We especially dig the use of Zero Gravity seats, which are also found in other Nissan models.
Does it dethrone the king?
While the new 2020 Nissan Sentra is making quite the statement, we think that a newly redesigned Civic could possibly blow it out of the water. But we will have to wait, so the recently refreshed Civic will have to stand its ground for now.
While we can’t say that the Nissan Sentra is completely leaps and bounds better than its Honda rival, we can at least say “good job” to Nissan in creating this new version of the Sentra. These five features, along with other positive aspects, make it a formidable component in a very tough roster of competitors.