2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO First Drive: A modest performance proposal

It seems like only a month or so ago that I was behind the wheel of the new 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo, the first forced-induction version of the Japanese brand’s volume-selling compact sedan. Flash-forward to the eve of the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, and here I am again, hand on the six-speed shifter of yet another turbocharged Sentra – this one bearing the NISMO badge.

Just how different is the 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO from its SR Turbo sibling? It’s honestly a matter of perspective. Mechanically, the NISMO (an appellation that denotes the Sentra is near the pinnacle of Nissan’s performance ladder) is identical to the SR Turbo, with only a few tweaks made to the programming of its optional continuously-variable automatic transmission to set it apart. That means that it features the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo putting out 188 horses and 177 lb-ft of torque, with the enthusiast gearbox of choice being its standard six-speed manual.


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