In the early ’90s, Nissan exit a SE-R variation of their renowned compact automobile – the Sentra. Boasting 2 doors, a an ext powerful, very tunable engine, and also other sporty upgrades, the SE-R quickly came to be a cult classic and also still is today.

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But that’s once the Sentra to be still a compact car. In 2007, Nissan provided the Sentra a badly necessary upgrade. Increasing in size and features, you deserve to now comfortably speak to the Sentra a mid-size sedan. So currently that the Sentra is in the same segment the Altima offered to be in (and is only easily accessible with 4 doors,) walk the new SE-R have the same pizzazz together the original? SE-R purists would certainly scoff at the question, however with the 177 horsepower (SE-R Spec-V buyers gain 200 hp,) sport suspension, signature G-meter, sport appearance bits, and a few other details to remind you that you’re not driving one econo-box, there’s no denying that the Sentra SE-R is more than simply a fuel-efficient sedan through a an elaborate badge on the rear.

The 2008 Nissan Sentra come in 5 trim levels: 2.0, 2.0S, 2.0SL, SE-R, and SE-R Spec-V. All space front-wheel journey sedans, and also the an initial three have a usually 140 horsepower, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, mated to a shiftless repetitively Variable transmission (CVT) tuned for the economy (a 6-speed hands-on is conventional on the 2.0S, through the CVT optional.) for the SE-R, Nissan snagged the 2.5L 177 horsepower engine the end of the larger Altima and threw it right into the Sentra. A sport-tuned CVT v gimmicky paddle-shifters is the just transmission easily accessible in the SE-R. For the SE-R V-Spec, they walk all out – tuning the same 2.5L 4-cylinder up to 200 horsepower, installation it with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, and adding all species of added “tuner” parts and also upgrades.


The styling of the auto seems to it is in love-it-or-hate-it. Through the tall roof-line and flat sides, part have dubbed it a “micro van,” while rather say the looks upscale and could be perplexed with its enlarge brothers, the Altima or Maxima. Getting into the SE-R, that likes you to sit really high up. Thankfully, the vertical seat adjustment enables taller motorists to acquire some headroom and also lower the already high center of gravity. The placing of the change lever is various than many cars but not awkward. The SE-R signature oil pressure and also G-meter gauges sit high in the facility console, 350Z-style. That note: the G-meter only steps front/back Gs, definition that you will just see the gauge move when speeding up or braking. I would have uncovered a lateral G (side-to-side) meter more useful. I intend this gauge is largely for the “look what my car can do” crowd. The orange gauge light is ugly (red or blue would be sportier,) and also the info display screen screen in the facility console looks prefer it came directly from 1974.

Driving the SE-R is how amazing fun. For its size and also weight, the SE-R is impressively nimble and also quick. Strength is there as soon as you require it, and the sport-tuned CVT knows as soon as you want to go fast. The lack of changing gears makes the engine noise tiresome after a when – a consistent drone. Press the large “M” button next to the change lever, and also you readjust into hand-operated mode, activating the paddle-shifters. Except you’re not really shifting due to the fact that it’s a CVT. That a good thought, but if you’re going to placed a CVT in a sports car, just stick v it and also don’t shot to pass off this gimmicky pseudo-shifting as sporty. If you want a hands-on transmission, you’ll have to step up into the Spec-V.



The Sentra SE-R feel lighter and also lower 보다 it is, which is a commendable job to achieve for one otherwise spacious and also economic car. We discovered ourselves speeding roughly some earlier roads v the car and also having funny in the process. When you execute feel more body roll than I’d like, it hosted to the road very well, and even an extremely sharp turns at greater speeds didn’t make me nervous.

The 2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R starts in ~ $20,070, giving a good value for a mid-size sporty sedan the gets 30mpg on the highway yet a little bit pricey because that those who are in the economic climate mindset. If she looking come get also sportier v your ride, you have the right to step up into the SE-R Spec-V for just $500 more. That $500 will get you 200 horsepower instead of 177, a close-ratio (and more fun) 6-speed hand-operated transmission, a tighter suspension, and stiffer chassis, together with a few other tweaks the make it well worth the $500 if you have the right to live through the sportier nature the the car and also slightly lessened fuel economy (21 city/29 hwy instead of 24/30.)

Before girlfriend Buy


Check out the SE-R Spec-V if you desire it even sportier, but pay one-of-a-kind attention to details, as this will certainly be your daily driver. Note just how the V-brace in the behind (open the trunk) is up against the ago of the behind seats? That means you can’t move those seats down for more storage room choose you deserve to in the other Sentras. Also, make certain the suspension isn’t too tight and also that the reduced fuel economic climate is precious it for you.

Also, be sure to look in ~ the 2.0 Sentras. They might not be together sporty or fast as the SE-R but will quiet offer good fuel economy and mid-size room for a compact car price.

Some that the Nissan Sentra SE-R’s competitors worth discovering are the MazdaSpeed 3, Honda civic Si, and the Toyota Corolla XRS. Top top the economic situation route, friend can additionally lookout for the Saturn Astra, Hyundai Elantra, and also the Ford Focus, although us didn’t choose the Focus throughout our 2008 Ford focus Review.

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Overall, the Nissan Sentra SE-R is a good value for those searching for a sporty mid-size with plenty the room and good fuel economy.