After a bad run with several used cars, I decided to go for a nice, reliable new car. After seriously considering a Subaru Impreza and a Honda Civic, the Sentra 1.8S Special Ed. was so well equipped for the price that I couldn't pass it up. My father's '87 lasted 150k miles, so what was there to worry about? Well, here it is: in less than 24k miles I've gone through 1 front door seal, a rear wheel bearing, 2 belts, 1 fuel pump, and out of nowhere, the rear brake drums went off-round (lots of meat on the pads 1k miles ago). Otherwise, the car is what I would expect from a low-priced compact car: zippy enough, passable steering and a semi-comfortable ride.
Exterior design, engine ok for size of car, handling responsive, gas mileage is reasonable, and, even with a bad back, the driver's seat is comfortable for rides less than 2 hours.
Besides reliability, disappointed by "premium" audio system (sadly anemic radio, terrible paper cone speakers); interior design needs help (terrible cup holders, dated design), transmission felt like it was slipping off the lot, does not shift efficiently.