2002 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.8 from North America


A fine car at a fair price


The check engine light came on soon after I purchased the car. I took it to the dealer who fixed the problem, but never really explained what it was.

There was a significant rattle in the driver's side door when I bought the car. They took apart the door and did something to make the rattle less noticeable. It's not really so bothersome anymore.

The cheap plastic cord that connects the gas cap to the body of the car came loose, so now I have to put the gas cap on top of the car or on the trunk when I'm at the pump. It's a minor annoyance.

Some interior trim pieces have started to come loose. For example, the plastic trim on the driver's side A-pillar just popped off today. I popped it back on. Also, one of the hinges on the driver's side vanity mirror snapped unexpectedly.

The trunk latch mechanism no longer works properly. The trunk actually doesn't close completely as a result. I'm having this (and a couple of other minor issues) taken care of tomorrow (in what will be my last warranty service.)

General Comments:

This is a very fine car, the problems above notwithstanding. One really has the sense that its engine is a thing of quality. I get excellent gas mileage, and the car has never felt underpowered to me.

The interior could stand to be upgraded. The materials (lots of faux chrome plastic knobs and such) are rather cheap, and the fit and finish are not on par with the Toyota Corolla or the Honda Civic. I will say, however, that I have been pleasantly surprised with how well the cloth upholstery has held up over the past 3 years. It's not significantly worse than when the car was new.

One minor thing: the carpeting on the driver's side foot-well has started to come unglued at the very top. I imagine this could cause a problem down the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st March, 2005

10th Dec 2005, 13:27

Excellent review - thank you.

2002 Nissan Sentra SER 2.5 from North America


Unreliable and constant problems


Car wouldn't start. A recall replaced the crank shaft position sensor.

Recall on the insulation coming out of the vents.

Car began sputtering and wouldn't go above 55 mph so they replaced the mass air flow sensor.

Car takes a very long time to start in the winter, if it starts at all.

Exterior paint chips very easily.

This car sits low and can drag very easily if you're not careful. I drove up a friends driveway and bottomed out and it knocked the exhaust pipe loose. It just rattled under the car until I could take it in to be fixed.

Wiper fluid sprayer doesn't work on drivers side. I've checked to make sure it's not clogged and that the hoses are connected, but it won't spray. The dealership has no idea why it's not working either.

Driver's side seat belt won't retract and is not covered by warranty, so I haven't had it fixed yet.

Drivers side rear speaker blew out within the first 2 months of ownership.

General Comments:

Good points first. This car has really great power for as small as it is. I've had no problems passing people while going up hill in this car and it takes curves like a champ. If I'm on a curvy road, I love this car. The acceleration is very quick through turns and is a very tight little car.

Past this, it's been nothing, but problems. I'm on a first name basis with the service department manager. A mistake on my part was buying it from a Honda dealership and since I have the extended warranty, that's where I have to take it for work. They can't fix the problems and have to coordinate with Nissan to get it fixed and it takes twice as long to get my car back.

There's been too many recalls and problems to call this a reliable car. It's fun to drive when it's running the way it's supposed to, but it has to start first.

Gas mileage is average. It doesn't get anywhere close to what a Civic does, but the engine's bigger. For the power that it has, the gas mileage is alright I guess.

The back seat is uncomfortable for passengers and offers no leg room. The front seats are OK and hold you in place through curves so you feel more stable.

Overall, for what I paid for this car and for what I pay a month, it's too much trouble and not worth it. Buy something else.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2005