Great car, clean, a little to high of a coefficient of drag. Wife and I hypermill and can get the CVT to get us 30 MPG town and 35-36 MPG Highway (under 75 mph). If you drive like a 16 year old boy in heat, the CVT will keep you in the power band and use up a lot of gas, its true. If you drive smartly, it serves you well. Great handling/excellent lateral g for a car of its class (2.0 S model). Look, standing acceleration from stop (0-60mph) is poor; however, passing acceleration (60-80mph) can't be beat since it has high torque and the CVT revs it to 6500RPM. If you really need to get going, put it in Low until you reach 30mph, it will improve the start 0-60, but not usually recommended.
The 6 speaker, 4 by 6x9's and 2 tweeters sound great, other person must have had poor luck. 160 Watts of deepish bass and brightish highs, though any after market you get will improve most sound systems. I really like the sound, and I am an audiophile who misses cd quality sound (100+ signal/noise) and Ipod jack is great. We also love the mpg in city with traffic and hypermilling, though if you get the 2013 Sentra and drive smartly, you can get over 40mpg by hypermilling! We got 43-44mpg cross country in a rental. Very impressive. Inside is clean. Also gotta love the use of a timing chain instead of a timing belt.
Strict on maintenance so hopefully no CVT troubles for a long time.
We erred on buying the extended warranty (Nissan Gold) after the initial one ends because we are afraid that the CVT will fail after 100k miles, yet I can't find many reliable sources for this happening to this model. The CVT can get excellent for mpg; however, there have been hints of heavier cars by Nissan where the CVT's fail relatively early in a car's life span. Their choice to make it a complete replacement of a failed CVT is not fun. I suggest if you have a wife that can drive one, buy the manual and hypermill. Nissan's will last you 250k miles as long as you keep up with maintenance, including taking care of the body to prevent corrosion. 1986 pathfinder 245k before clutch died.
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