I agree with previous comments about the Sentra SE-R's somewhat strange powertrain, what with its CVT. When I drive this car, I am reminded that it is no early-1990s Nissan Sentra SE-R, a car that helped define the pocket-rocket segment in America and that was an absolute standout in its class both for its performance and its value. In fact, that car was so good, it was an Automobile Magazine All-Star for several years in a row. The current SE-R? Not so much.
I will say, though, that the Sentra SE-R has a well-tuned chassis, with a good balance of handling and ride and steering that provides decent feel and feedback. And it is indeed a bargain. And I completely understand why Nissan chose to equip it with a CVT transmission rather than a manual: the fact is, the vast majority of Americans under the age of 30 do not know how to drive a manual.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor