I tried the new Civic, Elentra, Dart, Mazda 3,Corolla, Focus. Basically every car on the compact market. When I test drove the Sentra, I liked it the most.
I have now owned the car for 4 months and I still love it from day one. I will admit there is a major lack of power. You are not getting up to speed very quickly. The CVT is/can be very loud (but if you have the radio on, it tends to make the CVT quieter.) Slow down then step on the gas, the CVT gets even loud The styling inside and out are great, but the hubcaps on the car are awful. The handling is good, but you have to take sharp turns I would recommend going slow. The suspension is stiff, but I find that it come in handy over bumps.
I have to continue the review here. There are a lot about this car that I love and there are things that could be changed. My car came with the leather wrapped steering wheel, but it can get hard on the hands. ( I would recommend buying a steering wheel cover.)The interior of the car is easy to clean and it keeps clean very well. (this is with the black interior. Not sure about the beige.) I live in a big city and can hardly hear the noise outside. The gas mileage lives up to the sticker on the car. (if you do not use the sport mode often. I tend to use it a lot and I am getting 31.7 in the city.) The cup holders on the sides of the doors are great and come in handy.
The two cup holders are good for large cups, but if you have anything small- soda can, water bottle, etc- they rattle a lot and move around. (it can get annoying.) When you go to clean the windshield, you cannot fully put up the wiper on the passenger side. ( There is part of the hood that overlaps it, making it to where you cannot fully put it up. I can only imagine that when I have to change it will be annoying) The rear-view mirror does not go up to high, I find myself slouching to look in the mirror. Overall it is a great car ( I traded in my Honda Civic) I find that Nissan is the underdog in a very competitive compact segment. It is a commuter car and that is exactly what is does.
I own this car as well.
In short, I hate the way the car handles in city/stop and go traffic.
One way to circumvent a problem is keep the car in "SPORT" mode so the CVT is more sensitive to your foot.
It's the only way to get consistent power in a turn.
Once on the highway, the CVT runs great, but trying to merge into heavy traffic, turning at a light or stop sign and it's quite frightening because you never know what the hell the car will do. If you gas it too much, you go into a turn with too much speed. Not enough gas and the RPM's will start out ok but as you complete the turn the CVT goes sluggish and the RPM's drop. You have to once again give it a good push of the throttle to get back up to speed. This is NOT SAFE if you are trying to turn at a stop sign in heavy traffic. Never again, I'll avoid CVT's in the future. Nothing beats a conventional automatic, MPG be damned.
CVT's are NOT good in gasoline engines; they work best in Hybrid vehicles as they were designed for.