The Inside

Certain elements of the Sentra's cabin drew criticism from staff members, including the loud, cheap-sounding noise emanating from the gear selector when moved from Park to Drive, the appearance of the faux-silver trim bordering the selector itself, and the feel of the radio buttons. On the whole, however, the clean-looking cabin utilizes nice materials and has some upscale controls, like the manual air-conditioning knobs, which wouldn't be out of place in a much more expensive car.

I was able to get fairly comfortable in the driver's seat, but I wish Nissan would add a telescoping adjustment to the steering wheel (it only tilts). If I could, I would have pulled the steering wheel a little closer so my arms wouldn't have had to stretch so far forward.

I also have a problem with the Sentra's instrument panel, or more specifically, one of its gauges. There are two large, backlit analog gauges that are easy to read, but between them is an orange-lit digital readout for fuel level, engine temperature and the trip computer. It's functionally acceptable, but it's too bright and distracting in the daytime. You can lower its brightness when the headlights are on but not when they're off, and who wants to drive around with the headlights on all the time because of a poorly designed gauge?

As in many compact cars, if you plan on carrying adults in the backseat you'll have to make sure front-seat occupants are willing to share their legroom. Even then, the Sentra's backseat is snug but workable for taller adults. There's adequate space between two adults sitting in the outboard rear seats, but adding a third in the middle makes for a tight squeeze. Suspension noise is more prevalent when riding in the backseat, too.

    See also:

    Upper tether anchor/key cylinder covers
    CAUTION Never force the covers into place because the hinge pins can be damaged. Follow the removal and installation instructions to prevent inoperability of the covers. ...

    Front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bag and roofmounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bag systems
    The side air bags are located in the outside of the seatback of the front seats. The curtain air bags are located in the side roof rails. These systems are designed to meet voluntary guidelines t ...

    Center armrest (if so equipped)
    Pull the armrest down until it is horizontal. ...