1987 Nissan Sentra XE Wagon 1.6L I4 from North America


A fun car for a student on a tight budget


There have been a number of minor issues with this car, but no major problems since I have owned it:

I have had problems with stalling and poor idling, but that was repaired with a general tune-up and some ignition system replacements.

The tie-rod ends have broken twice. The original parts were replaced by the previous owner before I purchased the car, and I had to get the driver's side replaced a few months ago.

The car is starting to rust significantly around the wheel wells, however the rest of the body is in great shape.

The rear window jammed in the lowered position, and now it can no longer be rolled down.

General Comments:

Apart from a few minor issues that can be expected with age, this car has been a very reliable, fun and affordable car for a university student with limited funds.

All operating costs are extremely low - with about 6-700 KM per tank of fuel and very little maintenance, along with low insurance costs.

The car is comfortable to drive, handles the highway well and feels comfortable cruising at about 120Kph on major highways. I have taken this car on some longer trips - from Toronto to Montreal a few times, along with a number of trips to Ottawa, Quebec, etc. - and have never had a problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2003

1987 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6L 2bbl from North America


Excellent value and reliability


Had to replace governor.

The transmission is a bit odd. Dosen't want to shift out of first gear unless it sits idle and warms up for about one minute. This could just be from the last governors teeth being chewed off (from bad previous owner) and not doing a transmission service since.

General Comments:

This car has been excellent to me. Starts right up and runs smooth every time.

I find it very, very easy to drive.

Great visibility.

Holds the road surprisingly well.

Lots of head and leg room.


With normal scheduled maintenance, this is a very dependable, cheap and quiet car. I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2003

1987 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6L from North America


Reliable around town car


Actually, very few things have gone wrong that weren't typical repairs caused by time.

Brake pads and rotors were replaced do to squeaking brakes, but the brake pads were still good, rotors were worn beyond acceptable limits.

Had a small oil leak around the valve cover gasket that started at 220000 miles. Replaced gasket and fixed problem.

Starter solenoid went out at 225000 and was replaced.

General Comments:

Very easy to replace parts (warning, this is the opinion of an aircraft mechanic though) The cost of parts seemed a little steep sometimes, but probably do to a college student budget.

This car is great for around town errands and handles well in all weather conditions (provided that good tires are used)

Back seats do not leave much for leg room though.

The car will do cross country very well, the gentleman that I purchased this car from drove it from South Carolina to Washington three times round trip for a total of 18000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2002

1987 Nissan Sentra 2 DR Coupe from North America


Point A to B... maybe C


Replaced break sensory system, about 200 $'s.

Shocks failed, makes a clicking sound when I turn.

Gasoline reader doesn't work.

Corrosion on outside and oxidated.

General Comments:

Not good on hills... especially in the Oakland Hills... my car wouldn't jump into gear!

Great reliable car, but only for short distances... work and home!

Got me to point A to point B and occasionaly that well needed point C.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2002

8th Dec 2002, 02:14

The clicking when you turn means you got a bad CV Joint or Halfshaft.

26th Dec 2002, 01:32

The gauges also gave up on my mom's 1988 Sentra. The temperature and the gas gauge were the problem. My cousin fixed the problem, and the car has been running well. Read my review of the 1988 Sentra E sedan (two door).

29th Mar 2004, 23:23

The clicking when you turn is 98% to be the CV joint. It is a VERY common front wheel drive repair. My own car has a bad CV joint as we speak, they are somewhat expensive (about 100 for a new half shaft, maybe 150-200 for labor) but as long as you check the boots (turn all the way to the left, you will see the outboard boot on one side and the inboard boot on the other, turn the wheel to the right and you will see the opposite, there are 4 joints/boots all together, 2 on each half shaft.) as long as all the boots are clean (no grease all over them) and not damaged (no tears or holes) then the CV joint will last forever. If you do find a busted boot, get it replaced ASAP (as in the next time you drive the car, not in a week) you can salvage a CV joint, but only if you catch the broken boot BEFORE dirt enters and the grease gets lost.

24th Jan 2006, 11:27

I was reading your comment about your mom's 1988 Nissan Sentra (2dr), and I was wondering how you fixed the problem with the gauges? I have the same problem, but don't know how to fix it. If you could reply to me at: Dmxcmk16@uplink.net it would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

12th Apr 2012, 15:16

I would love to hear how the problem was fixed.

Please e-mail me, Cruzineddie @netzero.com

I have the same problem on my '88 Nissan Sentra, as well as the CV joints went out in the front at approx. 145,000 miles.

Haven't driven it since then.

If anyone else can e-mail me the answers, I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you, Ed.