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Anyone go on a road trip lately? After quarantine in 2020, many people are getting cabin fever more often than ever. Going out for a walk and getting some fresh air, or driving to the next state over, is becoming common practice. Some folks from out-of-country were recently visiting, and we decided to go on a small trip. Ridesharing is another up-and-coming service, and through the Avail app, we reserved a car for two days. After the ride-alongs during the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, I wanted to test a Nissan for myself, and chose a 2022 Nissan Sentra. Thanks to the first-time promo (FIRST50), we got 50-percent off the price and were on our way.
Driving and Handling
The 2.0-liter Direct Injection Gasoline™ (DIG) DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine got an upgrade for 2022, bringing the output up to 149 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. The 2022 Nissan Sentra comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. While driving down the long highways in this vehicle, the ride was so smooth, at times it felt like floating. The CVT seamlessly switched between gears so well that I sometimes didn’t notice when I was going “a little” over the speed limit on an open road. With great response to driver input for throttle and steering, the Nissan Sentra wasn’t a chore to operate.
Offering 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, the 2022 Nissan Sentra has more than 483 miles of driving range in the base trim alone. Even though I drove around the state and then made it to the north within a span of 48 hours, I only needed to fill up once before bringing the car back to its Avail parking spot. Kinda wish Avail took care of the gas like Zipcar does, but it is what it is.
Interior and Technology
The interior was nice enough, made with comfortable materials and offering lumbar support in the driver and front passenger seat, with plenty of rear passenger space. Although the trim I reserved didn’t come with heated seats or automatic climate control, the A/C system was incredibly powerful. Whether I needed it cold or hot, the car was always ready to provide more comfort in moments. Technology was also very easy-to-use, with steering wheel-mounted buttons for controlling music, voice-command options, and connecting to the infotainment system using Bluetooth wireless technology. There was also one USB-C input and a USB-A input in the center console, able to charge two different smartphones or devices.
While driving, I noticed three main safety systems that made the drive a little more relaxing while keeping me aware. In some cars, looking over one’s shoulder to check the blind spot doesn’t always work out with ease. Maybe a pillar is in the way, or there is an obstruction. Any time I was being passed, a blind spot monitoring system would beep and flicker a light in the side mirrors to let me know someone was there.
A Lane Keeping Assist system was also installed. I’m not a huge fan of these. They tend to be overly sensitive and go-off at the slightest shift in lane. Beeping, buzzing, and literally pulling the vehicle back into place was such a bother. At least Lane Departure Warning doesn’t take the car over, but I’ve seen these two systems declining in popularity in recent years. Not all drivers like that sense of giving up control.
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