1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6L I4 from North America


Eminently practical, if entirely non-sexy


The clutch began to chatter badly at about 75,000 miles. It subsequently began to slip at approximately 90,000 miles. I'm not surprised, since I bought it as a former rental car. Besides, it's over 96,000 now, and the clutch is still hanging on by its fingernails.

The left front wheel bearing also began to vibrate at about 95,000 miles. It's no big deal, since it's a $40 part.

General Comments:

Let's face it. This is not a hot, fast or otherwise sexy car. It is, however, extremely reliable and highly fuel efficient. They're also inexpensive to pick up. It's just a practical car.

If you really feel the need to customize or tune this car, there are many upgrade and perfomance parts available for all Nissan B16 engine cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2004

10th Aug 2005, 00:57

Indeed a great reliable car. The engine name is GA16DE (sorry I know Honda and Nissan both and I had to comment on "Nissan B16").

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.7 from North America


A toilet on wheels


Timing Belt went twice.

Seat movement failed.

Alternator died.

Numerous electrical faults.

CV Boots gone about 5 times.

General Comments:

This is the worst car I have ever had in my entire life. I should have known it was going to be bad when I noticed the terrible jerk the automatic transmission made from first to second gear - its enough to give you whiplash. From when I got it in 1997, every year this car has had something seriously go wrong with it. The alternator died, the timing chain has gone twice, its needed new winderwiper motors, numerous CV replacements. At the time we got it I told my parents to get me a Honda, but they wouldn't listen, and now of course they regret it. Right now its sitting in my driveway with a broken timing chain, which will take $1000 to fix a car that is worth... well whats a car that doesn't go worth to anyone? I will never ever buy a Nissan again as long as I live.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st January, 2004

6th Jun 2004, 00:50

I agree with you I'm searching now for a engine, something is always wrong with the electric, the brakes go every other month, I hate that car.

6th Oct 2009, 20:01

I don't even know what to say to these comments. I have been a mechanic for 5 years and know a lot of people that have been doing it for decades, never in my life have I heard of a timing chain "going".

Out of round tires due to a high center of gravity? I guess SUVs always get out of round tires also, since they are even higher right?

4th Nov 2009, 23:51

I'm no mechanic, but a Nissan Sentra literally craps on any domestic sub-compact vehicle. Sure, the alternators that Nissan uses are cheap and the starters as well.

"I hate this car because it jerks from first to second gear" - yeah it does have that problem, but it will continue to have that problem for 15 or more years unless you sell it because you're sick of driving it or someone crashes into you.

1997 Nissan Sentra GXE from North America


The best car available period


Nothing major has gone wrong. I've replaced the tires, battery, and belt. I hit a large deer at about 30000 miles which did considerable cosmetic damage to the front. I had it repaired for about $900. This has been the best car. I've driven it on a 2,000 mile trip this past summer. I'd recommend it to anyone. I love this car!

General Comments:

This car is probably the most fuel-efficient vehicle available. I drive it everyday and sometimes I can't even remember the last time I had to fill it up.

The only real problem with this car is for larger families that need more room. There's no way you can get more than 3 children in one, and if they have carseats you couldn't get more than 2.

A slight problem is the little bicycle tires the manufacturer insists on putting on the car. Mine came with 13" rims and now I believe the newer Sentras are coming with 14" rims. I think the bigger tires are safer and Nissan should have them with the larger tires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2003

8th Sep 2004, 21:01

Thanks for the information... I was wondering why when searching for tires for my vehicle some sites stated I needed a 13 inch and others a 14 inch. You've cleared one of life's mysteries... thank you. Does anyone recommend a certain tire for the Nissan Sentra GXE (1996-1998)?