One of the greatest complaints through our permanent 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R, i m sorry we sent home about 18 month ago, to be its fun-sucking CVT. The gearless gearbox did no endear itself to our staffers, that were perplexed by its inclusion in what was an alleged to it is in a sporty sedan. This gearbox conundrum does no exist in the SE-R Spec V, however, as it it s okay a proper three-pedal six-speed manual. So, through the gearbox problem solved, go the Sentra become a legit sport-compact player?

On the powertrain front, the Spec V compares favorably to the competition. That is 2.5-liter I-4 renders 200 horsepower and 180 pound-feet that torque. These figures handily to win the likes the the Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and also Subaru Impreza. Plus, it"s got much more torque than the public Si. Much more important, that matches perennial segment leader (if you disregard body-style differences) Volkswagen GTI top top power, though it"s quick a considerable 27 pound-feet that torque. It"s no the greatest-sounding four-cylinder around, yet it"s much less harsh than the Lancer"s and also provides a wide torque curve with a straight powerband, which space agreeable traits to have actually in a performance-oriented motor. Unfortunately, it"s compromised by overly aggressive accelerator tip-in, which renders it an overwhelming to modulate entry until past the quarter-throttle mark. Torque steer is virtually absent, many thanks in part to the optional limited-slip differential that"s part of the $2200 Spec V Upgrade.

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The aforementioned six-speed go the job well, but it"s no buttery-smooth choose the box that you"d find in the Honda. Shifts room short and also precise, but the shifter feels notchy and also disconnected. The clutch is neither too hefty nor too light, v a great pickup point, critical positive provided the jumpy nature of the throttle.

Brakes space a likewise mixed experience. The 12.6-inch prior rotors are more than qualified of protecting against the little sedan quickly, however like the shifter, the pedal feel disconnected and provides little feedback.

Things are much better on the chassis side. The "sport-tuned" suspension is stiff, however not painfully so. Front and rear anti-roll bars execute a great job negating body roll, and, regardless of a beam-axle rear, handling is surprisingly neutral for a front-drive car, with an excellent turn-in and minimal understeer. Chassis rigidity is improved via a trunk-mounted V-brace. Unfortunately, the rear brace means the rear seats don"t fold down to boost cargo space.

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The Sentra"s steering is disappointing overall. The steering tower does no telescope, relocating only up and down. There"s not quite sufficient weight come it, yet most disappointing, there"s nearly no feel. Nissan supplies an electrical power steering system in the Sentra instead of a hydraulic one, and also these are infamous for sacrifice feedback in ~ the altar of efficiency.

The experience from the driver"s seat is mostly agreeable, if compromised. The watch from it, as well as from outside the car, isn"t great. The Sentra was never a good-looking car, and the minimal fascia tweaks added by the Spec V package do tiny to readjust that. Interior architecture is likewise bland, v acres of black color plastic as far as the eye have the right to see. The SE-R sports buckets have actually decent, but not great, bolstering that"ll be an excellent enough to store you in place throughout back-road hustling, yet not great enough for severe track-day duty.

On the to add side, the automobile comes well fitted at a good price point. Our loaded tester, which featured the abovementioned Spec-V upgrade package the adds a rearview camera, satellite radio, moonroof, vanity mirrors, and an eight-speaker 340-watt stereo in addition to the limited-slip differential, to add a $400 navigation package, $110 worth of floormats, and also $140 precious of splash guards, expense a reasonable $23,670. That"s less than the basic price of a GTI and also just $1420 more than our SE-R long-termer. Price have adjusted between then and now, that course, yet today"s base price difference in between the SE-R and the Spec V is a only $500.

That doesn"t do the Sentra SE-R Spec V a standard-bearer for the class, however it does do it a viable an option for those who desire a well-equipped sporty compact sedan with a reasonably powerful motor, don"t want to pay the extra premium to action up come a GTI, and don"t mind the absence of style.

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2010 Nissan Sentra SE-R
Base price$20,820
Vehicle layoutFront-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
Engine2.5L/200-hp/180-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission6-speed manual
Curb weight3050 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase105.7 in
Length x broad x height180.1 x 70.5 x 59.1 in
0-60 mph6.4 sec (MT est)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ21/28 mpg
CO2 emissions0.82 lb/mile
On revenue in U.S.Currently