Small cars have been in something of a slump, as low gas prices lead people toward new small SUVs instead. Yet automakers have been updating their compact offerings at a quick clip, the latest example being the 2016 Nissan Sentra.
While not an all-new chassis, the refereshed Sentra looks far more like its Altima and Maxima stablemates, especially with the LED front headlights and styling lights available on higher trims. It’s the interior and technology where Nissan makes the most changes; the redesigned dash looks far more welcoming than the current model, while the in-dash entertainment adds Siri hands-free as an option. As now required to stay competitive, the Sentra gets the ring of safety sensors—fordward emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning and automatic cruise control.
All of which arrives, at least on paper, without damaging the low-cost image Sentra has among its buyers. Nissan says the 2016 edition will start at $17,605 for a six-speed manual version controlling the 130-hp motor, with a volume edition pairing most of the gadgets with an automatic CVT starting around $20,000.