The Nissan Sentra has the same 140 horsepower 2.0-liter inline four cylinder engine that’s used in the 200SX sport coupe. The 200 SX has a five-speed manual gearbox. In the Sentra, the gearbox was a four-speed automatic.
Handling is not sporty, but you get the same type of handling with the Nissan Sentra 200SX. It was compact car capable. We did have an opportunity to try the Sentra on my favorite back country roads and hills. While the gearbox spent a lot of time bouncing back and forth between gears, it handled the hills reasonably well and handled the curves reasonably well. Again, this is not a sports car but a compact sedan.
The interesting instrument arrangement that has worked its way down the food chain from the Maxima consists of black-on-while dial faces that covert to white lights on a black background at night. It’s easy to understand once you see it work, but you have to think twice about it the first time you see it.
The heating/cooling system did an excellent job of keeping us cool in some hot weather, and the AM/FM stereo sound system, with in-dash cassette and CD players, kept us entertained.
Sentra is probably stuck in the middle of a large crop of compact sedans. It’s an extremely competitive and crowded market. And while the Sentra is capable, on a scale of 10 it rates as a 6 or 7. With a little more insulation around the engine compartment and a manual gearbox, it could be far more enjoyable to drive.