1994 Nissan Sentra XE 1.6 from North America


An excellent, affordable economy car


In the one year I have owned the car so far, I have had to replace the following:

One inner tie-rod end.

One outer tie-rod end.

One CV boot.

The thermostat.

The clutch.

The dealer also tells me the rack and pinion unit needs to be replaced (strange snapping feel when turning the steering wheel side-to-side).

The window rubber trim does not stay seated well and often needs to be tucked back into place.

Both window cranks needed to be adjusted as they were binding about 3/4 from the top of their travel.

There are a number of rattles in and around the dashboard, steering wheel and door panels.

General Comments:

The car is very "domesticated" in appearance. It looks anonymous and yet also stylish.

The engine is very torquey - lots of low-speed grunt to get moving. it isn't a powerhouse, but is a bit better in this regard than a comparable Honda. High speed power is adequate.

The Engine Control Unit is designed to change the valve timing at 4300 rpm to help flatten out the engine's power curve. This becomes irritating when driving spiritedly, as I often shift around 4300rpm. Right at this point the engine is kind of between power curves, and responds a little oddly. For a normal driver, it would not be noticeable.

The suspension is very soft. There is lots of body roll and quite floaty. I was very displeased with the Sentra's suspension. It is not a performance handling setup by any means.

At 100,000km I changed the entire suspension with aftermarket performance springs, shocks, bushings and sway bars. The car's handling was transformed into a very, very fun car, but ride quality suffered noticeably. Well worth it, in my opinion, however. It is a firm ride, but not punishing.

The seats are comfortable, but seem to generate a lot of static electricity when getting out of the car. The seating position is rather tall and upright, and coming from a previous Civic, it took some getting used to. In fact, I ended up cutting 3/4" out of the seat brackets to sit a bit lower in the car (a bit more headroom that way too).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2002

19th Mar 2004, 19:36

The B13 chassis Sentras (as represented by your model) had no variable valve timing whatsoever. Either in the SE-R 2 liter engines (SR20DE) or the 1.6's (GA16DE) in the E, XE, and SE trim lines. So your comments regarding the engine adjusting its timing at a certain RPM is just plain wrong.


1994 Nissan Sentra XE 1.6 gasoline from North America


Good value for the money


My alternator fried 5 times. The first one was expensive. All the others were under warranty.

Gas tank was leaking. That was expensive.

Both axles.

Catilyc convertor.

Manifold flange.

Brake line.

General Comments:

All and all, I bought the car at 130000 kilometers originally in 2000, now it has 226000. For the miles I drove it, I expected that kind of maintenance to be done. The only disadvantage with this car, it is very expensive to fix.

I love my car, has a lot of power for a little 4 cylinder, great on gas, comfortable ride. The car survived a lot of things, went into bush trails with it, I drive it hard constantly, and the thing just keeps going. It is like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going. I would not hesitate to buy another Nissan. But the only thing discouraging me right now is the alternators, is that common in the Sentra? Please reply and tell me if there is a trick that I can use to keep the same alternator for more than 6 months?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2002

11th Apr 2005, 06:15

Check the ground.

9th Jun 2005, 20:25

My 94 XE just burned out its 3rd alternator in 2 years. I replaced it with a reconditioned unit in October 2004 & 2 wks later had to replace it again. It works fine now, but now that it's 90 degrees out, I have no A/C. Midas claims its the receiver/drier & condenser. With an estimated $600 repair tag. I'm getting rid of it. I've had enough. I just spent about $800 getting the catalytic converter replaced last summer. And one month after replacing the 2nd alternator, I had to pull out the back seat & replace the fuel pump. It's been paid for quite a while, but I'm tired of the constant repairs.