I got this car used, in mid 2015 (so nearly 15 years old) but with less than 120,000 miles on it. I liked this car, for the most part. It's loud (and not because of a large engine) and it's no luxury vehicle, but it is fine. However, there are small things: the stereo is not very good (especially if you have to turn it up for reasons I will get in to), the arm rest compartment broke, parts of the interior rattle and vibrate at highway speed, the headlights are not great, and the tires wore out relatively quickly. Now on to the big things, the A/C went out and it was a multi-thousand dollar job (apparently the labor is complicated because of how the car is built), I did not get this fixed. As a result, I was driving with the windows down all summer, even on the highway, so if I wanted to listen to music I had to turn the stereo up high, and noticed diminished sound quality. The driver's window control does not always work. The sun roof broke, also a multi-thousand dollar job I did not bother with. Just recently, the ECM broke (so I couldn't even start the car), the neutral switch also broke, and my car is still currently in the shop because it is now idling too high, and the mechanics cannot figure out why. I also had to fix brakes, and brake calipers, suspension replacements, and a few other things. Having had this car for about 12 months, it's been in the shop for nearly 10% of that, and has cost me a lot in repairs. I would not expect to have these problems until the 200k mark at least.
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.