2001 Nissan Sentra Sedan SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I've been driving my black Sentra SE since it was new, and have just over 50,000 on it now. Like many of the other reviewers, I've had to replace my brakes and tires. I've had two window regulators go out on me (both under warranty), and my sun visor mirror covers cracked off long ago. The paint on the bumper and mirrors is starting to fade after five years in the 110-degree Phoenix sun (but I wax it regularly to keep fading to a minimum). But all of those things are minor. The car has always started, it performs like it did in 2001, it handles well, the engine is built like a tank and all electrical and mechanical systems are fully working. Treat this car well and it will treat you well.
2001 Nissan Sentra Sedan GXE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I bought a 2001 GXE Sentra in 2001 and paid it off last year (a little early). There was one recall issue that caused the car to die, but it was fixed under warranty. It's not the quickest thing on the takeoff, but does fine on the highway and has a heavy, secure feel -- to me. I had a Corolla before that and its steering touch was so light you could run off the road in the blink of an eye. It's not the most fuel efficient car on the road, but it's also one of the cheaper.
I like the look of it. It still looks dignified even after 5 years. I hear it's going to be redesigned in fall 2006. I drive a stick so that's important to me that it works well and so far, no complaints.
Better fuel economy. Put a handle or something to grab onto to close the door. When it's open I can't reach the handle and the door is so heavy I have to grab the side door storage compartments to close it.