Not exactly a Nismo, but it’s the most powerful Sentra you can buy

Redesigned for the 2013 model year, the Nissan Sentra received a complete overhaul inside and out. Similar to Nissan’s other sedans, the Altima and Maxima, as far as design goes, the Sentra also gained more upscale features such as LED lights, a new navigation system, and premium options such as an eight-speaker Bose audio system. The 2016 facelift brought an even more attractive exterior, with sporty cues borrowed from the Maxima, and an interior that longer lacks dual-zone climate control, navigation, and a backup camera. Although the 1.8-liter engine carried over mostly unchanged, the sedan received a turbocharged mill for the 2017 model year, when Nissan launched the Sentra SR Turbo.

Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder backed by a turbocharger, the new SR Turbo packs nearly 50-percent more horsepower and almost 40-percent more torque than the standard model, making it the most powerful Sentra ever sold in the United States and the first full-fledged competitor for range-topping Honda Civic and Mazda3 models. This new model comes at no surprise, as Nissan not only toyed with various concepts in recent years, but is also looking to enhance the sales momentum of its third best-selling vehicle in North America.

"The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance. It’s truly the complete package for compact car buyers and enthusiasts alike" said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planing at Nissan North America.

Keep reading to find out what makes it special among other Sentras and how it stacks against its main competitors on the compact market.

Updated 09/26/2016: Nissan announced prices for the 2-17 Sentra SR Turbo that will be put on sale at the company’s dealers nationwide in October. Check out the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo.

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2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo
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An option on any Sentra model, the power-sliding glass moonroof comes standard on the SR Turbo

On the outside, there’s just one detail that sets the SR Turbo apart from the SR trim it is based on — the "SR Turbo" badge above the right tailight. Other than that, the SR Turbo benefits from the sporty upgrades that come with the SR, including lower side sill extensions, chrome exhaust pipes, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, and the multi-spoke, two-tone 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels that are unique to this model. The SR Turbo also features the SR’s LED headlamps, foglamps, and heated side mirrors with LED turn signals as standard equipment. An option on any Sentra model, the power-sliding glass moonroof comes standard on the SR Turbo.

To be honest, I expected the new trim to have a bit more extras on the outside, such as sportier bumpers and new wheels, but it looks like Nissan doesn’t want the SR and SR Turbo to be all that different. Too bad...


2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo
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Inside, the SR Turbo is once again based on the SR, featuring certain updates over the Sentra’s less expensive trim levels. The sedan comes with sports and heated cloth seats, a driver’s seatback pocket, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen for the Advanced Drive-Assist infotainment system. Siri Eyes voice recognition is also standard. Although leather upholstery would’ve been a nice addition for this range-topping model, it can only be had with the optional SRT Turbo Premium Package, which also adds Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Bose premium audio system with eight speakers.


2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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It’s under the hood where the SR Turbo really shines compared to the standard Sentra. While all the other trim levels, from the S to the SR and SL, are motivated by a naturally aspirated, 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, the SR Turbo gets its juice from a 1.6-liter turbo-four with 188 horses and 177 pound-feet. That’s a whopping 58 horsepower and 49 pound-feet improvement, which should translate into significantly quicker acceleration and higher top speed (no specs are available as of this writing). Also, because turbocharging usually means better fuel economy, the SR Turbo should return more than 38 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city.

2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo
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The new unit mates to either a six-speed manual or the Xtronic CVT with manual mode, just like the rest of the Sentra lineup.

Upgrades also go beyond the engine, as the sedan also features a revised steering system for more precise handling, and a unique suspension setup for more spirited driving. A pair of larger front disc brakes keep all that extra power in check.


Pricing for the SR Turbo starts from $21,990, for both the manual and automatic transmission models. This sticker places the model between the standard SR, which comes in at $20,140, and the range-topping SL trim, which retails from $22,170. For reference, the base Sentra costs $16,780 before options.

Sentra SR Turbo 1.6-liter 6MT $21,990 USD
Sentra SR Turbo 1.6-liter Xtronic $21,990 USD


Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
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Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Honda Civic got bigger, lighter, and more modern inside, gaining the company’s latest technology and safety features. Under the hood, it comes with both naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Available in the EX-T, EX-L, and Touring trims, the 1.5-liter turbo-four cranks out 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Although that’s slightly less than what you get with the SR Turbo, the Civic’s more modern underpinnings means performance and fuel economy should be about the same. The downside is that this engine mates exclusively to a CVT, leaving those who want to enjoy the turbo power with a third pedal and a stick without an option. Pricing for a turbocharged Civic starts from $22,200 with the EX-T trim and increases to $23,700 for the EX-L and $26,500 for the range-topping Touring model.

Learn more about the Honda Civic here.


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior
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While the Toyota Corolla can’t be had with a drivetrain to match the SR Turbo’s ratings, the Mazda3 can be equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that packs an impressive 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. As far as features go, Mazda offers quite the comprehensive package in the more expensive trims, while a 2017 update brought in G-Vectoring Control, which adjust the engine’s ignition timing and torque based on steering inputs, and the i-Activ all-wheel drive system. The 184-horsepower Mazda3 is a bit more expensive than the Civic and SR Turbo, starting from $24,795. Update to Grand Touring and add the Technology Package, and the sticker jumps to more than $28,000. Unlike its competitors, the Mazda3 can also be had with a hatchback body style.

Find out more about the Mazda3 here.


2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Needless to say, the SR Turbo isn’t the SE-R or the Nismo model we expected to come with the Sentra’s recent mid-cycle facelift, but the new, 1.6-liter turbo-four is definitely a nice engine to have, especially with most of Nissan’s competitors in this segment offering similar options. But, while the drivetrain is pretty sweet for the Sentra, the SR Turbo comes with far too few upgrades inside and out. Or at least not the kind you’d expect on a range-topping model that’s also the sportiest of the pack. More aggressive bumpers, a unique upholstery options and maybe a bespoke instrument cluster would’ve made this Sentra irresistible when compared to similar trims of the Honda Civic and Mazda3, but it seems we’ll have to settle for just a more powerful engine and tweaked chassis for now. The good news is it’s a bit more affordable than most of its rivals, which should make the lack of proper exterior upgrades easier to cope with.

  • Leave it
    • Too similar to the standard SR inside and out
    • Not the Nismo versions fans have been requesting for years
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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Press Release

The new 2017 Sentra SR Turbo made its world debut today at the 46th annual Miami International Auto Show. Also making its debut at the show, which runs from September 10th through the 18th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is the new 2017 Nissan Rogue. The new Sentra SR Turbo joins the popular Sentra sedan lineup later this fall in Nissan showrooms nationwide.

Sentra is Nissan’s third best selling vehicle in the United States with sales up 11.2 percent this year (through August). The new Sentra SR Turbo is expected to help keep the sales momentum going by expanding its market reach.

At the heart of the SR Turbo is its new 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) turbocharged engine that delivers a 50 percent horsepower increase from the normally aspirated 1.8-liter Sentra SR powerplant. Rated at 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, the new SR Turbo engine offers 64 more horsepower and 52 more lb-ft of torque than non-turbo 2017 Sentra grades1.

To help handle the increased power and torque, the new Sentra SR Turbo also receives an enhanced body structure, revised steering system, larger front disc brakes, new 6-speed manual or Xtronic transmission with manual mode and unique suspension tuning. The result is improved acceleration from standing starts and highway passing, improved handling and enhanced ride comfort.

"The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "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."

The 2017 Sentra SR Turbo includes a standard power sliding glass moonroof and SR Turbo badging. The SR Turbo Premium Package, the only option package available with the SR Turbo, includes Blind Spot Warning (BSW)2, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)2, leather-appointed seating and Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers.

All Sentra SR models feature LED low beam projector headlights with LED accents, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights, chrome exhaust finisher, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, and unique design 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires. Inside, Sentra SR includes sport interior trim, premium sport cloth seats, driver’s seatback pocket, heated front seats, a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) and standard Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition.

In addition to the new SR Turbo (6MT and Xtronic), the 2017 Nissan Sentra is offered in four other grade levels: Sentra S, SV, SR and SL (Xtronic).

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