Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

An orange 2021 Nissan Sentra is shown from the side parked in a modern gallery.

The 2021 Nissan Sentra: The Ultimate Daily Driver?

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but brand new vehicles don’t always have to cost a fortune. While you might think that buying a vehicle filled with modern tech should be costly, that myth has been debunked thanks to value-friendly automobiles from household name manufacturers. We’ve seen it multiple times before, when a vehicle that one would think costs more than it does can be found at a reasonable price, and Nissan is a master of affordable options. There was never a concern whether or not the 2021 Nissan Sentra would be a success, but the results have been, in many ways, exactly what we hoped for. For an incremental upgrade to an already fantastic automobile, there are a few important things that you should know, so let’s discuss them.

First and foremost is the affordable pricing of the 2021 Sentra, which is already a compelling reason for considering this vehicle. If you’re already interested in a Sentra, you may be aware that it’s not exactly a powerhouse, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic vehicle for a daily driver. The Sentra starts at an MSRP of $19,460 for the base model S, and this lends itself to being a viable option for drivers who want a brand new vehicle but are on a stricter budget. SV is the next available trim, and it brings a few additions to the Sentra, most notably Intelligent Cruise Control, a newer and more reliable form of cruise control that will adjust your speed automatically rather than only holding one that you’ve set. Lastly, the SR is the best trim for the Sentra and isn’t priced that much higher than the base model. This extra cost, however, will grant you LED headlamps that emit brighter light and an upgrade to 18-inch wheels.

The Efficiency King

The 2021 Nissan Sentra isn’t marketed to the kind of driver who wants a vehicle with over 250 hp and a 10-speed automatic transmission; it’s far simpler. There is only one powertrain that you’ll find in the 2021 Sentra, and it begins with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that comes paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan CVTs provide a smooth ride and exceptional fuel economy when compared to traditional geared transmissions. Those older designs aren’t an option with the new Sentra, but we don’t suspect too many drivers will be turned away by this. However, we would recommend upgrading to the SV or SR trims for their more capable four-wheel disc brakes.

Equipped with this 2.0L four-cylinder engine, the 2021 Sentra performs identically to last year’s model, which was a departure from the previous 1.8L engine found on models from 2019 and earlier. The new 2.0L engine produces 149 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, meaning that the Sentra is certainly not the weakest new vehicle that you can purchase today, not by a long shot. The most impressive part about Sentra’s powertrain for the past couple of years has to be its fuel efficiency, and you can expect 29 MPG city and 39 MPG highway. This balance of reasonable power and exceptional efficiency is a large part of what makes the 2021 Sentra such a great choice for a daily driver or commuter vehicle.

A white 2021 Nissan Sentra is driving through a city passing two pedestrians.

Standard Nissan Safety Shield 360

Safety features for the 2021 Sentra are important to discuss because far too many value-oriented vehicles cut corners when it comes to safety, sometimes nearly disregarding driver-assistance features altogether. With Nissan being a manufacturer with a reputation for safety, the Sentra is an exception to that general rule. Instead, every model comes equipped with Nissan Safety Shield 360. This is a massive advantage to anybody considering the 2021 Sentra includes a plethora of advanced safety features while being available on a car that starts at less than $20,000.

Incredibly, Nissan Safety Shield 360 even includes Rear Automatic Braking standard. This system combines the use of sensors and a rear-facing camera to determine whether or not you’re backing up too close to an obstructing object and will stop your vehicle to prevent any damage. Backing up can be a dangerous part of driving, but very few manufacturers offer this feature on their affordable models. The Sentra’s Rear Automatic Braking is complemented by the integration of Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This safety feature will come into play in situations such as reversing your vehicle out of a parking space in a busy parking lot. Should another vehicle be passing by while you’re backing up, the Sentra will signal an alert to prevent you from progressing further.

While Rear Cross Traffic Alert is the perfect safety feature to assist in preventing rear collisions, what about frontal collisions? For this, the Sentra includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection. Automatic Emergency Braking uses sensors much like the other safety features we’ve mentioned, but these are located on the front of your vehicle and can determine the distance between your car and other drivers ahead of you. If it detects that you’re approaching another vehicle too quickly, the Sentra will apply the brakes to prevent an accident from even occurring. Pedestrian Detection is built utilizing the same technology, but this feature will stop your vehicle before you potentially collide with a pedestrian.

Driving on the freeway is another area that could always use more advanced safety features. Additionally, driving on the freeway is part of daily life for many drivers across America, and as we’ve mentioned, the 2021 Sentra is perfect for freeway travel with its 39 MPG highway ratings. However, what makes freeway travel safer is the inclusion of standard features such as Lane Departure Warning, which is designed to maintain your awareness while on the road. It’s indisputable that even the most careful of drivers can get distracted by something unforeseen, and retaining your position on the road while on the freeway is crucial to getting to your destination safely. If you begin to deviate from your lane, the Sentra will alert you to reposition yourself.

Other safety features that come included as part of Nissan Safety Shield 360 include Blind Spot Warning, which will give you a visual alert should you be trying to switch lanes but another driver is blocking your blindspot. Lastly, High Beam Assist also comes standard, allowing your headlamps to automatically adjust between high and low beams according to the current visibility and traffic on the road you are driving on.

A red 2021 Nissan Sentra shows a close up of the front of the car driving on an open road.

A Popular Driver Today and Tomorrow

The 2021 Nissan Sentra is a model that you should most certainly keep a careful eye on if you’re in the market for a new car. At its current asking price, we’re hard-pressed to recommend any other vehicle in the segment simply because of how efficient and well-equipped the Sentra is. Although other manufacturers are beefing up the standard safety equipment offered in their affordable options, none have caught up to Nissan. Whether you’re a newly licensed driver seeking to acquire your very first brand-new vehicle or you’re a long-time Nissan fan upgrading from an older Sentra, the 2021 Sentra is undoubtedly going to be the perfect daily driver, and its popularity reflects this.

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