An excellent vehicle to own and drive, has made my commute (~66 miles/day, + trips to client sites = 100+ miles occasionally) affordable. Blew a head gasket while still under warranty (~48K), needed a chip download to eliminate rough shifting. I've avoided replacing two expensive lights - fog light broke from being packed with snow and 3rd brake light went out. Other than that, no problems and I've had no expensive repairs. Has performed great in NE winter; even managed to get up a ~10% unplowed incline to our winter rental in NH. Previously owned a Nissan Truck (350K) so I'm not expecting any problems with the engine or tranny and I'm at 123K now.
Sound system, front wheel drive, 16" wheels (wide) for more surface area/traction in snow, mpg/temp/mileage. Cheap to own, use, maintain. Looks are a step up from bargain basement small cars.
This is the second Sentra I have owned and it is clear that the quality of Nissan's cars are not what they once were. Blown Head gasket at 70,000 miles. Tried to work through Customer Service, but they offered no assistance (less than 36 months, but over on miles). This is a design flaw relating to the number 2 cylinder, but Nissan is turning the other way hoping this issue will disappear.
2005 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
Had it for 3 years and have driven it hard. Two sets of tires and one set of brakes in 83K miles. You can't ask for more. Would have liked to have gotten better MPG (avg of 24 combined), but hey it's a performance car. Nissan did their homework on the handling, and the engine is very responsive.
Electric moon roof, Brembro Brake system option--saved me more than once; excellent handling; truly deserves the 'R'
Horrible cup holder placement; short throw shifter is unrefined; is notchy with 5/6 gears harder to get to than 1- 4.
This is hands down the worst car I ever owned. At around 30 thousand kilometers, it started to leak water every time it rained a little bit harder, both passenger and drivers side door rubber/seals. At around 85 thousand kilometers a blown head gasket, astronomical cost to repair, close to $2000. 89 thousand kilometers, check engine light constantly on. I owned several economy class cars before this one and Sentra is hands down the most unreliable car I ever had. I will NEVER own a Nissan again.
It handles fine for an economy car, good on gas.
It's beyond "improvement", Nissan needs to make TOTAL changes when it comes to quality and reliability of their cars.
I drove this car for a route that covered 300+ miles per day. I put over 200k miles on the car in roughly 2 1/4 years, with only the most basic maintenance. I then let the car sit for 8 months. The car still drives like new! The Sentra is indestructible! Even as the fuel economy is solid (I usually averaged 30-32 mpg), the car is not miniature. The acceleration is very good for a 1.8 liter engine, and the tranny is solid. I have a certain sadness as I am trading the car in. I am convinced that it will go another 100k+ miles, but have to move on. I wish the car would meet a happy road ahead, but at 235k miles, I have my doubts. I would not hesitate to recommend Sentra to anyone.
Engine and transmission are indestructible! The body is solid and pretty safe (found that out the hard way). Brakes are great! Radio is very good. Cruise works well. Fuel economy is solid. Temperature reading and miles to go display are very helpful.
Some improvement to seats would be perfect. Better tires are a must. Better marketing as to the incredible dependability would sell many more Sentras.