Archive for the ‘nissan sentra’ Tag

2015 Dodge Dart Sedan – Overview


What’s New for 2015:

– SE Convenience Group option package

– Dart SXT adds new aluminum wheel design

– Blacktop package comes with black and red interior

– Uconnect 8.4 is Android compatible

– 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine meets PZEV emission standard

– Three new exterior colors


The 2015 Dodge Dart competes against traditional compact cars but is actually rated a midsize car by EPA standards. The Dart’s competitive set includes the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Jetta.

Models and Features

Five versions of the 2015 Dart are for sale, including the SE, SXT, Aero, Limited, and GT.

The Dart SXT adds equipment at the same time that it makes more options available. Highlights include a larger and more powerful engine, nicer interior materials, 60/40 split rear seat with a pass-through, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, power door locks with remote keyless entry, and air conditioning. Details include a trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, sliding armrest cover for the center console, rear center armrest with cupholders, electronic vehicle information center, and an overhead console with a sunglasses storage container. Additionally, the audio system gains additional speakers, and the steering wheel includes audio controls. The Dart SXT also includes automatic headlights, LED racetrack-style taillights, power side mirrors, unique trim detailing, and 16-in. aluminum wheels.

The Aero trim level is based on the Dart SE, but is packaged differently from the SXT. It has most of the SXT’s upgrades but includes a more fuel-efficient powertrain, active grille shutters plus chrome grille detailing, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and upgraded gauges including a tachometer and an illuminated surround. The Dart Aero also includes a Uconnect 8.4 touch-screen infotainment system with voice-command Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, a USB port, satellite radio, and a reversing camera.

The Dart GT is the sporty model, adding to the Dart SXT a sport-tuned suspension, 18-in. aluminum wheels with low-profile tires, fog lights, and dual exhaust outlets. The GT is also equipped with the same Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system found in the Dart Aero, plus leather seats, a 6-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control system, and keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting. Upgraded interior trim includes a soft-touch dashboard and nicer door panels, plus premium instrumentation with an illuminated surround, ambient cabin lighting, outside temperature gauge, compass, and a universal garage door opener.

The Dart Limited contains most of the same features as the Dart GT, swapping the 18-in. wheels for a smaller 17-in. design, ditching the sport suspension for a touring suspension with a rear stabilizer bar, and trading the standard manual gearbox for a standard automatic transmission. Additionally, the Dart Limited’s exterior trim is brighter and fancier, the leather seats feature exposed stitching, and the shift knob is covered in cowhide. Navigation, SiriusXM traffic, and SiriusXM Travel Link services are also standard, along with remote engine starting, active grille shutters, and a power sunroof.

Under the Hood

A 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the Dart SE. Dart SXT, GT, and Limited trim levels are equipped with a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Choose the Dart Aero for an exclusive turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 160 horsepower.

A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard for SE, SXT, Aero, and GT Darts. The Dart Limited is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is an option for the SE, SXT, and GT. The Dart Aero is offered with an optional 6-speed automated manual gearbox.

Fuel Economy

Due to its economical, turbocharged, small-displacement engine, the Dart Aero is the most fuel-efficient version of this car, EPA-rated from 28 mpg in the city to 41 mpg on the highway, depending on transmission choice.

The most common Dart powertrain–the 2.4-liter with an automatic transmission as installed in the SXT and Limited trim levels–is just as fuel-efficient as the Dart SE’s 2.0-liter/automatic combination. The latter gets 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the larger and more powerful setup returns 23 mpg city/35 mpg highway. Choose a manual gearbox and the Dart SE is more fuel-efficient (25 mpg city/35 mpg highway) while the Dart SXT is less fuel-efficient (22 mpg city/35 mpg highway).

Select the Dart GT and you can expect to get 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the manual gearbox and 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the automatic.

Safety and Technology

Depending on the trim level selected, the 2015 Dart can be upgraded with rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beam headlights, rear park-assist sensors, and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection. Additional tech-related improvements include a configurable gauge display and keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting. The Dart is also available with a Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system containing a USB port, SD card slot, and voice-activated access to Bluetooth calling and music streaming. Options for this system include a Wi-Fi hotspot connection, navigation system, and a premium sound system.

As read on:

2013 Nissan Sentra SL 1.8

Between Groupon and Living Social, it seems that the golden age of The Deal has arrived. It’s not just fancy restaurants and hotels slinging their wares for deep discounts. Now it seems Nissan is getting on board, too.

Redesigned for 2013, the compact Sentra comes across like two cars for the low, low price of one. A claimed weight reduction of up to 150 pounds excites people who remember when Sentras were sporty, fun little cars. Buyers simply looking for a comfortable, affordable runabout will appreciate the soft, cushy seats as well as rear-seat legroom now among the best in class due to the new car’s additional 0.6 inch of wheelbase and 2.3-inch increase in overall length. A roofline that maintains competitive rear headroom before sweeping gracefully back to the trunklid imparts both outward visibility and style. And all buyers will appreciate an interior that, 10 years ago, would have seemed at home in an Infiniti. There are few straight lines anywhere, and certain parts—such as the door handles and their bezels—give the impression that a truck bound for an Infiniti assembly line got lost on its way to the factory and deposited its load instead at a Sentra plant.

As much as the Sentra feels like two cars in one, though, both feel half-baked. It’s said to be lighter, but our test unit was merely two pounds less hefty than the last Sentra we weighed—and it felt less structurally sound. The ride is too firm for people who don’t care about driving, but the level of body roll will disappoint those who do. The seats are comfortable, but lack even the slightest hint of lateral support. Fortunately, the cornering limit is just 0.81 g. Steering weight builds linearly, from dainty on-center effort to relatively manly resistance at the adhesion limit—people who don’t like cars will think it’s too heavy—but the rack lacks the ability to self-center. Combine the need to manually return the wheel to straight ahead with this much body roll, and the Sentra’s steering feels like the drill sergeant for a fat-guy platoon, issuing orders to recruits who simply cannot keep up.

“Cannot keep up” will be a common refrain from Sentra drivers now that the only engine option is a 1.8-liter four. Its 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque are reductions of 10 and 19, respectively, from the 2.0-liter in the outgoing car. Coupled with a CVT—a double bummer, since an engine that sounds pleasant at 4500 rpm sounds like just another breathless economical four at 5500—the 1.8 manages acceleration feats that are solidly back of the pack. At 9.2 seconds to 60 mph, the Sentra is more than a second off the pace of the segment’s quickest. It can’t keep up through the quarter-mile, either, needing 17.2 seconds to cross the finish line at 81 mph. Even buyers who don’t notice that they’re slower than everyone else will wonder why their otherwise luxurious little car is so loud. At least there’s a trade-off: With EPA ratings of 30 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway, the Sentra boasts a class-leading combined rating of 34 mpg. We achieved 23 mpg. While disappointing, this is not a surprise, given how we drove the car during our 10Best testing. (Numbers aren’t available for the six-speed manual yet, and Nissan promises that the late-arriving FE+ package—with CVT—will ratchet the highway number up to 40.)

The Sentra’s awkward exterior styling, too, seems indecisive, as though half the design team were making an attractive small car and half were making a miniature Altima. The result is almost handsome. Call it adolescent-elegant. When it grows into those oversized head- and taillights it may look better. At a starting price of $16,770, the base Sentra represents a savings of $440 over last year’s car. Loaded up with heated front seats, a sunroof, navigation, and a rearview camera, the uplevel SL example we tested still costs less than $24,000. Those fancy LED-accented headlights and LED taillights? They’re standard. Sure they’re ritzy, but the trend toward outsized lighting elements has us wondering when designers will learn that styling embellishments such as these are things we’ll be ashamed of someday soon. Remember fender vents? And remember focusing on one design theme? Combining half-baked with twice-baked just isn’t the same as well done.