One-Day Drive

First Drive Review: 2020 Nissan Sentra is a compelling combination of interior refinement, tech

Nissan has redesigned the Sentra for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is all new with a sportier design, upgraded interior, and new standard safety technologies. It also has a more powerful engine that helps make this compact sedan fun to drive. Together, these features offer a compelling combination designed to entice sedan buyers.

Despite decreased interest in sedans, the Sentra is Nissan's best-selling model in the United States with over six million deliveries since its debut back in 1982. It is available in a range of three trims with just two options packages and sits between the smaller, more affordable Nissan Versa and the larger, more well-equipped Nissan Altima.

2020 Nissan Sentra exterior body wheels The new Sentra has many of Nissan's signature design attributes.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

New sportier exterior styling includes a bold stance that's two inches lower and two inches wider than the previous generation. Nissan's signature V-motion grille dominates the front of the Sentra with thin LED headlamps and a floating roof. The Sentra SR offers an especially aggressive look with black and dark chrome accents, sport-style rear spoiler, and chrome exhaust finisher.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 149 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. That's 20 percent more horsepower and 17 percent more torque than before and it makes a big difference in how the Sentra drives.

It easily merges into highway traffic and delivers ample power for passing slower moving vehicles. The transmission is smooth and quiet, even under hard acceleration, making the ride more pleasant for everyone. The Sentra provides a responsive drive experience not often found in affordable sedans.

2020 Nissan Sentra exterior face grille The car provides a pleasant behind-the-wheel experience.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Inside, styling is refined with higher quality materials. It looks and feels good creating a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Details like contrast stitching and a D-shaped steering wheel reinforce the Sentra's sporty new demeanor.

There's room for five passengers with Nissan's Zero Gravity seats up front. These provide support without being stiff and stay comfortable even through longer road trips. The rear seats accommodate three passengers, but it's a tight fit. Taller adults will feel a bit cramped with low headroom. Push the front seats back and rear legroom is also compromised.

The base infotainment system in the Sentra is somewhat limited and includes a 7-inch touch screen with Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free. Smartphone connectivity through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is only available on the SV and SR trim. These trims also see the addition of an 8-inch multi-touch display and NissanConnect. While the system is intuitive and quick to learn, the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the base model will disappoint buyers on a budget.

2020 Nissan Sentra interior seats wheel shifter radio Inside, the Sentra is a refined auto for its price point.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan offers a comprehensive suite of safety features through Nissan Safety Shield 360. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Rear door alert is also standard. This feature reminds drivers to check the rear seats so nothing is accidentally left in the car. There's also intelligent driver alertness, which detects driving patterns that indicate a tired drive and issues a warning to take a break.

2020 Nissan Sentra interior seats Zero Gravity seats keep the driver and front passenger comfortable on long trips.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Sentra offer a good mix of features along with a pleasant drive experience. It targets value-minded buyers with affordable pricing while still incorporating advanced safety and technology. The base S is priced from $19,090 while the top SR comes in with pricing of $21,430. The Premium Package ups SV pricing to $22,730 and SR pricing to $23,600. Those looking for an affordable, comfortable, and well-equipped sedan can find the 2020 Nissan Sentra in local dealerships in late January.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD was redesigned for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

It already proved capable at hauling and towing on long stretches of road up, on, and around Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. That was a confined test, however, designed by Chevy to show off the redesigned Silverado HD's best qualities. When tested, unrestricted, on the rural roads, historic city streets, and highways of the East Coast, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD proved even more impressive.

The Silverado HD is huge. The 2500 that was delivered sat in the driveway towering over the Explorer parked next to it. The truck looks imposing too, especially with the large grille that faces a hood that is taller than this driver.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The grille of the Silverado HD is quite large.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Thankfully there are grab handles and side steps to aid in getting in the truck. Without the steps, it's quite the pull-up to get into the 2500. Getting in the bed was also easy thanks to a sidestep and the bumper steps.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD just isn't as nicely appointed as the Ram HD. There's no getting around that. However, in its midgrade trim level, the interior appointment choices of the 2500 make good sense for its price point and likely utilitarian lifestyle.

That doesn't mean that it's not well-appointed. Its surfaces aren't plush like what you'll get in the Ram, but they're pleasant enough to look at and inoffensive to the fingertips.

The truck's seats are comfortable, even for 600 miles at a time, which is about the range of the 2500 when equipped with the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The Silverado HD is surprisingly well-mannered on the highway.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

On the road, the Silverado HD is much more impressive. Despite its enormous size, the truck is easy to keep between the lanes, even without the modern driver assistance technology you'll find on some regular-duty trucks. Driving the model on the highway isn't tiring.

Though it does feel its size when you're behind the wheel, the truck is reasonably nimble and easy to maneuver. That's helpful on small, historic streets of places like Charlottesville, Virginia, where the size of the lanes and availability of parking spaces will make you wish there was a "HD trucks" setting in the navigation system. At around 78 inches tall as delivered, the Silverado HD is too tall to fit in most of the parking garages in historic areas.

That being said, the truck's numerous camera angles and wide mirrors made it easy to back into a spot and parallel park when necessary.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Mid-grade Silverado HDs, including this LTZ trim model, are the best balance of capability and value.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD is tremendously more stable on the road and it soaks up most of the imperfections. It doesn't have nearly the amount of body lean when cornering that the Ram HD does.

The engine is just as competent as the handling. Despite being plenty beefy and brawny for the task at hand, the diesel delivered around 22 mpg in mixed traffic situations, including some stretches pushing the upper limits of allowable speed on the highway and idling in traffic several times in bottlenecks. That number makes the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 about 50 percent more fuel efficient than the 2020 Toyota Tundra in similar driving situations.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The interior of the Silverado isn't as nice as the Ram HD, but it's good enough.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD LTZ came with standard with an 8-inch infotainment system. It worked as advertised with the latest operating system running in the background, which isn't too much of a departure from the previous one resulting in a very shallow learning curve.

The Silverado 2500 made a lasting impression during a week of road tripping. Its comfortable seats and fuel efficiency were the biggest surprises and the only true disappointment was that its height made it incompatible with parking garages.

With the capability and appointments considered, its $70,000 sticker price seemed appropriate.

Chevy may not have hit it out of the park with the Silverado HD redesign, but they hit a solid double that keeps them in the game.

Tuscany Motor Co. has chosen to do a Harley-Davison version of the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500.

Photo courtesy of Tuscany Motor Co.

In previous years, Tuscany Motor Co. has customized a limited number of Ford trucks, giving them the full Harley-Davison brand treatment. This year, there's something different for customers, a 2020 GMC Sierra 1500. That model has been transformed in to the Harley-Davidson GMC truck.

"Fans have long hungered for a limited edition GMC truck that celebrates their passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles," said Jeff Burttschell, vice president, Tuscany Motor Co. "For the first time in history, it will be possible to rumble down the road in a V8 powered Harley-Davidson edition GMC truck."

2020 Tuscany Harley-Davidson GMC 

Photo courtesy of Tuscany Motor Co.


With over 65 proprietary components, the truck is branded top to bottom, nose to tail, inside and out with the Harley-Davidson logo.

At the front, the truck features a customized Bar & Shield patterned mesh that is accented by an orange contour insert. The motorcycle manufacturer's name is incorporated into the bezel and a dark finish skid plate resides below with orange tow hooks. Tuscany has replaced the traditional hood of the Sierra 1500 with a unique hood with a black injection-molded hood vent insert.

On the sides of the truck are active air fender vents with a dark finish and orange paint job. There's a Bar & Shield logo on the vents as well as on the color-matched locking tonneau cover.

The back of the truck features black finished cladding and Harley-Davidson logos. Under the bumper are black aluminum-tipped dual exhaust pipes with orange accents.

The 2020 Tuscany Harley-Davidson GMC rides on 22-inch wheels inspired by the famous Harley-Davidson Fat Boy and CVO motorcycles.

The truck comes in either an Onyx Black, Satin Steel Metallic, or Summit White paint job.

The cabin of the model features leather seats with orange diamond pattern embroidery, piano black accents, and prominent displays of the Harley-Davidson logo throughout.

Tuscany is selling the model for $94,995.