2020 Nissan Sentra Debuts In LA With New Engine And More Tech

The Sentra gets updated styling to match its sedan siblings

This is the 2020 Nissan Sentra as it just debuted at the LA Auto Show. At first glance, it looks like the Altima, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s no accident, as this model gets the updated V-motion grille and exterior styling to match its smaller Versa and larger Altima and Maxima siblings. More than six million Sentras have found owners since the model debuted in 1982, and this version represents the car’s eighth generation.

Beyond the updated styling, the highlight of the 2020 Nissan Sentra is its new engine. Nissan dropped the old 1.8-liter unit, instead going for a more powerful, larger 2.0-liter engine. The new naturally-aspirated unit produces 149 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 20 percent and 16 percent over the previous generation. The old turbocharged engine is gone, leaving this generation with the 2.0-liter as its sole propulsion. That engine mates up exclusively to a continuously variable transmission, so there’s no manual option or traditional automatic here.

The new 2020 Nissan Sentra gets independent rear suspension and a McPherson strut front suspension, which ought to help the car’s handling over old generations. Nissan also lowered the center of gravity by widening the track two inches and making the car 2.2 inches lower in height. Improved door and window seals, body sealing and use of more soft acoustic material makes the new Sentra quiter than old models, according to Nissan.

Safety and tech

Inside, the 2020 Nissan Sentra looks similar to its redesigned siblings. Again, no surprises there, including the 4.2-inch digital information display in the instrument cluster and a revamped infotainment display. Nissan simplified the trim levels down to just three — S, SV and SR — though all of them get Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 technology as standard equipment.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and land departure warning. High-beam assist, rear automatic braking and rear door alert also come as standard fare. SV and SR models support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and get an 8.0-inch infotainment system. SV models add 16-inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control and adaptive cruise control. Step up to the sporty SR, and you get 18-inch wheels, a darkened grille, LED lights all around, a rear spoiler and body side sill extensions, as well as sport seats.

Pricing for the 2020 Nissan Sentra isn’t available yet, but the car will go on sale in late January. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more Nissan news and updates from the 2019 LA Auto Show!