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Available Sentra Sedan Models
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The Sentra has been completely overhauled for the 2000 model year. A better ride, more powerful engines and a new enviro-friendly version top the bill, and we likes what we sees.
The Sentra has always held a special place in our hearts in the fun-to-drive department, but compact car buyers overlooked it in favor of the more popular Corollas and Civics. For the 2000 model year, Nissan has overhauled the entire car, designing the first Sentra to be made exclusively for the U.S. market. What kind of car do they think Americans want?
First, a better looking one - the new Sentra sports a lower hood, body-colored bumpers and grilles, new fascias, and character lines which gives it a touch of class. But compared to the Ford Focus, the result is typically generic. The interior has been revamped as well, with an increase of 3.0 cubic feet in passenger volume, higher quality materials, and a revised instrument panel.
Second, they address our packrat tendencies with lots more storage space - a larger and more accessible trunk, and cubbyholes galore to hold all our gewgaws.
Third, Nissan claims that enhanced safety ratings are achieved through a stronger platform and a "two-zone" body structure, which incorporates an energy-absorbing zone and a safety restraint zone. Better handling is another result of the improved platform, and the enhancements have been duly noted. The car rides more smoothly and quietly, almost evoking a much more expensive sedan.
Fourth, lots of options -- standards include power windows, locks, air, AM/FM/CD stereo system, dual airbags, and three-point seatbelts. Three trim levels are available nationwide -- the XE, GXE and SE. The first two are offered in either the new 1.8-liter version whose engine produces 126 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 129-foot-pounds of torque at a low 2,400 rpm, or the SE, powered by a 2.0-liter inline four which puts out 145 horses at 6,400 rpm and 136 foot-pounds at 4,800 rpm. All are mated to a standard five-speed manual. A power-assisted front disc/rear drum braking system is standard on all models but the SE, where four-wheel discs are offered. ABS is optional on the GXE and SE.
Another version, the CA (Clean Air), will be available in California -- as the low-sulfur gasoline utilized by the CA is only available in California in limited-production numbers. This car will appease all those environmental freaks on the West Coast -- it meets zero-evaporation standards, eliminating harmful airborne pollutants. It's not a laggard in performance, either; the ride is just as pleasant as on the other Sentra models.
The 2000 Sentra really delivers in all of these qualities. With these refinements, the Sentra should have no problems competing for a piece of the compact car consumer's coffers. Nissan should be cognizant, however, of its ability to cannibalize its older brother Altima's sales volume.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.