The engine's internal friction has been reduced, improving efficiency. The DLC creates about half the friction of previous coatings. In addition, the valve springs are shaped similar to a beehive, with a smaller diameter towards the top – reducing inertia weight, improving valvetrain efficiency and smoothing engine operation. The engine is rated at 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.
The new engine is matched with a new-generation Xtronic CVT® (a 6-speed manual is available in the base Sentra S model). The new CVT features a host of enhancements (versus the previous CVT) that contribute to an improvement in fuel efficiency and lower vehicle weight. It also offers a wider gear ratio of 7.3:1 through use of a sub-planetary gear and smaller pulleys, resulting in high-speed fuel efficiency at low rpm and responsive acceleration. Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon City, 39 miles per gallon Highway and a class-leading 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*.
"In the race for fuel economy bragging rights sometimes what gets lost in the mix is drivability. Sentra's new engine and advanced CVT design are perfectly matched to provide the best of both mpg and driving enjoyment – smooth, quiet and efficient operation around town or highway cruising, responsive acceleration and excellent mpg and driving range," said Castignetti.
The new Sentra also features an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar, power-assisted vented front/rear drum braking system (4-wheel disc brakes are available), and vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering. Available wheels and tires include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers with 205/55R16 size all-season tires or 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires.In addition to the Sentra S model's long list of standard features, Sentra SV models add cruise control, two additional speakers, illuminated steering wheel audio controls, vehicle security system and premium cloth seating and door trim.