Used 1997 Nissan Sentra Consumer Reviews - 43 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Nissan Sentra - Consumer Reviews

1997 Nissan Sentra

Average Consumer Rating

43 Total Reviews

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A solid, reliable, used car.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By J.R.
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 4dr Sedan


Review

Have had my '97 GXE for seven years, and it has been an excellent choice in a used car. Just under 100,000 miles on it, and it delivers a solid 27 MPG in mostly city traffic and needs very little maintenance. This is a commuter car, though, no doubt. The 1.6L engine and auto transmission are pretty well paired and give good power delivery. Seats in the 1997 models are lacking, particularly in lumbar support. Spirited driving is definitely not recommended, as you'll quickly hit the limitations of a soft suspension and too-small brakes for the class. Still, if you can find a '95-99 with low miles that hasn't been flogged hard, it's a good choice for a kid's first car or a station car.


Best Features

Spacious cabin and trunk for a compact car. Automatic transmission has a broad, usable second gear which gives the car a good amount of go when the stop-and-go city traffic opens up. Well-thought-out, but plastic-y interior. The metallic exterior paints seem to weather well.


Worst Features

The combination of a small A/C compressor and equally small blower motor on this thing means trouble on a 90-degree-plus Southern summer day. Automatic prefers to shift early into overdrive, leaving you little oomph beyond 60 miles per hour or so. Dealership repair markup seems excessive.


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She'll Be Missed
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Long-time driver
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 4dr Sedan


Review

After 12 years and 208,000 miles, the old girl finally gave up the ghost (timing chain and more - would have cost almost three times the car's worth to fix). But over that time, I only had two major repairs - one involving the oxygen sensor right after the warranty expired (of course) and another a few years ago. And I drove this car everywhere. The visors fell off, the headliner was drooping, the bumper was dinged and a tail light had electrical issues - and still she drove like a dream. No get-up-and go, but that's not what this car's about. If you find one in good cosmetic shape, buy it for your kid - great starter car, even 12 years later.


Best Features

Long-lasting. The plain-Jane styling kept it from looking dated. Comfortable. GREAT gas mileage. Cruise- control. Shifted great. The radio still works! Not that noisy.


Worst Features

I have no idea what the 2010 Sentras look like, but for used-buyers, here's the down sides: cup holders under the radio (??), had to turn off the A/C to really get up a hill without embarrassing yourself, vibrated scarily over 76 mph. No CD player.


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171k miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 171k miles
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this car used with 171k miles for my girlfriend to drive. I paid $1800.00 and the car has new tires and paint. I invested another $100.00 in a radio and a hubcap (both missing). I took the car to my mechanic who suggested an alignment, then took the car for CA emmissions. It passed. Since then I have had to replace clogged windshield washer sprayers.


Best Features

Auto, pw & pl, cold a/c, interior looks like new still, 28 mpg average, super-dependable, good interior space


Worst Features

Who decided to put the cup holders between the radio and the shift knob? Also this was not the best year model for exterior style.


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Can't beat it with a stick
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Roy Yeager
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 4dr Sedan


Review

We bought this car new in 1997. It is a 5 speed with the 1.6 engine. 203,000 miles later it is still a good solid car that has had nothing but normal wear repairs for a car with this many miles. After it hit 170,000 I have replaced 1 starter, EGR valve, oxygen sensor and driver side axle. It developed a main seal leak at 180,000 which I haven't fixed yet but will. With that done I would drive it cross country. Still has the original clutch. 38 MPG average and 42 MPG on the interstate running 75 to 80. It's part of the family.


Best Features

Great MPG. Adequate but not overwhelming power. Large trunk.


Worst Features

Cup holder put the tops of drinks in the right position to splash on the radio. Put the holders on the console. Back seat leg room could have been better like some of the other 97 compact cars. Lack of front seat support which has been remedied with cushioned seat covers.


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Bad Rear Struts
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By frank
on

Vehicle

1997 Nissan Sentra 4dr Sedan


Review

We bought this car for a teenaged daughter, it had a very rough first sixty thousand miles. The woman who owned it hit everything in her way. We bought her cheap, replaced 3 bent wheels, a bent back axle, light body work, lots was already done. I replaced an alternator at 98 thousand, and just replaced my third set of rear struts also replacing the springs this time. Hopefully to change my luck. The car runs nice for what it is.


Best Features

Reliability and gas mileage.


Worst Features

A little wider seat, we're not all 145 lbs.


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