Is the 2017 Nissan Sentra garbage?
This is my experience driving a throwaway car...
...and believe me, you'll understand why I call it a throwaway in a moment.
At the time I write this, my little car is in the shop getting some suspension work done, so this car was given to me as a loaner. It's a '17 Nissan Sentra 4,000 miles on the clock and still has that new car smell to it.
The one I have on loan is the S base model and sells new in Tampa Bay Florida for about $12K, which by modern standards is a cheap car.
There is one thing about this car that truly sucks
What sucks is the CVT, which means Continually Variable Transmission. There's a lawsuit going on at the time I write this because this specific transmission likes to randomly fail from overheating in the Sentra for any 2012 to 2017 model that has it.
This means the only way to get a good version of this car is to specifically seek one out with the manual transmission. If the stick isn't there, the car has a CVT, and it's junk.
Aside from that...
The '17 Sentra is one of those cars where you truly have no real input. To the best of my knowledge, it has steering-by-wire and throttle-by-wire. That in combination with the CVT means almost all your input is ultimately controlled by computer. Yes, you are the one driving the car, but you're really not controlling it.
But even with that being true, if it weren't for the CVT crapola, this is a car that could easily run 100,000 miles, provided all the computer controlled crapola doesn't fail.
With the manual transmission, this is actually a good $12K car
The Sentra is an excellent highway cruiser and also good for zipping around town. The engine has plenty of power and runs quiet. The suspension handles bumps and potholes easily. The dashboard is easy-to-read. The seats are comfortable.
These are my complaints about the Sentra (again, aside from the CVT crapola):
- The doors feel too stiff opening and closing (the rear doors in particular are horrible.)
- The hood noticeably vibrates/shakes when driving. This isn't felt in the car but I can see it.
- The A pillars are so thick that you can easily lose an entire car, bicycle or pedestrian in them.
- Placement of the third brake light at the bottom of the rear glass blocks rear visibility.
- The side mirrors could stand to be a little bit larger. They look big but they're really not.
- Front end seems to dive a bit when slowing and turning, but that could be because of the CVT.
- I can see filler material when the driver's door is open. Very ugly. Thankfully it's hidden when the door is closed.
All of the above is acceptable given the price of the car - again if it has the manual. I cannot say enough times to avoid that CVT like the plague. CVT = garbage car. Manual transmission = good car.
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