Nissan’s Keith St. Clair, director of product planning, Nissan USA, was the speaker at the January MAMA meeting to discuss the all-new 2020 Sentra.
Since the car’s introduction 37 years ago, more than six million Sentras have been sold—spanning eight generations. St. Clair discussed all the ways this sedan is Nissan’s best-selling nameplate.
First, why sedans? St. Clair said that while the industry has certainly seen a big shift to SUVs and CUVs, sedans are still very popular. In fact, more than four million sedans have been sold here in the U.S., and 78 percent of folks who don’t own sedans noted they would consider buying one. Furthermore, 86 percent of 18-34-year-olds who don’t own a sedan would consider buying one.
And, according to St. Clair, this sedan is one that’s changing the way people think of sedans.
Expressive style, an emotional driving experience, value, efficiency and ease of maneuverability are all characteristics of the vehicle. Exceeding expectations in the compact segment, the Sentra offers style, craftsmanship, safety, technology, performance and value.
“The only thing we’re carrying forward is the name – everything else is brand new,” said St. Clair of the Sentra.
In terms of tech, the Sentra receives an all-new infotainment system with a standard 7-inch high-definition screen. St. Clair explains that this is a key factor of the upgraded sedan because it makes drivers more comfortable and confident.
Safety also comes standard on this car, including Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 (a suite of six advanced driver-assist systems), ten air bags, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Driver Attention Alertness.
The vehicle is also agile and exciting to drive, according to St. Clair. This is the first time that Nissan is offering a new platform with a multi-link independent rear suspension on the Sentra. Wider and lower, the new platform offers improved NVH. Standard active ride control (which helps improve handling when driving over a bumpy environment, smoothing out the ride and ensuring driver’s confidence), intelligent trace control and vehicle dynamics control.
Additionally, the Sentra has an all-new powertrain with 149 horsepower—20 percent more than before.
St. Clair refers to a “simple grade strategy:” Good, Better and Best (S, SV and SR). Overall, he says the Sentra is fun-to-drive, offers advanced technology, has unmatched safety features, high-level craftsmanship and expressive design. “It’s not just another compact car; it’s really a midsized car masquerading as a compact car,” he said. It’s the new era of sedans.
The Sentra is set to go on sale in early February.