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.
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