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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Little of substance has changed with this year's model
uninspired but modern exterior design
The Sentra looks too much like the Maxima and the Altima
The 2008 Nissan Sentra is no longer Nissan's smallest car for sale in the U.S. market. For Nissan, 2008 is the year the company introduces the Versa into a slot below the Sentra, making the Sentra more of a compact than a subcompact.
Cars.com says, “The Sentra is a nice-looking car — young but not especially daring.” They say the sporty Sentra SE-R Spec V has "some very handsome exterior trim that says, but doesn't shout, performance." Motor Trend thinks it’s “like an IKEA appliance, attractive, modern, and perhaps just the furniture for your life”—but also adds, “The new Sentra copies some of big-brother Altima's styling, especially its roofline/greenhouse, but by now it also looks like a Saturn Ion or Mazda3.”
Edmunds says the 2008 Nissan Sentra’s "uninspired but modern exterior design" is matched by its "functional interior." Inside, Edmunds adds, “The Nissan Sentra's cabin offers a modern design, well-organized controls and generally agreeable materials quality.”
TheCarConnection.com’s editors have driven the Sentra and the sporty SE-R versions—and find the styling sharp and the interior fairly high-quality. Where the Nissan 2008 Sentra suffers is in having one body style. While the Sentra is four-door only, the competition—the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, and Saturn Astra—all are available with fewer doors. The lack of a two-door version may make the Sentra seem less sporty to some reviewers.
The 2008 Nissan Sentra doesn’t offer a two-door version, but the body is handsome and the interior logically laid out.