2006 Nissan Sentra Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Nissan Sentra

Nissan Sentra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 165 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Nissan Sentra

  • 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.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Speedy SE-R models, nimble handling, lots of standard features, simple controls.

  • Cons

    Noisy ride, uncomfortable front seats, extremely tight legroom in back, some low-grade interior materials, poor side-impact crash test score.

  • What's New for 2006

    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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

I'm sooooo mad!

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

How is it that I need a new engine? It's 4 years old, I bought it brand new and it only has 75,000 miles. I am anal about taking my car in for service and have never missed one. I had an 85 Sentra in high school and that's the reason I bought a Sentra again. They obviously don't build them like they used to. I will never buy a Nissan again. Nissan, you're dead to me now.


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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I totally agree with Carolina (first page.) I had a Sentra in the 80's never changed the oil, did any maintenance or anything. Ran like crazy. Now, I totally maintain my 2006 that I bought new and it has had belt replacement, thermostat replacement, heat plate adjustment, and now until it warms up it sound like it's going to fall apart under the hood. Also, the cup holder is too close to the stereo controls. It switches from radio to CD when you bump it. The gas mileage isn't the greatest either. I won't buy another Nissan.

This se-r made me a

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car after popping into the dealership to check out the Altimas. Once I found out that the Sentra had zero-percent and came in the SE-R style I was all over it. A year later, this car has made me a car lover, because I never before realized how fun it could be just to drive. Also, it out-paces my friend's highly modded Mazda3 hatch. Can't put a price on that. My wife and I like this car so much we're getting her a 2007 one.

Fun little car

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Like most of the reviews, the sound system and 6-disc in dash cd player are awesome! The front bucket seats are comfortable. The SE version has the Firehawk tires that are very expensive to replace. The cup holders are poorly located.I kick off the cd player at least once a week when putting down my soda.I've had the car 7 months so far and I'm still enjoying it. Drove from Maine (where I live to NYC) and the trip went smoothly. Wondering how the car will drive in the snow?

Excellent car

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

If any 4 banger I ever owned this is one car that will scare the hell out of the V6 and 8's a run for its money. Just touch the gas and its gone! Code red is the color of my car and there couldn't been a better name for that red and the character of this car. I will have this car for a long time and hope it an experience I will never lose gaining. Nissan dealer is been great and helpful.

Fun ride; good value

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Vehicle: 2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Looked at all the small performance cars under $20k and thought this the best deal. It is fast and nimble. The boring styling was actually a plus point for me. Buy it with the "racier" colors though.

Full 2006 Nissan Sentra Review

What's New for 2006

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.

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.

Driving Impressions

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.

Talk About The 2006 Sentra

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs