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Interior and Passenger Space

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 8/23/2018 Tony Markovich

Interior and Passenger Space Rating: 4-star-photo-673236-s-original© Car and Driver 4-star-photo-673236-s-original

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Although the cheap materials make the Sentra’s cabin feel spare, interior space is possibly the car’s strongest feature.

Interior Space Comparisons

The Sentra is one of the biggest cars in the segment, but its interior space is no greater than most of the other vehicles tested here. All are roomy enough for four passengers, but the Toyota Corolla stands out from the pack for its exceptional rear legroom.

Front-Seat Passenger Space

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Back-Seat Passenger Space

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Interior Features

The Sentra’s interior design is basic and plain, and it’s immediately obvious that it was built for yesteryear. The dash and steering wheel are made of a squishy rubber, and there are small patches of padding for arm cushions, but the rest is a constant reminder of the stuff that’s currently plaguing our oceans. It’s hard, hollow, and designed for the 2000s. Not even the NISMO model, which weakly attempts to spruce up the cabin with random bits of faux carbon-fiber panels and red accents, can make this an upscale experience.

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Seat Adjustments

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Climate Control

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Cupholder Location

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Interior Sound Level

To measure a vehicle’s interior quietness, we use a sound meter to take two measurements at the height of the driver’s ear while traveling at 70 mph. We then average the results. As illustrated by the graphic below, decibels are a logarithmic unit, so a rating of 60 decibels isn’t 1.5 times the sound pressure of 40 decibels; it is 10 times the sound pressure.

Whiny powertrains and a dearth of sound deadening allow road noise to become an issue on the highway. The Sentra’s interior is the loudest among competitors tested here, 7 dBA louder than the Forte S we tested-a significant increase in sound level.

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Test Results: Interior Sound Levels at 70 mph

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Seating and Step-In Height

To accurately measure seating height-the distance from the road to the driver’s hip-we use an H-Point Machine (HPM), a precisely engineered device marketed by SAE International. This versatile tool, in conjunction with a laser device, reveals the width and location of roof-pillar visibility obstructions (blind spots). Our HPM and laser measurement tools determine the length of road obscured by the hood as well as the road obscured by the trunk or hatch (as seen through the rearview mirror).

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Test Results: Seating Height

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Test Results: Step-In Height

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Blind Spots, Visibility, and Obscured Roadway

The Sentra’s rear pillars are chunky, which can cut visibility and create big blind spots; on the plus side, its oddly high seating position permits a generally clear outward view.

Roof pillars protect occupants in a rollover crash, but they also create blind spots. We determine visibility by measuring the location and width of each pillar using an H-Point Machine and a laser beam (surrogates for a driver and eyeball, respectively). Front and rear visibility are calculated by subtracting the viewable area blocked by the pillars from a perfect 180-degree score.

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Interior and Passenger Space
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Test Results: Obscured Roadway

a screenshot of a video game: Interior and Passenger Space© Car and Driver Interior and Passenger Space Interior and Passenger Space: The Sentra is one of the biggest cars in the segment, but interior space is no greater than in most of its competitors.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc The Sentra is one of the biggest cars in the segment, but interior space is no greater than in most of its competitors.
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