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2020 Nissan Sentra Road-Trip Review: The Pros and Cons of Compact Car Travel

Can a car get pudgy? That was the question I asked myself every time I saw our long-term 2020 Nissan Sentra languishing in my driveway. Without a commute to MotorTrend headquarters, for the time being, the Nissan had been making jaunts no more demanding than the half mile trip to the supermarket and the mile drive to my favorite Mexican drive-through joint. It brought to mind images of a bored, cooped-up dog in desperate need of a change of scenery and a good, long, vigorous walk. Or, wait, was that me?

After its first couple of months’ service as strictly an around-town car, the Sentra finally had a chance to stretch its legs on the open road. Piloted by MotorTrend SEO guru Thomas Rosquin, our Nissan made the round trip from Southern California to Arizona and back again, providing a much-needed change of view for both it and the Rosquin family. With that much driving packed into just a few days, Rosquin came back home with a handful of observations on the car to go with his new tan. Here’s a rundown of some pros and cons:

Pro: The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s Interior Space

Despite the Sentra’s classification as a compact car, the Nissan’s ample cabin impressed Rosquin. It’s plenty big enough to comfortably seat four adults. Of course, when you’re hitting the road, it always seems there’s more baggage than people, and the Sentra’s 14.3 cubic feet of cargo room within its trunk bests both the Honda Civic’s 11.9 cubic feet and the Mazda 3’s 13.2 cubes. Rosquin also noted, “The 60/40 split rear seat gives you multiple options for the pass-through.”

Pro: The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s Seats and Interior With the SV Premium Package

As you’ll remember from my arrival piece on the Sentra, the sumptuous interior (part of the $2,460 SV Premium package) scored big points with me right off the bat—especially the decadent seats. I haven’t had a chance to see for myself if they’re as comfortable on long drives as they are gorgeous, but Rosquin has. “The seats were supremely comfortable at this price point. I can attest that even after a five-hour road trip, my bum-bum still had maximum feeling. Pretty dang good for a cheap compact car.” (It’s worth noting that the Sentra gets Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” seats even without the SV Premium package, which adds the beautiful quilted leather.)

Con: The 2020 Nissan Sentra’s Headlights With the SV Premium Package












































































Also included in the SV Premium package are upgraded LED headlights. Headlamps might be something the average driver doesn’t think about much until something goes wrong, but these stood out—and not in a good way. “Both the wife and I hated the headlights,” Rosquin said. “Sure, the LEDs looked cool head-on, but from the cockpit, the shape of the headlights cast weird shadows just off your peripheral vision, which was distracting and annoying.” Sometimes there’s no beating the basics.

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I’ll confess that Rosquin’s trip sparked my jealousy, so I’m heading out on my own family road trip in a couple of weeks. My extended time in the driver’s seat will be the subject of the next update.

Read More About Our Long-Term 2020 Nissan Sentra SV:

The post 2020 Nissan Sentra Road-Trip Review: The Pros and Cons of Compact Car Travel appeared first on MotorTrend.


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