2008 Nissan Sentra

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24 CITY / 32 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Fog lights standard on S and SL models

  • Automatic speed control standard on S models

  • Remote keyless entry optional on S models

  • Illuminated driver vanity mirror available on S models

  • Revised option package content changes
Now in its sixth generation, the compact Nissan Sentra competes with the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, and Honda Civic, among others. To hopefully edge out the competition, Nissan offers the 4-door Sentra in five different models ranging from an economical entry-level family sedan to a high-performance 200-hp enthusiast-targeted sport sedan. According to Nissan, all models feature a roomy, high-quality interior with a long list of standard amenities including air conditioning and power windows. For 2008, the Nissan Sentra adds a number of significant enhancements, including additional standard equipment and package content changes across the model lineup.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Nissan Sentra is available in five different models: Sentra 2.0, Sentra 2.0 S, Sentra 2.0 SL, Sentra SE-R, and Sentra SE-R Spec V. All five models are 4-door, front-engine sedans with front-wheel drive. All Sentra 2.0 models share the same 4-cylinder powerplant, while the performance-oriented SE-R and Spec V models feature larger and more powerful engines and other sport-tuned mechanical upgrades.

The standard Sentra 2.0 is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, split fold-down rear seats, a 160-watt audio system, and 15-inch steel wheels. The Sentra 2.0 S adds items including fog lights, power outside mirrors, an upgraded audio system, 16-inch wheels, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Building on those options, the Sentra 2.0 SL features a standard Xtronic CVT transmission, Intelligent Key keyless entry, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and leather-appointed seats, to name just a few of the enhancements. While the Sentra 2.0 SL model offers nearly every option as a standard feature, standard models may be optioned with popular groupings such as the Convenience package, Alloy Wheels package, Audio package, Moonroof package, and XM satellite radio.

The Sentra SE-R models are aimed directly at the enthusiast. With more powerful engines under the hood, both the SE-R and SE-R Spec V models offer sport-tuned suspensions, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, sport front and rear fascias, and sport bucket seats. Popular options include the Audio package, Moonroof package, and the Helical Limited Slip Differential (HLSD).

The 2008 Nissan Sentra is offered with one of three different engines. Standard Sentra 2.0 models feature Nissan's MR20DE 2.0-liter all-aluminum inline 4-cylinder powerplant. It is rated at 140 hp and 147 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions certified as a LEV2-ULEV engine on regular unleaded fuel. The engine is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission (2008 EPA fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway), or Nissan's Xtronic CVT continuously variable transmission (EPA estimates of 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway).

The 2008 Sentra SE-R features a larger QR25DE 2.5-liter all-aluminum inline 4-cylinder powerplant. It is rated at 177 hp and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions certified as a LEV2-LEV engine on regular unleaded fuel. The engine is mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT continuously variable transmission (EPA fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway). The Sentra SE-R Spec V features a high-output version of the same engine. It is rated at 200 hp and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. It is emissions certified as a LEV2-LEV engine on premium unleaded fuel. The SE-R Spec V is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission (EPA estimates of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway).

The standard Sentra models feature front disc brakes and rear drums. The front suspension is independent, while the rear is of a torsion bar design. Stabilizer bars are standard. All SE-R models have upgraded 4-wheel disc brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension with heavier stabilizer bars. The steering system on all Sentra models is electrically power assisted and vehicle-speed sensitive. All 2008 Nissan models are covered by a 36-month/36,000-mile basic coverage warranty and a 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition, a corrosion coverage warranty is in effect for the first 60 months of ownership.

The body and chassis of the 2008 Nissan Sentra are manufactured from high-strength steel. Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System includes driver and front passenger front air bags, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant protection. Standard equipment includes 3-point seat belts in all seating positions. Driver and front passenger belts are equipped with pre-tensioners, load limiters, and manual height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors. The Sentra is equipped with the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system to simplify child seat installation to the outer rear seat positions. Child safety rear door locks and an emergency inside trunk release are both standard. All models may be optioned with an anti-lock braking system (ABS). The 2007 Nissan Sentra was crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It earned a perfect 5-star rating for driver and front passenger in the frontal impact test, and 5-star front/4-star rear ratings for the side-impact test. The rollover rating was 4 stars.

All 2008 Nissan Sentra models, except the base Sentra 2.0, are available with the optional Audio package. While the standard stereo features a 160-watt amplifier pushing sound through a 6-speaker system, the upgraded Audio package (engineered by Rockford Fosgate) features a 340-watt amplifier. Heavily upgraded over the standard radio, the 8-speaker system features two 8-inch subwoofers, two 6-by-9-inch speakers, and four mid-range tweeters. The package also includes an in-dash 6-CD changer, XM satellite radio controls, MP3 capability, auxiliary input, speed-sensitive volume, and the Radio Data System.

J.D. Power Ratings

Initial Quality Study (IQS) by Category
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality - Design?
Body & Interior Quality - Design?
Overall Quality - Mechanical?
Powertrain Quality - Design?
Features & Accessories Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality?
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical?
Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study by Category
Overall Performance and Design?
Features and Instrument Panel?
Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) by Category
Feature and Accessory Dependability?
Powertrain Dependability?
Body and Interior Dependability?
Overall Dependability?

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