The 2020 Nissan Sentra Is More Than Just Your Next Rental Car

All images: Nissan

Nissan has unveiled its 2020 Sentra at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, and this thing looks slick. Nissan has eschewed the frankly ridiculous “new cars must be round and soft” practice that no automaker has been able to shake for sharper lines and sleeker tech—and honestly, I’m entirely here for it.

The big changes are in the front and rear fascia. It almost looks like someone took a knife to the design and carved away some of the softer curves, leaving harder lines in its wake. It’s subtle, but it’s the kind of thing that will set it apart from the rest of the cars on the road.

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Nissan notes in its press release that the new Sentra will be two inches lower and two inches wider than the previous generation, making it a little more formidable and intimidating in terms of stance. Here’s more in terms of its specs:

The 2020 Sentra also features a new, fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque – increases of 20 percent and 16 percent respectively over the previous generation’s 1.8-liter engine. The new engine is also projected to offer improved fuel economy. Dynamic performance has been greatly improved through the use of a new independent rear suspension and a new rack electric power steering system.

Nissan makes a big deal out of its improved interior, and I have to admit that it does look nice. In the press photos available with the press release, the orange stitching matches the exterior paint. If that’s a feature available for all the different color options, that would be pretty damn awesome.

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The technology here also gets a nice upgrade with a seven inch touch screen and 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster with analog dials. The instrument cluster looks pretty nice—it’s a good blend of old and new. The touch screen? Well... it’s slightly less impressive.

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I’m not sure why, but it just doesn’t look particularly well-integrated. there are a lot of contrasting shapes going on here. It’s nice that there are still button options below the screen, but I just can’t vibe with the dials flanking each side of it. That blend of old-and-new that makes the dash so nice just doesn’t quite translate here.

For me, the changes to the exterior really carry the appeal of the updated Sentra. Some of the interior choices are great—but it’s nothing compared to the exterior improvements.

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About the author

Elizabeth Blackstock

Staff writer. Motorsport fanatic. Proud owner of a 2013 Mazda 2.