Nissan's sporty Sentra returns with turbo power

Ronan Glon

Nissan is adding a turbocharged model to the Sentra lineup for the 2017 model year.

The Sentra SR Turbo harks back to a time when a turbocharger was used for all-out performance, not merely as a fuel-saving tool. It uses a new, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 188 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 177 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 5,200 rpm thanks in part to direct fuel-injection. The SR Turbo boasts 64 more horses and 52 additional pound-feet of twist than the standard, naturally-aspirated Sentra.

Also found under the hood of the Juke, the 1.6-liter spins the front wheels via an enthusiast-approved six-speed manual transmission. Buyers who want a two-pedal setup have to settle for a CVT with built-in shift points. Surprisingly, performance specifications have not been published yet.

Simply dropping a more powerful engine under the Sentra’s hood wouldn’t have cut it. Nissan added front springs that are ten percent stiffer than before, and SR Turbo-specific shock absorbers on both axles. A redesigned power steering setup increases feedback and makes the Sentra more dynamic to drive. Finally, bigger disc brakes on all four corners keep the extra power in check.

Engine aside, the SR Turbo is similar to the SR trim that it’s based on. That means the list of standard features includes cloth upholstery, heated sport seats for the front passengers, a five-inch display embedded in the instrument cluster, keyless entry and start, and soft-touch materials on the dashboard. A power-sliding glass moonroof with a tilt feature is also part of the SR Turbo’s standard equipment.

The list of options includes the SR Turbo Premium Package, which bundles features such as leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a HomeLink transceiver, navigation, and an Bose sound system that plays through eight speakers. The package also adds a blind-spot detection system and rear cross-traffic alert.

Read more: Nissan makes the Pathfinder more user-friendly for the 2017 model year

The 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo will go on sale before the end of the year. Pricing information will be announced in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.