Curbside Rental Service: 2014 Nissan Sentra – Praising Our Sentra; Or POS, For Short


Dear Nissan,

Recently I had the most heinous memorable experience of driving a new Sentra.  Having heard copious amounts of praise about the Sentra line over the years, I was curious to see what it was all about.

Before I dive into the weeds of details outlining my most wretched memorable experience with this Sentra, please know it was a rental.  The upside is this example had right at 7,400 miles on its gray upon gray odometer when I drove it off the lot, indicating it was just starting its life of being like a doorknob.  I’m sure you’ve heard that old joke; it’s where everybody gets a turn, although I’ve never heard it applied to cars.

I do have to admit being royally peeved pleasantly surprised upon getting home with the car.  As I had chosen a mid-sized car in lieu of a compact, I had assumed this was an Altima based upon its appearance; my bad for not realizing it sooner.  While you have the Sentra competing against the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla, there is substantially more legroom in the back of the Nissan.  My progeny is 5’4″ tall and was highly appreciative of the extra space. Good job on eking out as much room for the rear seat as you could.


This Sentra was my third rental in about five weeks.  As circumstances would have it, all three made roughly equal distance trips to various locations in the St. Louis area–roughly 125 miles each way.  The Sentra totally spanked the other two in fuel economy.  I am not easily impressed, but I certainly was impressed when I realized 40.6 mpg for my trip.  If it weren’t for a few red lights before arriving, I would have handily broken the 41 mpg mark.

During the course of my trip, I think I may have figured out your philosophy of design.  Your comprehensive approach is beyond polite description simple brilliance and yet so astonishingly simple.


Designing an interior cannot be an easy feat as people come in so many shapes and sizes.  Having driven hundreds of cars and pickups in my lifetime, and possessing an average build and height with all four limbs in relative proportion to the rest of my frame, I have been very fortunate in being able to quickly get comfortable in any vehicle I am driving.  Yet I could never get comfortable in your Sentra, incorrectly concluding that it must have been designed for an orangutan; my arms were always three inches too short while my legs were pretzeled into the wheel well.


After a short while of driving like this, with my arms growing ever more numb, it occurred to me!  In your ongoing commitment to half-assing it improving driver safety, you have intentionally made your cars such that one cannot get comfortable and grow complacent–thus careless–while driving.  Discomfort promotes attentive driving; this is profound brilliance!  Having worked in traffic safety for a number of years, nearly all the collision reports I read had driver inattention listed as a contributing factor.  Your approach is truly asinine monumental!

As an added bonus, I even noticed how the right armrest was actually located BEHIND me!  Do the innovations ever cease?


No, I do not believe they do.  Take this fascinating anti-theft system you have included at no extra charge.  Imagine my surprise upon exiting a business establishment to see the truck lid open, just as I have recreated in this picture.  The psychology you have employed here is on a level far beyond my comprehension.  After my initial surge of adrenaline, accompanied by a record breaking 150 foot sprint, the utter marvel of this smacked me like a nightstick at a riot.  What better way to keep the criminal element away than to loudly proclaim, “Somebody else beat you to the goods, chump!”  What a wonderful ruse!

Yes, having a trunk open for the whole world to see is embarrassing at first blush.  Yet shouldn’t we all be willing to trade privacy for some pretense of safety?  My goodness, what a piss-poor marvelous job you have done on this Sentra.  Words almost fail to articulate the enormity of it all.


Your anti-theft endeavors have even been made evident from the drivers seat.  When my wife, the raven-haired domestic goddess, attempted to drive the Sentra, she called me about the adjustment for the tilt and telescopic steering column.  She is a smart woman and shrewd beyond compare.  When her statement was “How the hell do you adjust the wheel on this stupid little bastard?”, I knew you had hit a grand slam in the anti-theft department.

Your Sentra is so breathtakingly monumental in its contribution to society, my eyes are moistening as I write these heartfelt words to you.  In addition to the wonderful safety and anti-theft features present, the ambiance of the Sentra’s interior is simply without a peer in the marketplace.  The black as asphalt seats and dash provided a warm, comforting feeling; why, between this warmth and the closeness of the console to my knee, it was almost womb-like.

As an aside, I did write a nasty letter to the rental company after driving a Ford Focus.  I insinuated the console was intrusive.  I have now seen the light, and after driving your Sentra, the cockpit of that Focus seems as horribly roomy and comfortable as that of a…

1975 Cadillac-08

1975 Cadillac Fleetwood.  That is simply so undesirable.  Why would a person choose to have their legs flop around freely when they could feel like they were in a staight-jacket be coddled like a baby?

Further, the headliner simply defies any modicum of quality rapid comprehension.  It feels like cardboard, which indicates I have been safely packaged.  Its texture is like that of surgical scrubs, and with hospitals providing such a sense of serenity in the care they heap upon you….my heart is aflutter with nothing but terrific things to say about the Sentra.


I have been telling everyone I know about the Sentra and they are all aghast incredulous that such a car exists.

In my overwhelming stupor splendor from driving your crimson colored Sentra, I have saved the best for last.  The drivetrain is a trophy of engineering, ranking right up there with the original Tacoma Narrows bridge Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.


The 1.8 liter four-cylinder has the same auditory output that one can hear from a herd of cats in heat award winning opera singer.  Never have I heard an engine that sounds both nasal and flatulent so eager to haul its occupants.  As yet another anti-theft feature (you guys are so full of awesome ideas), I noticed the special double secret engine programming you created.  Like clockwork, every third time I hit the starter, the engine would cough and not start.  My old Ford van can sit for three months and start on the first try; this feature is truly one to frustrate anybody who drives the car any thief, looter, or other mischievous individual.  Even the puffs of white smoke from the tailpipe would work to discourage thievery and other assorted maniacal behavior.

Overall driving your Sentra was like visiting a proctologist with abnormally thick fingers meeting a new person who seems like a lifelong friend.  You can rest better tonight knowing that I will still be thinking about that little red Sentra, a car my wife said exudes cheapness a most special and unique aura.

Keep up the good work!

Very truly,

Jason Shafer