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When it comes to compact sedans, the 2019 Nissan Sentra is a wallflower. It’s roomy enough for four adults, fuel efficient for its class, and packs just enough features to keep most buyers happy but fails to deliver on driving delight and design. We’ve rated it 4.8 overall as a reflection of its comfort, active safety features, value, but distinct lack of thrills. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2019, the Sentra gets a few updates to keep it current, including a new 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on higher trims, and a new SV Special Edition package that adds worthwhile functional,  safety, and convenience features.

The 2019 Sentra is available in S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, SL, and Nismo trims, with the latter adding a plethora of performance features that don’t add up to an especially cohesive experience

Review continues below

A soft suspension, dull steering, underhood muscle that’s the wrong side of adequate, and a droning continuously variable transmission (CVT) add up to an uninspiring driving experience.

Sentra SR Turbo and Nismo provide better acceleration from their turbo-4 engine—188 horsepower versus just 124 hp in other trims—but that’s not backed up by a big improvement in handling tenacity.

The Sentra delivers that new car smell combined with an outdated driving experience.

At least the Sentra has a spacious interior with comfortable seats and surprisingly nice materials in upper trims, but its design is behind the times. No hatchback version is available for added utility.

Standard automatic emergency braking on most trims helps keep the Sentra in line with its chief rivals, namely the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3. Fuel economy hovers around the 30 mpg range with the optional (and most popular) CVT.

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