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2008 Nissan Sentra

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2008 Nissan Sentra Review

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Reborn for 2008, the sixth generation of Nissan's popular Sentra grew in scale and stature, going from compact to mid-size status as the result of significant stretches in just about every key dimension. Anchoring the largely-carryover 2008 lineup are 2.0, 2.0 S and 2.0 SL models, while high-performance SE-R and SE-R Spec V variants (see separate review) provide enthusiast appeal. This front-drive four-door boasts more sophisticated styling, improved ride and handling, better fuel efficiency and a greater range of creature comforts than its predecessors -- traits that serve it well in dealing with market challenges from the likes of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Spectra, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like This Car If...

When interior space and serenity really matter, the Sentra delivers in a big way. Those facing long, tortuous commutes will also appreciate the practical charms of its Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Standard on the 2.0 and 2.0 SL and available on the 2.0 S, it earns even better EPA mileage numbers than the six-speed manual.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who prefer crisp handling response or brisk acceleration are likely to be disappointed, although moving up to the SE-R or SE-R Spec V models would dramatically change both elements of the overall performance equation. Stability control is still not available on any variant.

What's New for 2008

All three trim levels benefit from minor but meaningful upgrades in standard equipment or option packages. The base 2.0 now has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the 2.0 S adds a security system and anti-lock (ABS) brakes, the 2.0 SL gets XM Satellite Radio and all gain daytime running lights.

Driving the Sentra

Driving Impressions With SE-R and Spec V variants to please the enthusiast crowd, Nissan tuned the suspension of its mainstream Sentras to deliver the kind of ride comfort that core buyers clearly...

prefer. As a result, all three display a fair amount of body roll during aggressive cornering maneuvers and prominent nose-dipping under hard stops with their capable front disc and rear drum anti-lock brakes. However, this more polished personality also delivers smooth, relaxed in-town commutes and effortless freeway cruising with cabin noise levels that remain commendably low regardless of vehicle speed. Although engine power is hardly overwhelming, it's still somewhat surprising to see that neither traction nor stability control are available on any 2008 Sentra model.

Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
While it lacks the "sport mode" found on several other Xtronic applications, this seamless automatic is a good match for the Sentra engine and offers EPA fuel economy ratings that are superior to those of the six-speed manual gearbox that's standard on the 2.0 S.


Leather Upholstery
Included as part of the 2.0 SL package, this premium interior trim item adds a definite upscale flavor to the top-line Sentra model.

2008 Nissan Sentra Details
2008 Nissan Sentra photo Interior

Designed for U.S. buyers, the Sentra's nicely finished and well-appointed cabin comes in either beige, charcoal or saddle tones with aluminum-look or faux-wood accents. Large doors simplify entry and exit for all seats, and the Sentra offers more space for both people and their carry-ons than most of its competitors -- including a laptop-sized locking glovebox and a 13.1 cubic-foot trunk. Control layouts are good and main gauges easy to read, but the charcoal-and-orange LCD displays for the fuel and temperature indicators and audio and air conditioning readouts suffer legibility problems. Well-contoured front seats are matched with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that's fit for two average-size adults or three medium-size kids.

Exterior

Sharing the edgy design flair that characterizes all current Nissan products, the Sentra's literally high-profile bodywork features a sloping nose and short decklid separated by a tallish roofline and large glass area that ensures good outward visibility. A relatively long 105.7-inch wheelbase results in fairly short front and rear overhangs while prominent shoulder lines transition into softer front and rear contours set off by large, wraparound head and tail lamps. Inside pronounced fender flares, the 2.0 has 205/60 tires on 15-inch steel rims while the 2.0 S and 2.0 SL move up to 205/55 tires on larger 16-inch wheels, steel on the former and alloy on the top-line offering.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Sentra includes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, trip computer and an AM/FM/CD audio system. The 2.0 S -- offered with either the CVT or a six-speed manual gearbox -- adds anti-lock brakes, larger wheels with lower-profile tires, remote keyless entry and steering wheel-mounted audio controls, while the 2.0 SL has leather upholstery, keyless start, alloy wheels, XM Satellite Radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Optional Equipment

Sentra extras are largely model specific, with anti-lock brakes, a decklid spoiler and some trim bits heading the 2.0's options list. For the 2.0 S, XM Satellite Radio, Intelligent Key remote locking/starting (automatic only), a Convenience Package with Bluetooth connectivity, Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with six-disc changer and MP3 capability, Moonroof Package and the Divide-N-Hide Trunk System are available. Those latter three items represent the prime upgrades for the already comprehensively equipped 2.0 SL.

Under the Hood

All 2.0 Sentras share an identical 140-horsepower version of Nissan's 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine that was co-developed with parent-company Renault. This modern all-aluminum engine replaced the previous 126-horsepower 1.8-liter when the sixth-generation models arrived for 2007. The 2.0-liter makes an impressive 147 pound-feet of torque, and features variable timing on the intake valves that helps enhance its mid-range punch. Acceleration with either transmission is decent if not exhilarating, with a zero-to-60 mile-per-hour sprint requiring about nine seconds. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that EPA fuel economy figures with the Xtronic CVT actually surpass those of the six-speed manual gearbox, in both city and highway mode.


2.0-liter in-line 4
140 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
147 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 (manual), 25/33 (automatic)

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2008 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 431 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Amazing car

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Cvt engine, reliable and very strong car"

Cons: "lower body"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I ought this car 8 years ago customize. There are lots of people that want to buy my car because of the conditions my car is, even the dealership can't believe how great my car look inside out. Few years ago someone hit me in the back. This car can take a hit. Last year someone try to hit me (an SUV) the lady didn't see me. I did a 360 with my car and the stability is amazing. Has little scratches that you can't even see them. The color is amazing and shine like a brand new car. No engines problems. The only thing I have change are tired and a new muffler. I wish the car was a little bit heavier and height to go through Michigan ice roads. I love this car. Nissan made the best 2008 Sentra. New ones are not as good as mine."

great for teens or second car

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great car exceellent transportation"

Cons: "none known"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"car do have some dins no MAJOR problems..need tune up right mirror needs repair..overall great little car..daughters college car..served her well"

Horrible Car

By on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "The interior falls apart."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car has been reliable, I must say but there are so many things I am disappointed with. The drivers side window hasn't functioned for the past three years and the cost to repair it is ridiculous. Manual windows would have been better. Both visor mirrors are broken and the driver visor clip has fallen out. Even new, with the visor down you could never even see a traffic light it came down so low, and that was before the thing fell apart. You could never adjust it. I had to replace the tires often. I have never owned a car that needed new tires like the ones on this car. The service engine light would come on for no reason and the tire light too, even after the tires are new and at the proper pressure. I was just rear-ended at a right turn so the vehicle behind me was going less than 10 mph and now the frame is bent. Total loss. I suppose it's a blessing at this point."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Very reliable, drives well in winter.

By on Monday, September 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,856

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A solid, reliable, performer in any weather."

Cons: "No remote trunk release"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Dependable all around vehicle that performs well in winter. Added snow tires and never worried about snow in forecast. Has a smooth ride for a small car and if you don't drive to aggressive, can get 32-33 mpg combined cit/hwy. Comfortable seats and decent amt of room front and back. NEVER had any problems; a very reliable car."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Horrible Car That Has Fallen Apart

By on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I purchased a brand new 2010 Nissan Sentra from a Nissan dealer in May 2010. I thought at the time that it was a great value. I got heated leather seats, moon/sun roof, navi system and upgraded audio. Unfortunately, that sheen didn't last. By the time my warranty expired, both vanity mirrors had just fallen out (they were rarely used). The liner in the back ceiling of the car is drooping down. The passenger side window doesn't go up or down unless the driver does. The drivers side window doesn't go up or down at all. The console charger stopped working. As you can see, things went one by one and haven't stopped since. I am lookign to quickly get rid of this P.O.S. DO NOT BUY! Buyer Beware!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle and comfortable. Can take hits.

By on Sunday, August 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, comfort, great in gas and strong car"

Cons: "So far bothing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I love this car. 8 years and customize. Have only few scratches. Is my baby and the color after you wash it and wax it is amazing. Great in gas. 25 to 28 in city and up to 39 in the highway. I had 2 accident with the car. A woman hit me in the back and the car is very strong. Then another woman try to hit me on a side and I took control of the car, did a 360 on the car and land up on a parking lot. No problems with the engine or any other issues with the car. Reliable, strong, comfort, stability is incredible."

16 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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