2018 Nissan Sentra "Midnight Edition"
I didn't hate the 2018 Nissan Sentra I drove for 36 madcap hours last weekend. It had exactly what I needed for a quick trip to L.A.: no clutch pedal. Seriously. The one thing I did not want to deal with was a clutch.
My car has a 6 speed (and a couple hundred HP). Pointless capacity in L.A. traffic. Leg cramps. Excessive throwout bearing wear.
Worse, it seemed like temptation for valets and thieves. And, because its a manual and nobody knows how to drive one any more, well, I just don't want to think about the dings and scratches and stalls and the smell of burning clutch. So, a rental car.
That would be this:
Style: Driving a "Midnight Edition" did nothing for me, but the black wheels grew on me. Ordinarily, I would hate this color, but it was a good look. Sentras come with this bipolar character line above the door handles. Aft of the mirrors, it emphasizes a nearly straight, shallow wedge. In front, it tracks and highlights the wheel wells, then eases across the hood to also bound the grille. Gunmetal blah grey harmonizes the look.
Comfort: Big, grippy Barcaloungers in front. Quiet cabin; quiet like why am I at Warp 9 point something? THAT kind of quiet. Needs Sirius and a way to display my phone GPS. Sync 3 for Nissan or something. In an unrelated point, I didn't figure out the cruise control until I was back in Maricopa County.
Performance: I thought it was a conventional automatic. Nope. CVT with programmed in pretend shifts so it feels like one. Fooled me. I thought it was just mushy. It doesn't help the 124 hp 1.8L four do anything quickly. OTOH, MPG averaged high 30s.
Overall: Great car to drive in L.A. Deceptively quiet on the highway. Deceptively affordable. A million more engaging choices are out there for some actual fun on the twisties.