This is by far the most economical car I have ever owned! My sister bought this Sentra new and sold it to me with 100k miles on it in 2000. I've driven it over another 100k and it just runs and runs. Always starts on the first try, will cruise comfortably at 80+ MPH all day long and gets 35-40 MPG depending on how hard I push it. It's unconditionally reliable. Give it regular oil and filter changes and it just runs and runs. I use it for work, driving 100-200 miles a day including driving up dirt roads to mountaintop radio sites and it just won't quit.
Fun to drive on twisty roads. Cruises great on freeways. Heater and A/C are excellent. 1.6L engine has enough power for me, never gets hot no matter how hard I push it and at 208k has needed nothing except routine maintenance.
The burgundy paint clearcoat started peeling about 5 years ago and looks pretty ratty now. I may have to break down and get it repainted, as I plan to keep this car for a while yet. Trunk has a slight water leak that I haven't been able to eliminate.
I bought the car in 1999 at 66k miles. I just needed a box that ran until I got out of school, which is exactly what I got. I had a lot of problems with the clutch, replacing it twice. apparently it has some kind of funky "adjustable clutch" which Nissan only made for this year's models. Since I didn't know about it when I bought it, I snapped it clean. You will too, if you ride your clutch like I do. I also eventually had to replace a starter. The check engine light came on a lot due to a bad O2 sensor. Seemed to guzzle a lot of oil, but I treated it badly, not doing the regular maintenance. Good If you just need to get around town.if it's got over 50k miles, don't take a lot of long trips.
Nothing really stands out. It had good trunk space and fuel efficiency. Probably would've lasted longer if I had taken care of it.
Speakers bad, A/C nonexistent. Nissan already stopped making the adjustable clutch, so no more of that. I think I'm gonna go with a Honda Civic since this guy threw a rod and died @85k miles.