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.

"Trust me, I'm a professional".  "A professional what?"

"Trust me, I'm a professional". 
"A professional what?"

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.

OK, it is a gentle curve after all, but at a glance it looks straight

OK, it is a gentle curve after all, but at a glance it looks straight

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.