Despite its age, the 2006 Nissan Sentra offers a decent amount of equipment for the money and there's plenty of fun to be had with the SE-R models. However, newer competitors are vastly superior when it comes to interior room and overall refinement.
by foxyirish on Jun 2, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Gas cap broken, it will not shut tight and will not open with pull switch inside the car. Trunk will not open by pull tab inside car or remote button. Will only open by key. Rear bumper loose and hanging on passenger side. Wheel bearings were replaced on driver rear within 6 months of purchase. Rear passenger side now need replaced. Difficult to start at times. I will NOT buy another Nissan Sentra. No freaking way.
by sentraowner on Nov 25, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
This is my 3rd Nissan Sentra. The first 2 lasted 240k and 320k. This one is heading for 400k if the body will hold. With the 1.8L engine, manual 5 spd transmission, Amsoil 0w-30 full synthetic oil, full synthetic in both the manual transmission and the transaxle, this car averages 38-44mpg with cruise control on and at 65 mph. I use my Garmin Nuvi to sync my speedometer and find it is 3mph slow. Bad points: Slow acceleration Good points: Great in the snow, even in WNY winters. Very reliable. Only dealer service I have had is having the belts (timing, alternator, water pump) changed every 60k. Oil changes at 10-15K miles using Amsoil filters.
by Carolina on Sep 13, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I am surprisingly disappointed with my choice. Special Edition, sounded great, looked good, systems is nice, but have been experiencing too many issues after the 16k mile. It's been dealer maintained only, and I drive less than the average doe. Windows not working, car not starting, had to take it 4 times for the same issue and finally, they got it right, issues with cheap belts breaking, serpentine and Alt Belt. Time consuming, very stressful to be broken down on the side of the road when you have a "NISSAN" under 20k miles. Unheard of before, and I owned several makes and models including Nissan in the early 90's, when their quality was much better, So I would think twice next time.
by Aaron on May 6, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Bought this car for gas mileage, but was also impressed with performance from the little 1.8. Very reliable, only problem so far is the heater control lite. car is pretty comfortable for the size, the back seat is tight, but who cares I sit in the front.
by SentraOwner2006 on Oct 7, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I have owned this Sentra for more then two years. The only thing that broke so far, was the CD player. It would not play CDs. Other then that I have no problems. I generally get 31 mpg and have no problems speeding up or braking. Back seat area is cramped if the car has passengers over 6 feet all. Seats are comfortable enough but the head rest could go an inch higher. The track area is great. Engine is noisy when going over 3.5 rpm. Overall I am very happy with the car and would purchase another Sentra.
by Fred on Jun 8, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
My wife and I really liked the Sentra when we test drove it. It was small (I am 6'2 and 250 lbs) but was comfortable enough for me to drive. There is no room in the back seat behind me when I am driving, but we are getting 38 mpg on the highway, and 33 - 34 combined and fuel efficiency was our goal. One thing that really disturbed me was the engine noise produced at 60 - 65 mph. There is a very audible whine that sounds a lot like electrical feedback. We had the transmission replaced, but the noise never went away. The dealership claimed that it was just part of the 5 speed Sentra. To their credit, I test drove another Sentra yesterday and it whined too. It may not bother you, but check
The Audio Fanatic package gains a six-disc CD changer this year, and some interior trim has been revised. The 2.5 S model has been dropped.
When Nissan introduced the current-generation Sentra in 2000, it hailed it as an inexpensive sedan that broke the mold for economy cars by offering sporty styling, numerous features and a fun-to-drive character. It may have sounded like the usual marketing hype back then, but compared to its competition at the time, it was in fact a more entertaining car to drive than most of the lifeless cars in its category.
Heading into its seventh year of production, the 2006 Nissan Sentra is still a solid sedan, but its competition has improved considerably. It's still one of the fastest economy cars on the market in SE-R, but it's outclassed by its peers in most other areas. The Sentra's biggest drawback is its cramped cabin. It's hard to find a comfortable driving position and legroom is almost nonexistent in the backseat. A decent features list and the solid performance of the SE-R models still make the Nissan Sentra a viable choice, but most small-car buyers would be better served by the Civic or Mazda 3. A fully redesigned Sentra is coming for 2007, but until then small-car shoppers should explore the many other candidates in this class.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
There are four Nissan Sentra models available -- 1.8, 1.8 S, SE-R and SE-R Spec V. The 1.8 is truly an economy car as it offers only the most basic features. Moving up to the 1.8 S scores you power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; a split-folding rear seat; cruise control; a trip computer; air conditioning; an eight-way adjustable driver seat; and a CD stereo. The base SE-R performance model features larger 16-inch wheels, foglights and a rear spoiler, while the top-line SE-R Spec V gets even larger 17-inch wheels, sport seats and optional Brembo brakes.
Powertrains and Performance
There are two engines available on the front-drive Nissan Sentra. The base 1.8 and 1.8 S both use a 126-horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. The 1.8-liter makes most of its torque at low engine speeds, resulting in good in-town response. The SE-R model uses a larger 2.5-liter engine that makes 165 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The Spec V bumps those figures to 175 and 180, respectively. The 1.8 and 1.8 S come standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is standard on the SE-R and optional on the 1.8 and 1.8 S. The high-strung SE-R Spec V packs an exclusive six-speed manual only.
The 1.8 and 1.8 S have front disc/rear drum brakes, while the SE-R and SE-R Spec V have discs all around. ABS and front seat-mounted side airbags are optional on all models, except the 1.8. In NHTSA testing, the Nissan Sentra earned four stars (out of a possible five) for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. However, only two stars were given for front-occupant protection in side impacts. The IIHS gave the car an "Acceptable" (second highest) score for its performance in the 40-mph frontal offset crash test.
Interior Design and Special Features
The dash is laid out in a clean fashion, making it easy to find and use the controls. Seat comfort is not one of the Sentra's strengths. The front seats have a short seat-bottom cushion and a limited adjustment range, while the cramped rear seats put the squeeze on even average-size passengers. Trunk space is listed at 11.6 cubic feet, placing it near the bottom of the compact sedan segment.
In 1.8 and 1.8 S trim, there is little to get excited about in terms of the driving experience, but there's enough power for daily commutes and errands. The SE-R model adds serious power that makes the 2006 Nissan Sentra one of the fastest cars in its class. The upgraded suspension on the SE-R and Spec V makes for a bumpier ride on the highway, but enthusiast drivers will appreciate the improved cornering ability.
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