2008 Nissan Sentra Overview


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2008 Nissan Sentra Overview

After a major revision in 2007, the Nissan Sentra features few changes for 2008. The 2007 redesign made it bigger, roughly an inch wider and longer and three inches taller than the category-leading Honda Civic. As a result the Sentra offers more interior space than the Civic.

Reviewers found the Sentra's seating for five comfortable and supportive in both cloth and available leather upholstery, with well-designed ergonomics. Rear passengers will find generous legroom, even for six-footers. The 60/40 rear seats fold flat and open a large space into the trunk. With 13.1 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk - over a cubic foot more than in the Civic - and the rear seats folded flat, you'll find enough room to carry two bicycles.

Some reviewers found the Sentra's base 2.0-liter powerplant underwhelming. Yet the aluminum four cylinder makes 140 hp - the same as the Civic's engine and more than the Corolla's. While the Sentra's new size makes it a heavier car, the 2.0-liter S gets from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, four-tenths of a second faster than the Civic LX. The Sentra is available in two engine sizes: 2.0 liter (the base, S, and SL trims) or 2.5 liter (SE-R and SE-R Spec-V). The SE-R is the performance line, with 177 hp or 200 hp (Spec-V) available from the 2.5-liter engine. The SL and SE-R are equipped exclusively with the CVT (Continuously Variable) transmission. The other trim lines are available with either a six-speed manual or the CVT. The top-line performance model, the SE-R Spec-V, comes with only the six-speed manual and zips through the 0-60 dash in 6.7 seconds - four-tenths of a second faster than the lighter high-performance Civic Si.

As expected in an economy model, the Sentra does well mileage-wise. Under test conditions in a 2007 Motor Trend comparison, a Sentra S with the CVT recorded 25.9 mpg against the Civic LX's 27.1 mpg. The ever-optimistic EPA's estimates for the S are 29/36 mpg versus the Civic's 30/40. No doubt the Sentra's extra 200 pounds is a factor. The EPA estimates the 2.5-liter Sentra SE-R will get 21/29 mpg with the manual transmission and 24/30 with the CVT.

The Sentra receives praise for its handling, being taut yet compliant and yielding an overall comfortable drive. Steering is characterized as "crisp" and "tight." The Sentra S comes with the standard set of airbags (front, side, and side head curtain), although Nissan has been faulted for not making electronic stability control available and for not making ABS standard on entry-level trims.


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Nissan Sentra Questions

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