2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
First, this car was quite inexpensive. A great value, but lacking in some areas. I don't think it compares to luxury sport vehicles, but it finds its way to the top of the pack for vehicles under $17k. The 2.5L motor is so torquey you can pull with most v6's off the line (however it's not so tough on the highway). Handling is for tuned for driving fanatics, with excellent response and minimal roll, but the 17 in. wheels and hardened bushings relay every bump on longer drives. Adequate interior - love the seats, but the plastics scratch up quite easily. Exterior was "updated" for '04 to match the base model... Now there's no escaping the ugly "bucktooth"!
Six speed, decent stock stereo, 175hp, razor sharp handling, CVTCS, secondary intake runners, limited slip differential, sporty seats, aftermarket support starting to show up, and Nissan resolved some issues for '04 that really make this car a lot more reliable!
Paint quality is low. Road noise is high, but I understand that it's a downside of the 17in. wheels. Interior quality. Front end styling - would be perfect if it looked like the Aussie Nissan Pulsar! $100 aftermarket short shift adapter I bought should come stock - really cleans up the shifting!