Nissan unveiled the Chinese market Sylphy sedan at the 2019 Shanghai auto show, and if the past is any indication, this is basically our 2020 Sentra. The previous-generation Sentra sedan entered the Chinese market using the Sylphy moniker and even got its own EV variant, and now we get a fresh preview of what we can expect in terms of design and possible features.
Like the recently revealed 2020 Versa, the Sylphy sports Nissan’s latest design language including a “floating” roof and the more prominent V-motion grille that first appeared on the 2019 Altima. The slim head- and taillights have unique innards on the Sylphy, distinguishing it from its siblings. From the side, the Sylphy appears sleeker with a lower roofline compared to its predecessor. Nissan says the center of gravity is lower, which should help handling.
The Sylphy’s interior looks similar to the Altima’s save for the three round air vents in the center stack. A 7.0-inch digital display sits between the speedometer and tachometer, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen tops the center stack. There is a noticeable blank space on the right steering-wheel spoke where you would normally find cruise-control buttons, hinting that active driver assistance and convenience technologies will be optional for the Chinese market (and likely ours, too). More expensive variants appear to also be offered with quilted two-tone leather upholstery for an upscale look and feel.
A familiar 1.6-liter inline-four (the same unit in the Kicks and Versa) paired to a CVT is the only powertrain option that Nissan announced for the Chinese-market Sylphy. Steering and suspension changes were geared toward improving overall handling without sacrificing smoothness. There’s no word on whether the Sylphy migrated to the CMF-C/D architecture underpinning the Rogue, Rogue Sport, and a number of Renault models including the Mégane or if it remains on the V platform.
In North America, the 2020 Nissan Sentra will likely ditch the antiquated 1.8-liter inline-four in favor of a more modern 2.0-liter unit found in the Rogue Sport. It’s unclear if Nissan will bring back sporty turbocharged versions of the Sentra like the SR Turbo and NISMO models, although if so, we hope they’re more cohesively engineered and enjoyable to drive. Look for the U.S.-spec 2020 Nissan Sentra to debut sometime soon; once it does, Nissan’s U.S. sedan lineup will all have been recently redesigned.