Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Community News Network

July 29, 2013

Nissan Sentra is bigger, more upscale for 2013

Nissan made two bold moves when redesigning the 2013 Sentra.

First, it did a particularly good job on the tried-and-true plan for freshening compact cars: make it bigger, smoother, quieter, nicer and prettier looking.

The new generation Sentra does all that, which makes it a dramatically better car than the rather forgettable 2012 model. It's a big step above the Versa sedan, which currently slots at the bottom of Nissan's sedan lineup, and is closer to what drivers used to expect from the mid-size Altima.

It's a solid-feeling car, one that doesn't seem like the bargain-basement economy car that the Sentra was 10 years ago. It's a more grown-up car now, aimed at "professionals" who want something mature, comfortable and stylish.

A new look for the body, complete with Audi-style LED accents, and classy cabin materials are a big part of that.

But the second major change is a geeky mechanical advancement found deep within the Sentra's transmission: a sub-planetary gear.

For some background, Nissan has been deeply committed to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), and the new Sentra includes a big, noticeable advancement in CVT technology.

CVTs don't typically have traditional gears with teeth. Instead, they have a system of pulleys that change the gear ratio depending on the vehicle's speed, making the car feel like it's powered by rubber bands.

Personally, while I understand the logic behind them, I've never been a fan of CVTs because they don't feel as responsive as a modern, traditional automatic with real gears in it.

In this new Sentra, though, I had my best CVT experience to date. This transmission uses what Nissan calls a sub-planetary gear to shift between very high and very low ranges, which means the transmission can use smaller pulleys and respond faster to input from the driver.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • College graduates are sorting themselves into elite cities

    Census data suggests that in 1980 a college graduate could expect to earn about 38 percent more than a worker with only a high-school diploma. Since then, the difference in their wages has only widened as our economy has shifted to bestow greater and greater rewards on the well-educated. By 1990, that number was about 57 percent. By 2011: 73 percent.

    July 11, 2014

  • New state laws go into effect July 15

    Victims of domestic violence in Kentucky will soon be allowed fast access to concealed carry gun permits while voters from precincts surrounding state parks in dry counties will be able to vote to allow alcohol sales.

    July 11, 2014

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • President Barack Obama mug Best president? Worst president? Don't read too much into those polls

    The questions about who are the best and worst post-WWII presidents are useless. What they mainly show is that Republicans are far more unified around a single story than are Democrats.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lawmaker: State can take control of mental health agency

    A state lawmaker is suggesting the state has legal authority to take control of Seven Counties Services, the mental health/mental retardation agency that has filed for bankruptcy with the goal of withdrawing from Kentucky’s troubled employee retirement system.

    June 25, 2014

  • Glasgow native to run for Ag commissioner

    Jean-Marie Lawson Spann announced Wednesday she will run for state Commissioner of Agriculture next year.

    June 25, 2014

  • Edelen elects not to run for governor

    Democrat Adam Edelen announced Wednesday he won’t run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to a second term as state Auditor of Public Accounts.

    June 25, 2014

  • Warren coming to rally for Grimes

    Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren will join Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes Sunday on the University of Louisville campus for a rally on college affordability.

    June 24, 2014

  • Betty J. Griffey

    Betty Jane Griffey, age 90, of Clermont, Fla., and formerly of Conneaut, Ohio, passed away Saturday, May 3, 2014, at Mike Conley Hospice House, Clermont, Fla.

    June 22, 2014

  • Kentucky actually fares well under new EPA regs

    FRANKFORT — Kentucky politicians and the coal industry howled about the latest installment of greenhouse gas emission regulations issued last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 19, 2014