To date, the Sentinel has appeared in the following games:
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Grand Theft Auto Advance
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- Grand Theft Auto IV
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
The Sentinel resembles a 1996-2003 BMW 5 Series sedan (most likely a 528i, based on the power and size) in GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories. In GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories, it resembles a lengthened BMW 7 Series E23, and in GTA San Andreas, it resembles a BMW 7 Series E32. However, several significant cosmetic changes may be noted between the latter three games, particularly with regards to the the frontal and rear fascias; even the GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories renditions are significantly different from each other, as the GTA Vice City Stories Sentinel appears less like its high performance counterpart, the Sentinel XS.
The GTA Advance rendition doesn't appear to have a clear source of inspiration for its design, but retains its slender 4-door sedan. While the car isn't generally associated with any gang, the GTA Advance rendition is an exception, serving a gang car for an unspecified mafia in the game, taking over the role of the Mafia Sentinel, the mafia variant of the Sentinel.
Prior to the release of GTA III, the Sentinel was named the "Beamer", a common misspelling of the "Bimmer" nickname for BMW cars. A car of this name was previously featured in Grand Theft Auto 2, and was also based on a BMW. Meanwhile, a "Sentinal" was also in the process of development, appearing as a modern, rounded car that would go on to become the Kuruma. Both beta cars can be found in the Capital Autos website.
With a V6 engine in all its appearances between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the Sentinel has a good top speed and acceleration. The car handles well, with good drifting properties, although its rear-drive layout sometimes leads to oversteer and tailspins; these problems are more apparent in the GTA San Andreas rendition, due to its different weight distribution and softer suspension. In GTA San Andreas, the Sentinel's top speed of 163km/h makes it the second fastest four-door car in the game.
The Sentinel in GTA IV is manufactured by Übermacht and is modeled after the BMW 3 Series E46 coupe, most likely the 2001-2006 M3, considering the bumper design. The tail lights seem to be inspired by the older E36 3 Series.
Also visible are miniscule STD badges in front of the doors, near the sideskirts and front wheel wells. STD stands for "Sentinel Tuning Division", likely a play on Subaru's STi marque and BMW's in-house tuning division, BMW M, but also a reference to the acronym for "sexually transmitted disease".
Being a modern sports coupe, the GTA IV Sentinel reaches a top speed of 192mph - not far from the fastest vehicles in the game. It has above-average acceleration, reaching 60mph in 6.5 seconds, and reaching its top speed fairly quickly as well. The Sentinel's suspension is rather soft, and it tends to roll when going around tight bends at high speed; the rear of the car also tends to bounce about when traveling on uneven roads. Its handling is above average, but at high speeds it loses a lot of grip and easily spins out of control due to the lack of weight in the rear. But if controlled right, its speed and grip can be combined to produce almost-professional like drifts that can be used to slide into sharp turns and back alleyways to evade the police without difficulty. Nonetheless, it is arguably the best choice in the Modern category in multiplayer racing.
Crash deformation at higher speeds is high (quarter panels of the car may look to be "glitched" into the wheel wells if hit hard enough), and it isn't hard with this car to make the wheels jam in crashes, but the car can withstand a surprising amount of frontal impacts without failing.
Modifications (GTA San Andreas)
- Color (exterior)
- Exhaust (four varieties)
- Spoilers (four varieties)
- Wheels (ten varieties)
- Nitro (all)
- Bass Boost
Prominent appearances in missions
In GTA Vice City, a unique black Sentinel is the target's getaway vehicle in the mission "Hit The Courier". The player can obtain the car by diligently killing the driver of the car as soon as she enters it, but must not exit the car and close its door until they enter a garage or complete the mission, as the car will lock itself again.
In GTA San Andreas, Sentinels are used as cover in the mission The Green Sabre, when the GSF members, CJ and Sweet must resist the onslaught of the Ballas under the Mulholland Intersection. It is also driven in the mission "Mountain Cloud Boys", to aid Wu Zi Mu in a series of drive-by shootings against enemy gang members. Kent Paul is seen driving a dark blue Sentinel to the airport in the GTA San Andreas mission Saint Mark's Bistro; a unique grey Sentinel can also be seen in the court yard of Marco's Bistro during this mission.
- Mafia Sentinel, a gang variant of the Sentinel from GTA III, also known as the Leone Sentinel in GTA Liberty City Stories.
- Sentinel XS, a sportier variant of the Sentinel, comparable to the Mafia Sentinel.
- After collecting all thirty cars for Stevie in GTA IV, he agrees to purchase cars from Niko Bellic, with the Sentinel fetching $2,500.
- The Sentinel plays the following radio stations by default when entered:
Sentinels are generally found throughout the business districts of all the cities; some can be seen driving in the suburbs and wealthy parts of town as well.
- Saint Mark's, Portland Island - Parked outside Marco's Bistro.
- In the Staunton Island LCPD HQ parking lot.
- Torrington, Staunton Island - Parked outside Kenji's Casino.
- Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale - In the parking lot.
GTA Vice City
- In the mission Hit The Courier, the main target is driving a unique black Sentinel. Its doors are locked, however the player can snipe the driver to obtain it.
- Can always be found at Sunshine Autos, whether the player owns the business or not.
GTA San Andreas
- Can be found behind Roboi's Food Mart store
- Inside one of the Vinewood studios,only when wanted for export.(sometimes locked)
- It is common around the Prickle Pine area, Las Venturas.
- Very common in business areas such as Financial or Old Venturas Strip.
- Can be imported once the player has exported it.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Harwood, Portland Island - Spawns inside the Capital Autos showroom after completing three levels of Car salesman.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Several Sentinels can be found at the Washington Beach car park.
- Spawn all around Broker, but mostly in Hove Beach
- Spawn around The Exchange, Algonquin
- Spawn around Middle Park, Algonquin
- Spawn around Star Junction and The Triangle, Algonquin
- Spawn around Little Italy, Algonquin
- Spawn around Westdyke, Alderney
- Spawns in the parking lot next to the control tower at Francis International Airport in Dukes.
- Found behind the Laundromat in Hove Beach, after the mission Hung Out to Dry for Vladimir Glebov. It can be found here after the mission is completed.
- Oracle, GTA IV's continuation of the Sentinel's previous four-door BMW luxury sedan style.