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2012 Nissan Sentra

Posted: 01/17/2012 - 9:25 PM ET

When you first lay eyes upon the 2012 Nissan Sentra, you may ask yourself if itís really a 2012 model. The outward appearance of this yearís Sentra is overly drab and boring. The 2012 Sentra is available in 6 various models, including the 2.0, 2,0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, SE-R, and SE-R Spec V and range in price from an affordable $16,250 to a still affordable $20,810.

One thing that Nissan sedans built in the last 7 or 8 years is that they can be counted on to be consistently reliable, though not always the most comfortable of rides. In a sense, they are typically average to slightly above average and the 2012 Sentra is no different. Test-drivers are saying time and time again that the handling is so-so and the suspension could use a serious upgrade on all of the models. The suspension seems to catch every bump in the road and transfer that energy directly into its riders Ė or so it feels. On the bright side, the 2.0-liter, 140 horsepower engine allows this sedan to get an estimated 34 MPG on the highway, saving you both time and money at the pump. The engine is lightweight, and made up entirely of aluminum. The automatic transmission is equipped with state-of-the-art technology known as Continuously Variable Transmission. A CVT allows the engine to run at the preferred RPM, making for almost invisible gear shifts.

The interior given to this yearís Sentra is nothing special, although thatís not to say itís unattractive or shabby at all. The leather seats and interior panels are all either a light-tan or charcoal-black and make for an overall clean but bland look. Many test-drivers also claim that the seats are too firm for comfort on extended drives. The interior space can be surprisingly large, considering the size of the Sentra. The rear seats fold down so you can fit a bike, multiple bags, a couple dogs or whatever in the back. The steering wheel has volume and cruise control buttons on it so you wonít have to take your attention away from the task at hand. Donít worry about leaving your purse or even a laptop in view of potential thieves either. That 2012 Nissan Sentraís extra-big glove compartment has an initial small container that pulls away to reveal space large enough to accommodate a large purse, laptop computer or any of your other precious valuables.

One of the coolest technological features the Sentra has to offer is the music/GPS navigation system that is controlled by an initial touch of the touchscreen and completely voice-recognized thereafter. The XM satellite radio that comes free on some models, can even guide you around potential traffic jams and give you directions using a shorter route. The car comes with a Rockford Fosgate sound system that is sure to keep you entertained on those long road trips with your friends or family. Bluetooth capabilities allow you to simply push a button on the steering wheel and listen to your caller through the speakers in the car, while all you have to do is talk and drive. No fussing with a headset or Ė even worse Ė trying to get your phone out and up to your ear.

Safety hasnít been foregone either. With 6-standard airbags and high marks on test-crashes, you should feel safe having your family and loved ones ride in it. Especially helpful in wet or icy conditions, is the Vehicle Dynamic Control, which automatically reduces power and applies brakes to individual wheels. So there you have it. While the 2012 Nissan Sentra certainly isnít going to blow the competition away, it is definitely a reliable ride that is great for the price itís listed at.



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