2019 Nissan Sentra essentials: Affordable, adequate, uninspiring wheels

Our Opinion: I’ll start with the good here: The Sentra SV is affordable, and despite the fact that it’s basically a car from 2012 under its skin, Nissan has done a fairly good job of keeping it updated with regard to technology, if not necessarily looks. In addition to features like blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and intelligent cruise control, all part of the reasonably priced $1,000 special edition package (it also gets you rear disc brakes instead of the standard drums!), the Sentra is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped. Nothing cutting edge, maybe, but current. And that might be all a commuter in search of affordable wheels might want.
Unfortunately, the CVT has a nasty way of sucking all of the fun out of this Nissan, and whining mightily about it in the process. A refined powertrain, this is not; a small-displacement, low-horsepower, low-torque naturally aspirated motor and a CVT has to be the least-enjoyable combo on the planet. If there’s cheap-car-fun to be had anywhere in the Sentra lineup, it’s probably in less expensive S-trimmed car with its six-speed manual transmission. Indeed, we’ve liked those well enough every time one has come through the test fleet. The Nismo range-topper is a nice sentiment, but doesn’t quite seem worth the money.