2024 Nissan Sentra SR Premium

The Sentra may lag behind its key competitors in a few areas, but bang-for-your-buck isn't one of them
The Sentra may lag behind its key competitors in a few areas, but bang-for-your-buck isn't one of them

by Jon Pangindian | June 4, 2024


Most people wouldn’t be surprised that the Rogue is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in North America, but what would surprise most people is that the Sentra sits comfortably at number-two, leaving everything else Nissan makes in the dust. What is it about the 2024 Nissan SR Premium that makes it so popular?

Introduced in 1982, the Sentra has gone through several generations and remained a steady seller for Nissan, but it has never achieved the same level of respect as the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The Civic has always come across as the sporty-ish option and the Corolla the more comfortable, but where does this leave the Sentra? Nissan has experimented with sportier versions over the years, but nothing never really stuck. Today, however, you can’t argue with what you get for the money.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this current-generation Sentra is the best-looking of them all. It looks like an Altima but slightly more compact, with clean lines and sporty touches, like two-tone paint, a subtle body kit and lip spoiler, and 18-inch wheels. This year sees a very subtle refresh inside and out, though you’ll need to park this 2024 model beside a 2023 to really tell them apart. Either way, it’s a lot better-looking than any Sentra that came before.

Inside, you won’t be overwhelmed with big screens and advanced tech. This 2024 model still makes do with analog gauges, an eight-inch touchscreen for infotainment, so-so material quality overall, and you still have to plug in your phone to use Apple CarPlay and Anroid Auto. But the flip side to this basic layout is that everything is easy to use, everything is where it needs to be, and everything is easily within reach. Four adults will sit quite comfortably; those over six feet tall may feel a bit claustrophobic overall, but compact sedans where I can easily sit behind myself are the exception, not the rule.

While the Sentra looks sporty, its powertrain is a letdown. You can get it with a six-speed manual transmission, but the only engine available is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. In this SR Premium tester, your only transmission option is a CVT; it has also been tweaked this year for better fuel economy and smoother operation compared to the outgoing model. Compared to the last Sentra Midnight Edition I tested, it does feel much improved, but acceleration is still adequate at best and passing power on the highway will leave you wanting. The engine is also quite noisy when asked to work hard.

But as a daily driver, the Sentra shines. Push it hard through a corner and there’s a fair bit of body roll, and the all-season tires don’t provide much grip, but overall ride quality is comfortable, and it does an admirable job soaking up potholes. Fuel efficiency is another high point; Nissan rates the Sentra at 7.4 L/100 kilometres city, 6.1 highway, and 6.8 combined. I achieved 7.8 L/100 km combined. It’s a way’s off from Nissan’s ratings, but  pretty good considering I spent almost the whole week in sport mode and driving with a heavy foot. Keeping with the budget-friendly theme, regular fuel is all that’s needed here.

For buyers looking at a comfortable and value-packed daily driver to get them from point A to B, the Sentra fits the bill. You can get into a base Sentra for just over $22,000 to start before fees and taxes, though the SR Premium trim we have here goes for $30,648 as-tested. This model comes standard with a continuously variable transmission, a power sunroof, LED headlights, leatherette seating, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, a 360-degree camera, and much more. Considering how expensive new cars can be today, the Sentra has one of the lowest cost of entries in the segment, trailing just behind the Hyundai Elantra, which starts at $21,999.

With the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla at the top of their game, the 2024 Nissan Sentra SR Premium lags behind in a few areas. It could be more fun to drive, its interior could be a little nicer, and its tech could be a little more modern. But considering you can get into a fuel-efficient, comfortable, and well-equipped Sentra for under $30,000, money talks.



Vehicle Specs
Compact sedan
Engine Size
2.0L normally aspirated four-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
149 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
146 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
404 L
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé