A solidly built, reliable compact car.
By Josh R. on
1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 4dr Sedan
This is an unobtrusive little compact sedan that doesn't ask much of its owner - but admittedly doesn't inspire love and affection in turn. This is not a Mini or a Corvette we have here, though - it's fuel-thrifty transportation, a Point A-to-B car. Pickup from the 1.6L inline-four when coupled to the automatic is unimpressive until the engine kicks into high RPMs. Adding an aftermarket intake and exhaust system really helps. Brakes are a tad small for the vehicle but are serviceable. Interior is probably the best thing: good use of space, fit and finish is nice for a compact. Standard seats, though, have no lumbar or lateral support whatsoever. Overall, not bad-made in the USA too!
You get a lot for your money here - great gas mileage and a lot of standard features. Sound system uses bigger standard speakers than most American small cars if you're lucky enough to get one with the CD player. Price is also lower than Civic or Corolla.
Eight years later, Sentras have more power and a little bit more room. However, you still have to buy the SE-R to get what you really need: more power, better seats and brakes, and an A/C compressor big enough to cool the car. Unacceptable, as for the price of an SE-R you can buy an Altima 2.5S.