2013 Nissan Sentra: Car Seat Check

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With its 2013 redesign, the Nissan Sentra grew 2.3 inches in length to 182.1 inches. The backseat also increased in size over the 2012 Sentra. The compact sedan has 37.4 inches of rear legroom versus the 2012's 34.5 inches. When we installed car seats in the 2012 Sentra, we had to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate rear-facing child-safety seats. That's no longer the case with the redesigned 2013 Sentra.

By Jennifer Newman | July 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Honda Civic Versus 2013 Nissan Sentra

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In our makeshift compact-car Olympics, our long-term 2013 Honda Civic has had a bumpy ride. It trounced the outgoing Toyota Corolla but was KIA by a Kia — the brand's redesigned 2014 Forte. It wasn't the fairest fight, given our particular Forte test car stickered for considerably more, but then again, so did our test Corolla, which lost big anyway. This time around, we pit the Honda against another redesign: the 2013 Nissan Sentra, a car that went on sale in October 2012. Sentra sales are up 18.7% through June, but the Civic still outsells it by more than a 2-1 ratio — an extension of sales history, where the Civic has thumped the Sentra for the past decade.

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Sales popularity and strength of product often have little relation, though (see the Corolla review). We received an automatic-equipped Sentra SL, which had a few more features than our Civic LX — most notably dual-zone automatic climate control, alloy wheels and a navigation system. Still, its $21,370 sticker, including destination, came closer to the Civic's $19,755 than the optioned-out Forte EX or absurdly equipped Corolla S.

We drove the new Sentra in 2012 and came away unmoved, but back-to-back competitive drives always shed more light. Editor Kelsey Mays and Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder drove the new Sentra alongside the Civic to find out.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | July 17, 2013 | Comments (25)

What's the Most Affordable Compact Sedan?

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Car shoppers want a long list of features in a new car, even if that car is a compact sedan that starts around $16,000. That starting price usually doesn't include what many consider "must-have" features — chief among them an automatic transmission.

We took 11 compact sedans and looked at their prices when equipped with the following features:

  • Automatic transmission
  • Cruise control
  • USB input
  • Remote entry
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel audio controls

It may seem like a simple search, but if you're looking at a new Nissan Sentra, Dodge Dart or Volkswagen Jetta, you'll need to know the specific trim level, options and option packages to ensure you won't regret not having that one missing feature.

We took those as-equipped prices and then added five years of fuel costs to come up with the most affordable compact sedan on the market.

Having recently purchased our long-term Honda Civic that has all of these features in a base model, we thought it had a good shot of scoring well here. But the results were somewhat surprising, especially in terms of what car was No. 1.

By David Thomas | May 8, 2013 | Comments (15)

Nissan Slashes Prices Across Lineup

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Nissan is hoping to bolster sales by cutting prices on seven out of the 18 vehicles in its lineup. Starting May 3, prices on model-year 2013 Altima, Sentra, Juke, Murano, Rogue, Maxima and Armada vehicles will decrease by 2.7% to 10.7%, depending on the car.

The sticker reductions vary by model and, in some cases, trim level and will be applied to new vehicles, including those already in dealer inventory. At the low end of the spectrum, new Altimas, for example, could cost up to $580 less; a base 2013 Altima currently starts at $22,550, including destination. At the top end, the Armada's price tag could go down by as much as $4,400; Nissan’s full-size SUV currently starts at $42,285, including destination.

Why were these seven chosen? They make up around 65% of Nissan's U.S. sales volume, the automaker reported, and Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman told Cars.com that the lower prices will help the vehicles perform better when searched online, appearing more frequently and favorably against the competition.  

"While studying our market position against key competitors, there was an opportunity to increase buying consideration for those seven models by bringing MSRP more in line with transaction price," he said.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 1, 2013 | Comments (1)

Infographic: Headlight Regulations by State

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Laws governing different aspects of driving often vary by state, from distracted-driving rules to booster seat guidelines. Headlight use is one of them; a new infographic from Nissan illustrates each state's regulations. The automaker's Smart Auto Headlights — available on the Altima and Sentra sedans as well as the Pathfinder crossover — automatically turn on when the wipers are activated or in low-light conditions. Click the infographic above to enlarge the map.  

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 25, 2013 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: Airbag Problem Affects Millions of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda Vehicles

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Four Japanese automakers — Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda — have announced a voluntary recall of 3 million vehicles worldwide because of possibly faulty airbags; more than a million of those vehicles are in the U.S.

According to the automakers, the problem lies in the front-passenger airbag inflator, which in affected vehicles could deploy with too much pressure due to improperly manufactured propellant wafers, causing the inflator casing to rupture. This could result in injuries to passengers, though none have been reported. The airbags were manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., a major world supplier of airbags.

According to Toyota, affected vehicles in the U.S. include 510,000 Toyota Corolla compact sedans, Matrix compact hatchbacks, Sequoia SUVs and Tundra pickup trucks, as well as Lexus SC 430 sport coupes, all manufactured between 2001 and 2003. According to news reports, Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles worldwide.

Toyota said it will notify owners by mail. Dealers will inspect the front-passenger airbag; if it is equipped with an affected inflator, the inflator will be replaced with a new one for free. Toyota owners can go to www.toyota.com/recall or call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331; Lexus owners can go to www.lexus.com/recall or call Lexus customer service at 800-255-3987.

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2013 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2013 Nissan Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder, Sentra and Infiniti JX35

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Nissan is recalling a yet-to-be-determined number of model-year 2013 versions of the Altima sedan, Leaf electric car, Pathfinder crossover and Sentra sedan due to a problem with the front passenger air bag sensor, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The JX35 crossover from the automaker's premium Infiniti brand is also part of the recall.

A manufacturing defect could cause the occupant sensors in the front passenger seat to fail in the affected vehicles. If an accident occurs, the airbag may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury. Nissan is still working with its supplier to determine how many vehicles will be recalled but drivers of affected vehicles will notice "The (red) supplemental air bag warning light (SRS light) will illuminate to alert the vehicle operator and the (amber) front passenger air bag status light will illuminate to alert the front seat passenger," the automaker said in a statement. 

Nissan will notify owners starting in early April 2013, and dealers will inspect and replace the affected sensors for free. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 13, 2013 | Comments (54)

Recall Alert: 2013 Nissan Sentra

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Nissan is recalling 392 model-year 2013 versions of the Sentra compact sedan due to a faulty fuel tank assembly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Sept. 11 through Oct. 4, 2012 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb). In these vehicles, the fuel tank assembly may not have been properly sealed, which could result in a gas leak when the tank is full. This could lead to a fire. 

Nissan will notify owners starting March 18, 2013, and dealers will replace the necessary fuel tanks for free. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Join NHTSA's Five-Star Club

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Several new vehicles joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star club today, earning the top score of five stars overall in crash tests performed by NHTSA. New inductees are the 2013 Ford Fusion, 2013 Lincoln MKZ and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Meanwhile, the all-new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra didn't fare as well, with both having to settle for four stars overall.

The Fusion's and MKZ's front-, all-wheel-drive and hybrid models all received five stars in the frontal crash test and four-star ratings in side and rollover crash tests. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class' rear- and all-wheel-drive models scored five stars in the side crash test and four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests.

Both the C-Max Hybrid and Sentra fell short, receiving five-star scores in only the side crash test and four stars in the other two tests.

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By Matt Schmitz | January 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Nissan Sentra

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For 2013, the redesigned Nissan Sentra gets a 34 mpg combined city/highway rating, which is tops among commuter sedans, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. While the automaker softened the compact sedan’s look, adding curves where there were once hard corners, little else makes this five-seater with a roomy backseat and trunk stand out on the road. Will its higher gas mileage be enough to draw buyers?

2013 Nissan Sentra Review

By Jennifer Newman | October 25, 2012 | Comments (3)

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