This is one hell of a car..I have had it about 8-9 months and I still love driving it. This car isnt the best on fuel but the ride is worth the extra money. Naturally apirated making it one of the fastest cars out there without a turbo and only being 4 cylinder. pop a turbo in this car and u have a beast on your hands and most cars will be kneeling hands down.
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"!
I bought a 04 SPEC-V with only 4,000 miles on it. It has all options except the stereo system upgrade. It was practically brand new. At about 20,000 miles the front struts went out. At 30,000 the rear struts needed to be replaced. At 48,000 the front struts needed to be replaced AGAIN. The build quality of this car is horrible. Mine came with the Brembo brakes. What the hell is NISSAN thinking Brembo brakes but no ABS. They are completely useless in snow or rain. Even cheap cars like KIA offer you ABS. Transmission doesn't always shift properly into reverse. The summer tires it came with do not last. I wish i never bought this car. I'm very disappointed.
This is my second Spec V and I love it. The exterior styling is better on the 02 and 03 but the performance is great. I don't really race but it certainly has plenty of get up and go either on the street or the highway.