Thank God for these reviews! I just bought one in 2011 for 2600, and I believe that to be one heck of a deal for the rising cost of used economy cars right now. It had 156000 miles on it, and when I took it to smog, all the guy could say is the engine runs very very nice, and the exhaust numbers are incredible for the age. It runs so smooth and quiet, and as for the gas mileage, the last car I was driving was a Mercury Mystique, and this car gets much better mileage for the expensive price in gas right now, which happens to be at an all time low of 3.89 right now!
My fiance called his mechanic friend before we bought it, and all he could say is for the price it's a no brainer! He sees all the cars that go through his shop, and the prices for the things that usually go wrong, and he believes this car may still have another possibly 200 thousand miles in it if we change the oil regularly and basic maintenance.
I bought it from a friend that has a company vehicle, and he said he loved the car, but it had just been sitting. He was a second owner and had no problems, just basic maintenance and repairs such as brakes, tires.. etc. At the time of purchase, these were all fairly new.
I bought a 2002 Ford ZX2, and this car drives better than that car did brand new as far as smoothness, quietness and all around good looks. I have the manual trans 5 speed 4 cyl. I absolutely love it right now, and only feel better about this car after reading the reviews here.
Also I have a timing chain as well, and the only thing I have heard about that is it is recommended to take out the guide for the guide; it's cheap and can end up rubbing on the chain and cause it to break. Otherwise the timing chain should and could out last the car itself.
Happy with my Nissan Altima SE! =-)