To be successful, a compact car must appeal to Goldilocks. It can’t have too much of this quality or too little of that trait. It needs to strike a balance of characteristics that is just right.
The single word that describes such perfect proportion is value. A car is a good value when it gives you sufficient amounts of the attributes you need, but doesn’t overload you with them so that it costs a lot.
For a good illustration of that, look at the new, 2013 Nissan Sentra. The stylishly striving small car was introduced at this time last year as a redesigned, next-generation remake of the four-door sedan.
So far in 2013, sales of the new version at Salem Nissan are running more than 20 percent higher than last year’s model. The primary reason for the new Sentra’s surge in popularity is its value, according to Bret Chavaree, who co-owns and co-manages the Salem, N.H., dealership with his partner Dan Forget.
Like all compact cars, the Sentra is moderately sized – not so large that it guzzles fuel just moving its own bulk, nor so small that it sacrifices comfort or usefulness to wring extreme miles from a gallon of gas. It is well powered, with a four-cylinder engine that keeps pace with surrounding traffic. It is nicely styled, with a sharp, contemporary look that gives the new Sentra presence on the roadway, without making it overly showy or flamboyant. Its interior is clean, pleasant and functional. In all the important categories, Sentra seems just right.
When you add to that balance a starting list price of $16,800 and a big fuel-economy improvement in the redesigned, 2013 Sentra, you get the value that is attracting shoppers to the car at Salem Nissan.
“It has great fuel economy. The purchase price is attractive, with really strong, low lease payments on the car right now. It’s a value buy for sure,” said Chavaree.