For a brand that has the splendid GT-R in its line-up, Nissan’s offerings in most other segments are underwhelming when it comes to sheer performance. Since the Nineties SE-R coupe based on the two-door Sentra that went on to set subcompact speed records and achieve cult status, there has been nothing of that ilk from the carmaker that appealed to enthusiasts. Although Nissan has had an SR variant of the current Sentra for some time now, it didn’t offer anything much over the regular trim in terms of performance. However, things look much more promising with the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo, which made its world debut at the Miami International Auto Show.

While the SR had the same 113bhp 1.6-litre engine as the regular saloon, mated to that lacklustre CVT, the SR Turbo gets the 188bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-pot that powers the Juke SL Turbo, and better still, gives you an option to choose a six-speed manual transmission instead of the CVT. To handle the bump in power and torque, the Sentra SR Turbo also receives an enhanced body structure, revised steering system, beefier front disc brakes, and special suspension tuning. Nissan says all these changes have resulted in improved acceleration from standing starts and highway passing, as well as better handling and enhanced ride comfort.

“The Sentra SR Turbo is designed for buyers who want all the attributes of traditional compact sedans but also desire some serious turbo performance," says Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America. “The SR Turbo builds upon the redesigned Sentra and adds 50 per cent more horsepower and more than 40 per cent more torque, as well as the upgrades where drivers will feel them.  It's truly the complete package for compact car buyers and enthusiasts alike,“ he adds.

The 2017 Sentra SR Turbo includes many features as standard, including power sliding moonroof, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, leather seats and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.