1989 Nissan Sentra Base 1.6 SOHC from North America
If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing
Honestly, just about everything you could possibly think of has been replaced on this car. Not because it was prematurely defective, but because they just plain wore out with normal wear and tear.
I've changed the engine twice and transmission once.
I've repainted the car twice and had to fix 3 small rust spots over the years.
It's not the fastest looking car on the block, but wow is it reliable! I was stranded only once in 20 years, and it was because I left the lights on. I push started her and she fired right up.
I normally don't write reviews for anything, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading others experiences with their 1989 Nissan Sentra. Truth is, I'm in my 40's now, and my friends still laugh at me for my driving my 89 Sentra. I bought the car new at the end of 1989, and my mother said if you take care of it, it’ll take care of you. Well, she wasn't kidding.
I've done every oil change myself every 3,000 miles and she's still running strong with 3/4 million miles on her. Perhaps I'm too simple minded, but the purpose of a vehicle is to take you from point A to point B. I don't care that I can't accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. I can't go over 75 miles on the highway, so why do I need a car with a top speed of 200 mph?
If I add up all the money I spent for maintenance on the car over the past 20 years, it would still be less than the cost of a newer high end car at today's prices. Why buy new if it's still working? I wonder if I'll ever reach a million miles...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th December, 2014
29th Dec 2014, 15:34
Loved your review. I can't believe you've owned this car that long! It's just unheard of in today's society where we use cars as disposable items. You really know how to take care of things!
29th Dec 2014, 19:18
That's commendable, and glad you got a car from an era of reasonably simple cars, which don't get written off because they're too dear to keep on the road.
There is one reason for you to eventually consider getting a newer car though: safety. I'm not talking airbags and ABS - try Googling the terms "youtube 5th Gear Volvo Modus crash". From memory, a Volvo 940 wagon was crashed frontal offset vs. a much newer Renault Modus hatchback, and the results were very surprising.
The Volvo, certainly no lightweight in its time (the car was an early 1990s one), was designed at a time when computers were not powerful enough to make the calculations used for designing the body of the much smaller Renault Modus.
I for one don't like today's overcomplicated cars (if I could go back in time, I'd love to pick a new Mercedes 190 or 260E), but there may still be good reason for buying a much newer car.
30th Dec 2014, 15:41
I think when you said 20 years, you meant 25 years. Your car should be an antique classic by now. I know it must be a bit uncomfortable riding in your Sentra all the time (especially if you're going for a long drive), but it's amazing that you have kept up with the maintenance and replaced almost everything imaginable. If I were a mechanic, I would probably had done the same thing to my pristine 1990 Sentra. Instead, I let my teenage son drive it and he totalled it!
24th Feb 2015, 18:56
I'm 18 and I received a 1989 Nissan Sentra from my aunt and it only has 68,000 miles on it. Might sound hard to believe, but it's true. It's a very reliable car that gets you from point A to point B.
2nd Feb 2017, 23:51
I do believe your review (mileage) is authentic. The 1985-1990 model was not only a greatly made and designed car, it was probably the best of all Sentras Nissan made. We had one as a taxi and the thing would keep going and going. Seats are pretty comfortable, the car was simple and just to the point. It was replaced with the 1990-1995 model which was a disaster of conception with the worst seats in the industry.