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2015 Nissan Sentra: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions January 2017

While the 2015 Nissan Sentra looks nearly identical to its 2014 counterpart, the 2015 model came with a significantly higher level of standard features, including Bluetooth phone connectivity, automatic headlamps, a USB port and cruise control on all models. Also, Nissan raised the content level of the SV and SR models, making previously optional items such a 6-speaker audio system with a 5-inch display, SiriusXM, a backup camera, Nissan Intelligent Key, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter standard.

The compact 4-door sedan offers front-end styling and crisp details inspired by the midsize Altima, including LED-accented head and tail lamps. The Sentra has a roomy back seat, and at 15.1 cu ft., it has one of the largest trunks in its class. With recent weight-reducing measures and other refinements, the 2015 Sentra's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) help achieve an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy rating of 37 miles per gallon on the highway. A D-Mode step-shift program in the CVT helps reduce engine droning under acceleration.

Dual-zone automatic climate control and leather seating are standard on top-of-the-line SL models, and the NissanConnect with Mobile Apps featured on the SV, SR and SL trims includes hands-free text messaging and Google points of interest with send-to-car functionality.

What We Like

Optional NissanConnect apps; standard Bluetooth; handsome exterior; spacious back seat; roomy trunk; good fuel economy; convenience of Easy-Fill Tire Alert

What We Don't

CVT causes some engine droning; dull performance; low-grip tires; no power front seats

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2015 Sentra continues with the thrifty 1.8-liter double-overhead-camshaft 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. Output is a modest 130 horsepower, and it develops 128 lb-ft of torque. The base Sentra S model, which is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, has an EPA rating of 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg hwy.

A CVT is optional on the Sentra S and standard on the SV, SR and SL models. This drivetrain combination nets an EPA rating of 29 mpg city/37 mpg hwy. All Sentras are front-wheel-drive and use regular unleaded fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Sentra is available in S, S FE+, SV, SR and SL trims.

The Sentra S model is equipped with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, remote keyless entry, cloth seats, air conditioning, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, intermittent wipers, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, a trip computer, an outside-temperature display, 16-in steel wheels, dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, overhead airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, front seat-bottom-cushion storage pockets, and power windows, mirrors and door locks. New standard fare for 2015 includes automatic headlamps, cruise control, a USB port and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Options include an automatic CVT and 16-in alloy wheels.

The FE+ version of the Sentra S model comes with a rear spoiler, special low-rolling resistance tires, aerodynamic enhancements and the CVT.

The Sentra SV upgrades include premium cloth seat and door trim, a sliding front armrest, a backup camera, a 6-speaker audio system with a 5-in display, SiriusXM, hands-free text messaging and steering-wheel controls, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, a security system, NissanConnect mobile apps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and Easy-Fill Tire Alert. An optional Navigation package includes a 5.8-in touchscreen with voice recognition and Pandora radio. An optional Style package adds a sliding sunroof, 16-in alloys, a rear spoiler and more.

Moving up to the sporty SR trim adds fog lamps, 17-in alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, ground-effects side sills, a rear spoiler, a sport grille, a chrome-tipped exhaust, rear disc brakes, silver interior accents, heated front seats and premium cloth seat trim. An 8-speaker Bose premium audio system is optional.

The top-of-the-line SL trim also brings standard leather seats, simulated wood interior trim and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Pricing

Compact sedans are basic transportation for many buyers and often tend to be the choice of first-time purchasers. The Sentra was produced in good numbers, so there should be a solid supply of used examples to choose from.

For a better idea of the 2015 Sentra's price range, check out KBB.com, then search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2015 Sentra:

The driver's side front and rear door may not fully latch and these doors could open when the car is moving, increasing the risk for injury in a crash.

The front passenger seat belt bracket may deform if it is used to secure a child safety seat, potentially allowing the front passenger airbag (normally deactivated when a small child is seated there) to deploy in a crash and increasing the risk of injury to a child.

The occupant-detection system for the front passenger seat may not detect a seated adult or may incorrectly classify an adult as a child, resulting in the airbag not deploying in a crash and increasing the risk of injury.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2015 Nissan Sentra received an NHTSA 4-star overall rating, with four stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars for rollovers.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Sentra Good ratings for small- and moderate-overlap front impact, side impact, roof-strength, head-restraint and seat-crash performance. The 2015 Sentra was an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Nissan covered the 2015 Sentra with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Nissan certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can't have more than 80,000 miles on the odometer and must be no more than 6 years old. Every CPO Sentra undergoes a 150-point inspection and gets a Carfax report. The Nissan CPO warranty extends the original powertrain warranty to 7 years/100,000 miles, and it includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Additional warranty coverage on all major systems is available at extra cost.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Ford Focus -- Revised for 2015 with a facelifted exterior and updated but confining cabin, the fun-to-drive Focus is available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback. Engine choices include a 123-hp 1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder or 160-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, both available with a manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The sensational Focus ST model sports a manually shifted 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder but suffers from torque steer.

2015 Toyota Corolla -- Toyota's Corolla sedan got rebooted back in 2014 with a stylish, Camry-like exterior, as well as greatly increased rear-seat headroom and legroom. It also added the latest touchscreen infotainment and an LE Eco model with a CVT that's EPA-rated at 40 mpg hwy. It continues to be a top seller in the compact segment due to its reputation for good fuel economy, trouble-free operation and solid resale value.

Autotrader's Advice

The Sentra is basic transportation, but it offers a lot of features for the money. We recommend going with an SV, SR or SL model to get the better audio system with SiriusXM, hands-free text-messaging, the leather steering wheel and shifter, the backup camera and push-button start, as well as options such as navigation and a sunroof, which are not available on the base S model. The only reason to buy the base S model is the 6-speed manual transmission, which is unavailable on other trims. A slight droning engine sound associated with the automatic CVT takes some getting used to, but its fuel economy benefits are considerable, and the ability of the transmission to tailor ratios without delay can't be topped.

Look for a CPO Sentra or one that's seen obvious care and maintenance and has had any applicable safety recalls performed.

Find a Nissan Sentra for sale

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Certified 2015 Nissan Sentra S
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Used 2015 Nissan Sentra SR Premium
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Used 2015 Nissan Sentra SV
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Used 2015 Nissan Sentra S
Used 2015 Nissan Sentra
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Nissan Sentra: Used Car Review - Autotrader