The radiator has a half-inch hairline crack in it, but the leak is hardly noticeable.
The electrical system is slightly intermittent. Sometimes the seat belt warning beeps randomly while driving or the dome light will fail to light up occasionally.
The hood fails to pop up upon pulling the handle. The latch itself appears to be in working order, but the spring that pushes the hood up does not appear to function.
The trunk has a slight leak due to rust, but that was nothing a glob of tiling cement could not fix.
There is a chance that the cruise control does not work; this could partially be because I do not know how to use it.
The dashboard is curled up at the windshield and the headliner is completely dry-rotted. I replaced the headliner with some Darth Vader and Storm Trooper printed fabric from Wal-Mart, pinned to the roof with tacks. It looks pretty cool.
The rear seat is partially detached from the car, producing an occasional rattle.
Many years of Floridian summers have taken their toll on the paint.
Most of these flaws are either minor or cosmetic and don’t significantly affect the overall performance of the vehicle.
Aside from standard maintenance, nothing else is amiss to my knowledge.
I have the standard baseline model of this vehicle; it doesn’t have power windows or locks. However, I like it that way since I won’t have to worry about electrical problems crippling those features.
This car has virtually no blind spots, making maneuvering through traffic an easy task. I also like how the dashboard isn’t doesn’t protrude upwards, which provides me with more visibility.
I find the front seats to be adequately comfortable, although the number of angles that the seat adjusts to is rather scant. I would consider the rear seats to be marginally suitable for somebody of my stature (one whose height is about five feet six inches), but for somebody larger there would be insufficient leg and head space available. Tilt steering would be nice, but I don’t have a need for it so I don’t miss it.
The turning is very nimble, which makes maneuvering into small places an easy task. The compact size of the vehicle itself also attributes to its versatility. While the physical turning radius is nice, the handling of this vehicle makes me nervous at highway speeds. The car leans deeply into turns even while gently steering. This could be due to the fact that I am not used to driving at highway speeds, so this observation may not be relevant.
As for acceleration, this car tends to be sluggish. If I turn off the air conditioning and give it a lot of gas, the vehicle will accelerate decently, but even then it doesn’t really have much pickup. With the air conditioning on, the most I can really do is maintain the speed that I already have. I can push the gas harder and the vehicle will reluctantly down-shift, but the resulting thrust doesn’t justify doing so. I would say that this vehicle is slightly underpowered.
Despite the sacrifice in speed, this car gets excellent gas mileage. I have been achieving between 25 and 27 MPG entirely from city driving, some of it being stop-and-go traffic. The economy hasn’t gone any lower than 24 MPG around town. Even with gas prices around here hovering around $2.80 per gallon, $20 will fill three quarters of the tank.
Despite its minor problems, I am very satisfied with this vehicle. I am thankful that at 14 years old and 120,000 miles, this car suffers only from minor cosmetic wear. This car isn’t too much to look at, but mechanically it runs like a champ, and that’s all I really care about. This is my first car, and I would recommend it to anybody who needs a starter car. Even if it isn’t your first vehicle, it’s still a nice little car. Nissan has made a very fine, upstanding product and I would definitely consider purchasing another Nissan in the future.