Remember the awesome Nissan Sentra SE-R from the 90s? It was plain and unassuming, but that badge on the back and a stint behind the wheel revealed something much more fun. Nissan hopes you forget about that car with the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo.
For awhile, the SR trim has been basically a sportier and flashier version of the regular Sentra, though not any faster. You would get the same 118 horsepower motor and uninspiring CVT transmission, but some nicer bodywork, a spoiler and alloy wheels.
For the 2017 model year Nissan has decided to give you a little more go to match the show with the addition of the SR Turbo model. The standard SR with the naturally aspirated motor will still be offered.
The SR Turbo gets the 1.6-liter turbo four cylinder and optional six-speed manual from the Juke. Engine output remains the same 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Nissan upgraded the spring and damper rates and added larger front brakes. However, if you plan on attacking some corners, don’t expect anything fancy like a limited-slip differential, offered in previous SE-R Sentras. Instead, Nissan says it optimized the car’s Active Understeer Control system.
Michael Bunce, Vice President of Nissan North America seems to be overly optimistic regarding the target market for the SR turbo:
“The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance...The SR Turbo builds upon the redesigned Sentra and adds 50 percent more horsepower and more than 40 percent more torque, as well as the upgrades where drivers will feel them. It’s truly the complete package for compact car buyers and enthusiasts alike.”
Pricing for the 2017 SR turbo has not yet been announced, but the current SR has an MSRP of $21,245 including destination. I wouldn’t expect a drastic deviation from that, especially since the upcoming 200 horsepower Hyundai Elantra Sport is set to be priced around $23,000. The 2017 SR Turbo model should provide a decent value if you want a little more punch in your affordable commuter sedan.
The Sentra SE-R of the ‘90s will be remembered fondly as an example of a time when Japanese brands actually cared about selling cars to enthusiasts. The 2017 SR Turbo will be remembered by a few people who added an extra $20/mo to their payment to get a turbo in their Sentra.