2008 Nissan Sentra

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2008 Nissan Sentra Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Nissan Sentra was new.

The Sentra places an emphasis on efficiency over style with an affordable price. But it's stellar gas mileage means the car takes a hit for underwhelming overall performance.

6.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.3
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 7.3
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable price and excellent predicted value
  • Seats provide a satisfying level of comfort and support
  • Superior fuel economy
  • The 2.0-liter engine is underpowered, with low horsepower and torque
  • Mixed response to steering and overall handling
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESP) is unavailable and ABS is not standard on some trims

2008 Nissan Sentra Overview

Reviews express ambivalence concerning the 2008 Nissan Sentra. Although its generally regarded as a good car, most report the four-door sedan gets lost in the shuffle of sporty Civics and functional Fits. Redesigned for the 2007 model year, the Sentra is marketed as the sporty sibling to another Nissan compact, the Versa. But test drivers have split views on the car's performance as well -- although the Sentra has good fuel economy, its acceleration is disappointing and its engine noise is excessive.

The 2008 Nissan Sentra sedan is available in four trims: the base 2.0, the 2.0 S, the 2.0 SL and the SE-R. The SE-R Spec-V is the Sentra's performance-trim sports compact. If you're in the market for an affordable compact, you should note the Honda Civic is noted as a well-equipped small car with responsive performance.

  • "Good on paper and the engine is willing, but in reality, this is a rather dull handling car that lacks any kind of spirit." -- Car and Driver
  • "It does not outclass rivals such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, the Ford Focus or the Mazda3. But it is a very decent commuter -- a good car for moving people of all ages between home and work, home and school, home and social events." -- Washington Post
  • "If it weren't for the ugly styling and the cranky-sounding engine, Sentra would be an easy car to applaud, mainly for its driving feel and pleasant furnishings. But it's not necessarily pick of the litter." -- USA Today
  • "The just-introduced sixth-generation Nissan Sentra has grown up. It's larger, especially inside, very well-equipped, yet still reasonably priced and offers a more upscale experience than expected from a compact sedan." -- The Auto Channel
  • "Even if it doesn't overwhelm, it seems worth considering." -- Newsday
  • "Sentra is truly like an IKEA appliance, attractive, modern, and perhaps just the furniture for your life, even if you're well beyond the target age. But before long, you'll be aspiring to something more." -- Motor Trend
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