By Autoreviewman

The sporty Sentra is back with a new variant —the Sentra NISMO.  With a flamboyant look, complete with red stripe details, wider lower air intakes, rear diffuser, side sills, a lower stance, and a rear lip spoiler it certainly looks the part. From the outside, larger 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 215/45ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season performance tires distinguish the Sentra NISMO from its more staid siblings. Suspension tweaks means a half an inch lower ride than other Sentra’s, while the body kit helps to visually lower the car. Other NISMO-exclusive styling cues include: Black outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, Unique front LED daytime running lights, Chrome exhaust finisher, Chrome door handles and trunk finisher, and numerous NISMO badges and branding inside and outside the Sentra.

It looks the part, but the engine is not a super high performance variant. Powering the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO is a 1.6-liter turbo-four cylinder mated to a six-speed manual (a CVT is optional), the four cylinder mill is rated at 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.

Interior wise, the Nismo features soft-touch materials and hard, but durable plastics throughout the cabin. A nice touch is an Alcantara steering wheel with a red centering stripe, and performance bucket seats with extra firm side bolsters. Nismo badges abound on the floor mats, seats, and in front of the gearshift. Faux carbon fibre look detail, red trim accents and red stitching add a racy, tuneresque ambience to the cabin. It is a spacious interior for five passengers, a 15.1-cubic-foot trunk, and standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

On the road, the Sentra NISMO offers a sporty ride. Handling-wise, the Sentra’s Nismo’s monotube rear dampers help tighten the suspension to help control body movements. In addition up front, special spring rates and a specifically Nismo tuned electric power steering aid in more planted cornering. The ride itself is firm, yet not uncomfortable with no real issues to speak of.  The Nismo does offer an entertaining and satisfying driving experience for the money Nissan may add a more powerful engine combo in the next redesign of the Sentra in the future, but for now this Nismo Sentra offers adequate performance, a decent level of equipment, and well- designed tuner style looks for a great price. Highly recommended.

2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo  

Base priced from $25,698. Price as tested with options and PDE $27,598