As a small family with just two children, a compact car is actually an option for us. Of course we like having more space, but in this economy, better gas mileage wins over space. Our biggest issue is making sure my 6′ 2″ husband can put his seat all the way back without bumping into the child safety seat behind him.
When we went shopping for a car in 2011, our options were limited. We wanted something with good gas mileage, enough space and some style. This needed to be a car my husband could use to chauffeur colleagues in and still be a family friendly vehicle. We ended up with a Camry and we’ve been happy with it, but honestly? They’re expensive.
Imagine my surprise when I saw the new 2013 Sentra from Nissan and realized it’s the same size as my car, gets the same gas mileage and is WAY cheaper. It’s also beautiful, comfortable and stylish… three things I never imagined I’d say about a Sentra. Starting at just $15,990 and topping out at less than $20,000, the all new 2013 Sentra is a very economical choice for small families.
My 2013 Nissan Sentra Driving Experience
Scotty Reiss of and I paired up in a beautiful Sentra SL to begin our drive from San Francisco to Napa. I played navigator while Scotty got us out of town. We oohed and ahhed as we crossed the famous Lombard Street, felt a little jealous of the farmer’s markets on every corner and smiled when the Golden Gate Bridge came into view. The hills of San Fran had nothing on the Sentra. The turn radius surprised us when we made a u-turn and the rear view camera came in handy when we had to back out of a tunnel in the parking garage.
Driving through the hills on our way to Napa was a real treat. We enjoyed the quiet ride in comfort and just enjoyed the scenery. Half-way to Napa Scotty and I switched seats and I got to drive! I was so impressed with the way the Sentra handled the turns and hills. I kept imagining what fun the 6-speed manual model would have been and I had to really watch the speedometer because I kept feeling like I was just coasting along, then realizing I was actually speeding!
When we got to Napa and pulled into the Solage Calistoga to break for lunch before driving the all new 2013 Nissan Pathfinders, I wasn’t ready to give up the car! Normally a couple hours in a car would make me sore, but the Sentra’s interior is so comfortable and zen we arrived feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy the destination.
A Few 2013 Sentra Photos…
2013 Sentra Best Features
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you… I took notes and lots of them. There were so many impressive features to this car that I had to be sure and remember the things that make it family friendly!
- Increased trunk space. I don’t know how big it was before, but it’s HUGE now. Ready to hold the groceries, the baby’s stroller and diaper bag and still have room for your big camera bag! Going on a trip? Everyone’s luggage will fit in the Sentra’s trunk.
- Most Rear Seat Roominess. This is a huge thing for a compact car. Families need room for car seats, and once the kids are out of those, their legs need space! The Sentra’s backseat has plenty.
- 30MPG City and 39MPG Highway means you fuel up less and drive further. Averaging at 34MPG the Sentra is a very economical choice for families that travel and those who commute long distances to work.
- 3 Drive Modes: Normal, Eco and Sport for good grip and handling on every terrain.
- Google POS. That’s right – Google in your car! This technology lets you search Google at home and send the results to your car, or once you get to town, use the Point of Interest technology to find restaurants, play places, and lodging. It will even let you select the phone number on the screen and if your phone is connected via Bluetooth, it will send to your phone and dial for you. Now you can call ahead to see if the museum will still be open by the time you make it across town!
- Displays the Speed Limit. Hello! Why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago? Driving out of town and unsure of the speed limit of the road you’re on? The Sentra’s screen can display that for you. I’m hoping this feature becomes available in a lot more models real soon!
- Rear View Camera comes standard on ALL models. Nuff Said.
- Bose. Oh, the music lover in me rejoiced when I heard about the 8-speaker Bose system designed and calibrated just for the Sentra’s interior. While it only comes on the Premium Package, it’s something I’d pay extra for in a heartbeat.
- Tire Pressure Fill Alert. My husband is adamant that all our vehicles have a tire pressure gauge in the glove box. I’ve been thankful for this on many occasions. But, that whole two-handed deal where you add air, check pressure, add air? No longer needed. The Sentra has sensors that let you know when the tire is full enough and sound a little alarm to let you know you can stop adding air. Fancy!
After 30 years and 7 Generations of Sentra, Nissan has brought us the most stylish version yet and it’s sure to turn some heads. Be watching for the TV commercials because some of them are really fun! Here’s my favorite so far:
Nissan paid for my travel to and from California and two nights of lodging as well as meals so I could experience the Sentra and Pathfinder vehicles. All opinions are mine!