The Nissan Sentra is a little car that few Jalops will probably stick up for. In fact, as Matt pointed out today, Nissan’s products are decent but they’re in the middle of a brand identity crisis. What is a Nissan, anyway?

Reader AggregateDemand answers that question pretty well, all told:

Start with a Honda or Toyota. Remove conentional operations management. Love/Hate the awkward melange of automobiles that result.

Nissan is smart because they accept that automobiles are a mature industry, and real-dollar costs should be falling. They don’t reinvent the wheel every 4-5 years. They use the same old reliable parts, and they focus on powertrain development.

I don’t think they are exploiting the strategy to its fullest, but they are quite daring for a monolithic auto oligopolist.

Sentra is awesome by the way. It’s like compact Japanese Buick. Just point it down the road and let the little sewing machine and the CVT do the rest. 400 miles on 10.5 gallons of gas. No problem.

It may not be exciting, but there’s honor in being someone’s good, reliable, fuel-sipping transportation.

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Congratulations on your comment of the day win, AggregateDemand! May the ghost of Paul Newman return to the mortal realm and take you for a spin in his Skyline!


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.