Nissan Sentra Pulsar Sylphy

It appears that the US-market Nissan Sentra (also known as the Nissan Sylphy over here) will swing into the 2016 model year in the autumn significantly revamped, in order to combat the arrival of the new tenth-generation Honda Civic later this year, according to Automotive News.

The three-year-old B17 – launched in Malaysia just last year – is likely to receive major styling changes as well as several technological upgrades, with Nissan’s US sales and marketing senior vice president Fred Diaz saying that the “incredibly freshened Sentra” will be “almost all new.”

A large-scale redesign for the Sentra is said to mirror that planned for the 2016 Altima (Teana to you and me), also slated to arrive later this year. This is despite sterling sales for both models in America – 183,268 Sentras were sold last year, 45% up from the year before and the best year for the nameplate in 25 years; the Altima, on the other hand, raked in 142,613 sales, significantly higher than the Honda Accord.

Major facelifts and shorter life cycles are becoming the norm in the US thanks to stiff competition. Honda was forced to make substantial changes to the Civic, inside and out, for the 2013 model year after complaints about the quality and styling of the then-all-new 2012 model.

2013 US Sentra-22

Meanwhile, Toyota replaced almost every exterior panel of the 2015 Camry (yes, even the doors), made considerable revisions to the interior and even went so far as to change the door seals and carpet insulation.

To get a handle on what the substantially refreshed Sentra/Sylphy could look like, perhaps we could take a gander at the European-market Nissan Pulsar – it shares a platform and has almost identical proportions and silhouette as the Pulsar (essentially a Sylphy hatch) sold in ASEAN and Australia, but features unique body panels and interior design.

That’s all well and good, but as always with these sweeping redesigns, the question is the same: will our Nissan Sylphy be updated to the same degree? The answer is not always so clear cut – despite the same Civic model being shared by both North America and ASEAN, the latter did not receive the former’s massive changes, gaining only a new grille, a chrome centre air intake highlight and a few equipment upgrades.

Malaysian-market Nissan Sylphy

Euro-market Nissan Pulsar