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#36

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,075 - $16,113
Original MSRP: $16,430 - $20,990
MPG: 24 City / 31 Hwy
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2012 Nissan Sentra Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2012 Nissan Sentra’s interior is pretty nice for an affordable small car, reviewers say. It has comfortable seats, affordably-priced optional features, intuitive controls and decent materials, they add. 

  • "The cabin makes good use of textured surfaces, but most plastics throughout are hard and unyielding. The 2.0 SL's available leather upholstery improves the ambiance a bit. Aside from some badging and a little bit of interior stitching, SE-R Spec V offers nothing of substance over lesser Sentra models." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Designed for U.S. buyers, the Sentra's nicely finished and well-appointed cabin comes in either beige or charcoal tones with aluminum-look or faux-wood accents." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Seating

Reviewers report that the 2012 Sentra has typical seating for an affordable small car. The front seats are comfortable, and the Sentra’s large doors make entry and exit easy. The back seat isn’t as comfortable and knee space is limited, so adults won’t like riding in the back during long trips.

The Sentra has an optional $900 leather package that is only available on the SL trim. In addition to leather-appointed seats, the leather package adds heated front seats.

  • "Sentra offers good headroom and legroom for 6-footers. Some testers praise the tall driving position for allowing excellent visibility. Others say it's too high, and the lack of a telescopic steering wheel prevent them from finding an ideal driving position. Seat comfort is good, though some occupants will want more lumbar support. Spec V has snug, supportive sport seats." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Sentra's interior features unexpectedly spacious front seats that make it easy for even tall folks to get comfortable, though the lack of a telescoping steering column is a downer. The backseat is more of a mixed bag, with good headroom and hiproom offset by a shortage of legroom." -- Edmunds
  • "The Sentra stands taller than conventional compacts. This trend improves forward visibility and entry and exit from the car by increasing the minimum seat height." -- Cars.com
  • "Well-contoured front seats are matched with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that's fit for two average-size adults or three medium-size kids." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

The base Nissan Sentra doesn’t come with much, but it does have power windows and door locks, air conditioning and an auxiliary audio input jack, which are basics in any small car. It also has a steering wheel that tilts, but doesn’t telescope. If you choose any of the upper trims, Nissan adds a trip computer and remote keyless entry, and iPod interface is optional.

Nissan offers several affordable interior packages. The first is the convenience package. It costs $850 and includes Nissan’s Intelligent Key (push-button start), remote trunk release, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The $650 technology package adds navigation, XM satellite radio, XM NavTraffic and a USB port. These packages are available beginning with the 2.0 S trim. The 2.0 SR has two additional packages. One is the $800 moonroof package, and the other is a $1,300 special edition package that combines the features in the navigation and technology packages.

At $2,600, the upgrade package on the Spec V is the most expensive, and adds navigation, a rearview monitor, moonroof, XM satellite radio and NavTraffic, a Rockford Fosgate sound system and dual illuminated vanity mirrors.

The navigation is the most discussed feature. Reviewers say that while it is affordable, its small screen is difficult to read.

  • "The audio and climate controls are easy to operate. The navigation system suffers from a small screen, but it's very functional given its comparatively low price. Instrument panel displays for fuel level, engine temperature, and radio can wash out in direct sunlight." -- Consumer Guide
  • "From a driver's perspective, the dashboard gets high marks for the simple and straightforward design of gauges and controls. One notable exception is the optional navigation system's smallish 5-inch screen, which requires a fair amount of squinting to read." -- Edmunds

Cargo

At 13.1 cubic feet, the Nissan Sentra offers a good amount of trunk space, which is comparable with what is offered in the 2012 Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta sedans. The Sentra SE-R Spec V has slightly less space at 12 cubic feet.

  • "Trunk space is class competitive. Flip-forward rear seat cushions and fold-flat rear seat backs create a convenient loading deck for bulky items. Note that the SE-R and SE-R Spec V do not offer folding rear seat backs. In-cabin storage is decent, consisting of a two-tier glovebox, nicely sized door pockets, and adjustable cupholders." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Trunk space, at 13.1 cubic feet, is average for the class." -- Edmunds
  • "Large doors simplify entry and exit for all seats, and the Sentra offers more space for both people and their carry-ons than most of its competitors - including a laptop-sized locking glovebox and a 13.1 cubic foot trunk." -- Kelley Blue Book

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