I drove five new cars in the last two weeks. One of them is the all-new Nissan Sentra, handed to us before it’s even gone on sale in the UAE. It is always exciting to be among the first to test any new model, but this is simply an indirect replacement for the lowly Tiida sedan, so we had the lowest expectations from this one. We don’t like economy cars much. And we especially didn’t feel like driving anything built in Thailand. But the Sentra turned out to be the biggest surprise of this month, and quite possibly, the best car in its segment for the price.
We aren’t too keen on the styling, its tall profile easily visible to anyone with an eye for design. But from what we gauged, the public actually seem to like the styling, so we’ll just go with the flow here. It actually does look like a shorter Altima, which is no bad thing.
The interior design isn’t innovative, but the use of decent materials means it gets our seal of approval. There’s far less hard plastics in here than you’d find in, say, the Chevrolet Cruze or the outgoing Honda Civic.
But jeez, the most astounding feature of the Sentra is its cabin room. It might actually be more spacious than the Nissan Altima in the back seat. And to top it all, there are rear a/c vents and padded seat-backs for the knees as well!
The boot is also fairly big, as you’d expect from a car this tall.
The Sentra has turned out to be quite a charmer. Sure, it has several flaws, but they are massively outweighed by the sheer amount of metal you get for the price. This car just might be going on our recommended list. More in the full review.