A sporty, subcompact car
manufactured by Nissan
from 1982 to the present time. Based on the Japanese Sunny
, the Sentra has enjoyed great popularity in North America
, and in Europe
as the Almera
The first generation B11 Sentra was released in 1982, until 1986. It used a small, SOHC 1.5-liter E15 engine in its initial release year, with the 1.6-liter "E16" inline four cylinder becoming standard until 1988. Its looks were non-sensational, and very similar to its main competitor, the Toyota Tercel. B12, released in 1987 until 1990, looked somewhat similar to its predecessor, and continuing to use the E16 until 1989, when it was traded out for the GA16i 1.6-liter.
The B13 generation saw a major change in the Sentra's appearance and performance, now using a DOHC, fuel injected GA16DE engine, which would be the mainstay of the Sentra line until 1999. Its lines became a little more contoured. Several trim levels were available, from the base E and XE coupe and sedans, the improved GXE sedan, and the SE and SE-R coupes. The SE-R was by far the best offering out of the seven models, being the only one to use the SR20DE 2-liter engine and optional ABS (also an option for the GXE), producing 140 hp.
The introduction of the B14 in 1995 came with little fanfare. It became smaller and more streamlined, and looked quite unlike the previous generations. Not much changed in the way of engines: the base model, XE, GLE and GXE still used the 1.6-liter I4 from the B13, and there were not many major differences between the four models (of which, only the XE and GXE survived after 1998). The high-performance Sentra was sold as the Nissan 200SX, and came in SE and SE-R trims (still using the SR20DE, whilst the SE-R used the turbo-powered SR20DET).
The current model, the B15, succeeded the B14 in 2000 and the two base models, the XE and GXE, adopted the new QG18DE 1.8-liter engine. A new trim level, the 2.5LE, uses a 2.5-liter V6 engine (probably the VQ25DE), the largest that's been available in a production Sentra to date. And lastly, the name "Sentra" has been dropped entirely from the SE-R, which got a major design overhaul, currently resembling a mini-Skyline. It continues to use the SR20DE, but now outputs a good 165 horsepower (a further improved trim level, SE-R Spec V -- the V is for Victory -- adds 10 horse).
The whole series is likely to be retired in favor of making the Nissan Altima the flagship model.