I finally traded this one in after 13 years, 135K, and minimal maintenance. The only non wear-and-tear type of repair I had to do was a replacement catalytic converter, which was about $500. It was a decent, ridiculously cheap, comfortable, extremely reliable car to drive and I'll miss her.
I bought my 2001 Sentra in May of 2010 with 71,000 for $5,500. Now, Jan 2014 with over 105k on the odometer I can honestly say that it has been a pretty good little car over these past few years. The car feels peppy enough around town but can be a little lack luster when going to merge or pass quickly. I get about 22 MPG out of mine with a lot of driving in traffic. The road noise is quiet but the engine and wind noise on the highway is a bit high. The only major issue I had with it was the head gasket going at around 91k (which apparently is a common problem with the 1.8L engine.) That repair was around $1700, not cheap, but that was the only major issue I had with the car.
Steering and handling. The steering in the 01 Sentra has a nice heavy feeling to it and makes you feel like you're really connected to the road, unlike some of the newer cars out there with electronic steering. The 4 speed automatic is pretty good too -- a little clunky when you're in stop and go traffic but it never really feels like you're stuck in the highest gear. It pops down a gear or two if need be with ease.
For being as slow as it is, it COULD get a little bit better gas mileage (although it could just be my specific car and conditions.) Also the rear seats are a bit cramped for larger passengers.
Purchased 12/18/2000. I don't drive much so my sentry only has 150k but it has been a great car. No motor or tranny probs. Recently developed a small intermittent starting problem that I believe to be fuel pressure regulator.love this car. Hate the 07-12 body style. Love the 13 so I might go with a 14
I bought this car new in late 2000 and over 100K it hasn't ever let me down.
With the manual trans, it's consistently a blast to drive.
It has had minimal problems over the years, mostly incidental.
Never any engine issues.
Replaced O2 sesors, brakes, tires, fixed window motors, and the CD player is dead, and a tree fell on it and scratched the heck out of the paint (which was always a weak point) but I still can't justify giving this baby up!
What I'd get for it would never reflect the true value of this car!
Fun To Drive.
Way more car than you pay for.
Better paint job.
Pumped up soundsystem would be nice.
I bought my sentra new. Very reliable. Good feel. Great control on snowy roads. Easy to service. Had the car for 8 years.
Had to let this car go after it got t-boned. But even in the accident, the structure of the car held up extremely well.
I'd buy one again if I had the opportunity.
Only negative, for nissans in general, is that they use cheap brakes and tires that need to be swapped out after 2 years.