Competition in its class: Honda Civic Si, Toyota Corolla S, Mitsubishi
MSRP for model tested: $27,036
Sporty, sleek and fun to drive, the 6-speed manual Nissan
Sentra Spec-V originally caught my eye while on a retreat for the preview of
the all-new Nissan Quest back in March. Immediately I got in touch with
Heather, from Cohn & Wolfe, and told her I had to try this car out.
Sure, it‘s not a traditional family car –
listed as a Performance Car on Nissan‘s website – but the
sporty Sentra does provide the space needed for kids/baggage/pets/friends
without being overly large or too family-4-door-car looking.
When I first sat in the driver’s seat I immediately noticed how comfy
the bucket seats are. The driver and front seat passenger have a rather cushy drive,
while the backseat leaves a comfortable amount of room for full-grown adults on
The Spec-V includes racing-inspired oil pressure
and G-sensor gauges, which, I presume, are to make the car feel a little more
like a race car; I personally found them a little overdone and silly. I think
it would have been a little more practical to remove the gauges, enlarge the
5-inch Nissan Navigation System screen and move the awkwardly placed upper
dash storage box above the screen to below. But then again, racing isn‘t
all about practicality, is it? Needless to say, these are small details that don‘t
necessarily make or break the car or its performance; and – to each their own, right?
Similarly with other Nissan vehicles, the Spec V has a
number of safety features, including: Nissan Advanced Airbag System with
dual-stage front airbags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors; driver
and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags; roof-mounted curtain
side-impact airbags: the cabin virtually becomes a padded room upon impact.
Just take my word for it. Don’t go trying it out.
Another pretty cool feature: hood-buckling creases. They
are designed to buckle the hood and control the deformation of the hood in the
event of a collision, I presume to lessen the damage to other components of the car as well as its occupants.
The list of standard options for the Spec V is extensive: the RearView Monitor – which, as
I mentioned, would be nicer if it were a little larger than 5 inches, keyless
entry, leather wrapped steering wheel (which is perfectly comfortable on those
chilly mornings), power windows and door locks, UBS input, and a fantastic audio system.
The 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 player
(or the Rockford Fosgate 8-speaker audio system included with the Sport
Package) provides the perfect sound
capable of drowning out my tone-deaf renditions of.
– well, nevermind
I really enjoyed the sporty ride. I like a peppy car, but
also practicality seeing as I have two small boys to tote around regularly. The
Nissan Sentra SE R Spec V may not be a traditional family car, but really, we don‘t
all necessarily want to have that traditional parent vehicle do we? The Spec-V is a great alternative to the traditional family
For more images of the Spec V, feel free to stop by my flickr!