Exterior

I find the Sentra peculiar-looking, but you can form your own opinion. As for the SE-R and SE-R Spec V variants, they have unique side sill extensions and deeper front and rear bumpers to match. A tastefully subtle trunklid spoiler is also standard. The front brake calipers — easily spied through the thin-spoke 17-inch wheels — are painted silver and labeled "SE R." Makes you wonder why the rear calipers didn't get similar treatment. They look pretty grungy in comparison.

Sentra Spec V in the Market

The Spec V definitely makes for a more entertaining Sentra. Its main advantage against other sport compacts is its price. At $20,470, it's cheaper than the Civic Si and Cooper S by about $800, the Cobalt SS and Mazdaspeed3 by almost $2,000, the Caliber SRT4 by more than $2,200, the GTI by $2,830 and the WRX by almost $3,900. Where it falls short is in meeting its performance potential. Nissan is the same company that brings you the 350Z and, for cripe's sake, the GT-R. Both of those models do things that comparably priced cars can't. The Spec V is supposed to be the ultimate version of the Sentra in a class where other ultimates include the Mazdaspeed3 and GTI. Even the WRX is in some ways a star, and it's not even the ultimate Impreza — that would be the WRX STI. So the Spec V is a better Sentra, but I don't think it's the ultimate.

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