1998 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6 litre from North America


Best car you can buy for the price


Brakes (front and rear) at about 65000; again at 150000; again at 215000. Did them myself twice, but paid the third time. Not too hard though.

Alternator at 165000.

Battery at 200000. Should have done battery at about 190000, but was lazy (and it was summer).

Door seal at about 200000; didn't replace it but glued it back in.

Gas tank door stopped shutting at 170000.

Still original clutch that was in good shape when I sold it at 230000. Alignment a few times; waited too long to get it fixed probably.

General Comments:

I loved it! I drove this thing everywhere; my first car out of college, in the mountains and on the highway. I lived on a gravel road at 7000 ft and drove it up there all summer in MT. Not a ton of power, but it is a small 4 cylinder, so I wasn't irritated. Still I did 80mph on the interstate. 33-27 mpg until I sold it.

A small drivers area, but my biggest complaint was the cup holders in a terrible location! I put in a different CD player and it made the holders totally unusable. Not bad for a big complaint.

The best, most reliable car I've been around. My friends have had Civic, Camry, etc. and aside from my late eighties Volvo driving friends, I've had the best luck, and even towed a snowmobile from Wisconsin to MT with it. A top notch car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2009

1998 Nissan Sentra GXE from North America


A great budget car


Engine uses two quarts of oil in 3 months, but it could be related to having 5W30 (thinner/lighter oil) running in it. Bought it with a history of 5W30, so kept using it. Will try 10w30 on next oil change.

Driver power window unit had to be replaced (~$160)

Trunk and passenger key locks do not work (have to use power locks and inside trunk popper)

Trunk leaks.

General Comments:

Bought the car for 2000, still runs great, even though with the A/C on takeoffs are pitifully weak.

We got what we paid for, and the vehicle is very reliable. Great gas mileage! ~34mpg city/highway mix in the winter, ~28mpg city/highway in the summer with the A/C on a lot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2008

1998 Nissan Sentra XGX 1.6 from North America


A good car for day-to-day use


Has difficulty starting.

Engine is a bit louder

Difficulty changing gears

Pedals needs to be depressed really low to engage gear shifting

I have not seen any cup-holder

Very noisy inside

Springs might need to be changed.

General Comments:

I'm still waiting to see what's going to be wrong with car. My friend owned since 2000 and I had the chance to drive it and ride on it for several times in the past and always had in interest of owning one. He has had a lot of work done on it before passing in to me being the tires alignment probably the major repair that had to be done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th February, 2006

1998 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6 from North America


If you find one that's been well maintained it should give you low cost reliability and longevity


Evaporator valve at about 50000 miles.

Engine front oil seal at about 50000 miles.

The only other expenses I have had have been routine maintenance and replacement items such as tires, brake pads and an exhaust pipe.

General Comments:

I would highly recommend this series of Sentra (96-99) if you are in the market for a car this size. I did a lot of research before buying and had narrowed my choices to: Mazda Protege; Toyota Corolla; and Honda Civic. The Sentra was the first of the list I found from a reliable source with verifiable maintenance records so I bought it.

It is not quite as smooth and refined as the Civic; as large as the Protege; or as smooth and highly regarded as the Corolla, but I don't regret for a minute buying it. It's like the EveReady rabbit... it just keeps going and going!!

I have a friend who is an honest and exceptionally talented mechanic and he advised me that Nissan engine and transmissions are about the best available. So far he was right on the money in recommending the Sentra. He gives me a good rate, but even so, the only repairs I've needed, the oil seal and evap. valve were less than $350.00. That's pretty good after 100,000 miles of service to me and 110,000 total miles!!!

I get about 32 mpg in all around driving (about half city and half highway) and 36-38 mpg on trips. The engine does not use a drop of oil between changes and basically runs and drives just about like it did at 10,000 miles when I bought it. It has a timing chain rather than a belt which saves having that maintenance expense also.

Front end parts and rear brakes are all original and still tight at 110,000. I just had them checked. Ditto for all the struts and shocks. The battery was still good at 6yrs. old, but I replaced it before winter just as a precaution.

I'll pass on a few tips I picked up from mechanics and speaking to Nissan service personnel to keep your Sentra purring along: Air filter every 15,000 miles; do not add slick 50; coolant change on time each 2-3 years or 30,000 (check owner's manual for schedule, I can't remember for sure) this helps lubricate the engine and water pump; avoid BP gasoline (too many additives) regular oil changes at no more than 3,750 miles.

Paint and rust resistance have been excellent.

If you can find one that has been well maintained you should be happy with this car. I'm hoping to get at least 150,000-200,000 miles use out of mine.

They are not fast or fancy. In fact they're kind of plain and utilitarian when compared to the "best in class", but I enjoy just chugging along in mine going from point A to point B with such a good record of low cost reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2005

28th Aug 2007, 17:22

As of recently I was looking for something to replace my dear 84' Monte <--- still runs great, no problems as of yet, at about 84K.

Anyway back to the Sentra, I purchased this car at a dealership here locally, and while I was looking for a cheap car (I only have a summer job), when I found this car for 5500. I couldn't help but go in and get it. Rides great, as always, it always comes down to the previous owner, and from the looks of it... they took care of it.

If taken care of, I am almost positive 150K is very possible to obtain on this foreign make. Fuel wise, the car is getting about 28mpg, of course that is combined highway/town mileage. Oil... doesn't eat oil at all, so the usual oil change does it well every time. No extra electronic nightmares (locks, windows, etc.), simply a car that runs top-notch for the intended use.

5th Oct 2010, 23:42

If you treat them well, these cars are super reliable. My 98 Sentra has 240,000 miles, and is still going strong. I'd love to get it over 300,000 miles. :D

25th Oct 2010, 14:29


My Nissan Sentra 98 has 180k, and it runs OK. I had to change the front seal to stop oil leak in May 2010, and since then my car hasn't lost a drop of oil. But right after that, for some reason its MPG dropped from 31-32 MPG to 27-28 MPG. Does anybody know why?

Second question. Considering the fact that my car doesn't lose oil any more, what kind of oil would you recommend (for example synthetic, mineral etc.)? Also, I was told that if you use synthetic oil, you can change it once a year or every 40,000 - 50,000 miles. Is it true? I'll appreciate all comments.

27th Jun 2012, 14:30

I would NEVER go 40 - 50K miles without changing oil, regardless of oil type. The most you should go with synthetic is 5,000 miles!