2007 Nissan Sentra Page 1

by Ken Zino




2006 Detroit Auto Show Index by TCC Team (1/7/2006)

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1999 Ford F150

1999 Ford F150

The Sentra that makes its debut at the 2006 North American International Automobile Show in Detroit is the latest example of the trends shaping what was once a conservative, high volume segment in the U.S. Dominated initially by a few Japanese makers, and now stretching back 30 years to the first fuel crisis in 1975, each successive generation of “compact” cars such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Mazda3 grew larger, heavier, more powerful, and sophisticated. Makers reinterpreted or supplanted initial virtues of affordability and fuel economy, as the cars became more “aspirational”—an industry euphemism for pricier, in what is still referred to as the economy car class.

No surprise then that the all-new Sentra is larger than the outgoing sedan, with what Nissan hopes will be class-leading interior space (among the leaders?) by the time Sentra appears in dealer showrooms in the fall of 2006. The five-passenger sedan, according to Nissan, has a passenger volume increase of more than 9 cubic feet – up to 97.7 cubic feet compared with previously. In the front, headroom, shoulder room, and hip room have all increased. Rear shoulder room, knee room, and headroom are better as well. 

Cargo volume of 13.1 cubic feet is an increase of 1.5 cubic feet over the 2006 Sentra. The trunk can handle longer or larger items since the size of the trunk pass-through opening is also bigger.  Combined with a new 60/40 split double-fold rear seat -- the bottom cushion folds forward, allowing the seat back to fold flat – it is an up-to-date package. This is badly needed, as the current Sentra dates to 2000, an eternity given the pace of competitive actions.

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