Nissan Sentra to get more engines; hatchback under consideration

The current model is only available with a single engine option, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower.

Nissan has promised to finally offer more engine choices for the Sentra sedan.

The current model is available with one powerplant in the US market, a 1.8-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.

The Toyota Corolla is available with two engines ranging from 132 to 140 ponies, while the Honda Civic can now be purchased with a 174-horsepower turbocharged mill. The Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte and Mazda3 can also be configured with higher-output engines for certain packages.

"From a product standpoint, in the future you'll see more engine offerings, and it's full steam ahead," Nissan North America product-planning director Michael Bunce told Wards Auto. "We're fully focused on the segment."

The company is also exploring a potential resurrection of the Sentra hatchback, not seen in the US market for more than 25 years. The proposal is being weighed against potential entries in the compact crossover segment, which is experiencing a higher growth rate than sedans.

Sentra sales were up by 11 percent to around 203,500 units in the US last year, providing a seemingly strong starting point for the 2016 refresh. The company has not yet announced if one or more new engines will arrive before the next-generation model, likely slated for a few years down the road.

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