had this car for two years and from the beginning I had to replace the ecu withing three months.had to replace the 02 sensor twice.had to replace the fuel pump and the transmission control module..spent more time having repairs done on the car than I had driving it..these cars have had major recalls on them and mine had three which were for the airbag,the butterfly bolts on the cat back and the ecu..now I own a mazda and I love it..sorry Nissan but never again will I ever buy one of your vehicles..
Test drove SE-R with auto tranny. Salesman said someone ordered it then brought it back 3 days later. I can understand why. Car is not as powerful as numbers suggest (165hp) Car did not handle well on turns on bumpy roads, the rear end losses grip easily and also likes to bounce around over rail road tracks. Probably due to the fact it does not have independent rear suspension like most cars in its class. I think it is over-priced for what little it offers.
I bought a Nissan thinking the brand was on par with Honda and Toyota...boy, was I wrong. I have never had as many problems with an automobile as I have with this car. When it was still under warranty, I had minor issues. Past 65k...I've had the A/C break twice, normal issues, but the best are the well documented problems with the catalytic converter, pre-cat, and 'recall' Nissan claims they performed on the 02 2.5L engines of this model. Bottom line: Nissan lies, the pre-cat never gets fixed, will fall apart, get sucked into your engine in small bits, mingle with your oil, and slowly eat your engine from the inside out. STAY AWAY!!
This car has a lot more torque than other small cars in the same price range - and that's what makes it a very fun car to drive. The manual transmission is a bit notchy, the interior materials arean't of the highest quality, and the red-colored instrument panel is tough to see sometimes.... But you need to remember that this is baiscally a cheap economy car with a big engine dropped in it. If you take it for what it is, it's a great car. I've been averaging 28 mpg with mostly highway driving - not great for a small car, but there is a lot more bottom end on this engine than on a Civic or Corolla engine, so you are trading mpg for torque.
I test drove many cars before I bought my SE-R. I test drove Cougars, Celica GT's, Grand AM GTS and the new 2003 Tiburon GT. They all were fine but none in them put a smile on my face the way this car did. It gives you all the power you need when you need. It gives you a great sense of the road with it's somewhat stiff suspension and can brake on a dime. At under $18,000 how can you go wrong.