The Nissan Sentra NISMO Shocked Me

There’s a term that gets thrown around the car community called “factory rice”. It’s a term that describes body kits that come on cars from the factory, that appear as though someone went to their local Walmart’s car section and purchased every stick-on chrome piece they could. That’s what I first thought of when I heard that Nissan made a NISMO edition of the Sentra. I thought it would just be a floozy body kit on a boring car, but boy was I wrong.

The Nissan Sentra NISMO has a 1.6L turbo charged inline 4 cylinder and a six speed manual transmission. The engine puts out about 170hp which isn’t anything crazy, but it’s a good amount of pep for a 3,000lb car. The transmission had a long throw, but felt good. The clutch wasn’t too stiff or too soft. Now the 1.6 turbo and the 6 speed transmission aren’t exclusive to the NISMO, but the suspension is. I had the opportunity to drive the Sentra NISMO on a closed track where I could really test what NISMO is all about. I was able to chuck the Sentra into multiple corners at significant speeds. Not once did the Sentra break traction or understeer, like most front wheel drive cars.


The interior wasn’t anything crazy, although I appreciated the NISMO touches. Part of the package included alcantara accents such as door cards, a steering wheel, and parts of the seat. NISMO is also written on multiple parts of the interior like above the shifter and on the gauges. It’s not overkill, and I liked being reminded of the fact that I wasn’t driving a base model Sentra.


I was really impressed by the Nissan Sentra NISMO. I have never driven a front wheel drive car that handles as well as the Sentra NISMO. It’s a great little car that offers a whole ton of fun. If you’re looking to buy a Ford Fiesta ST, I would highly recommend looking at the Sentra NISMO.


Written by Zack Pradel