2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 Liter 4 from North America
Deathtrap in a wreck - your life is at risk
I was in an accident where I was rear-ended by a mini-van driver using a cell-phone. The driver was felony cited for leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.
The impact spun me about and I hit another car rear-end first. The driver's seat back snapped in the middle on the right side above the console and I was thrown out of it, sliding under the seatbelt and into the back seat. I struck my head and right shoulder blade on some stuff I was carrying with the rear seat folded down and was unconscious for a few minutes. I had a concussion.
I was holding onto the the steering wheel when the seat broke and my left hand was death-gripping the wheel, but my hand was wrenched away from the wheel by my body getting tossed into the back, causing nerve and rotator cuff damage to my left shoulder. I am healed now with just some scars on my right shoulder from the stuff I hit in the back. I was wearing my seatbelt correctly, with the shoulder belt/lapbelt connected to the buckle and properly placed on my body.
This has GOT to be a design defect, seat-backs aren't supposed to snap like this. What good are the headrests/restraints if the seat breaks when the car is rear-ended?
The car was totaled, and the estimate to fix the damage was $12,000, more than what the car was worth. The body was affected all the way to the windshield, none of the doors would close correctly.
As for the normal non-accident complaints, they are few. The exterior paint, dashboard, and painted plastic interior trim scratched and wore too easily, leading to a worn look after just 11,000 miles.
A seal on the left taillight was improperly installed, causing rainwater to collect in the spare tire wheel well, ruining the pressed paper trunk board and causing a mildew smell to remain in the car for several months after this was fixed under warranty.
The trunk release stopped working and was also fixed under warranty.
There was a rattle in the back, but the car was wrecked before I got it looked at.
I've had other cars that were made in Japan. This one showed signs of cost-cutting with the lack of noise shielding and the defects I've already listed.
The tires were very slippery & unsafe in the wet.
The Quest I traded in on this car was shoddily made, too. The cover over the Quest's license plate broke off in my hand while I was shutting the hatch. Is cheap construction a problem with Nissan vehicles?
It started up every time. The gas mileage was appropriate for a small car with a stick. I averaged 25 or so MPG.
It was prone to wind noise & conversations were very difficult above 60 mph.
The engine was loud when throttle was applied, but was quiet when cruising.
The handling was typical, understeering in the curves, but tracking okay on the straights.
The brakes worked just fine.
The engine was strong enough for such a light car; I liked the power it had on the highway or pulling away from a light.
This was a base model, with just A/C, CD radio and rear defroster. The A/C blew cold, but the fan was noisy on all but the lowest setting.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 24th May, 2008
24th May 2008, 15:14
Well, what can I say, your sentra is made in Mexico... which definitely explains the quality issues... and for your quest, if it was 2002 or older, it was made by Ford, hence why it was identical in every way to the Mercury Villager... You just happened to have bought two of the worst Nissans made, although I found my 1998 quest to be good, my 2001 sentra XE was terrible from the start. From rust to pretty much everything breaking. I now have a 2002 Maxima and I HAVE to say that it is AMAZING!!! Sorry to hear about your injury though.
9th Jun 2008, 01:05
All Nissans these days are likely to have quality issues. I owned a 1987 Maxima SE and it was sporty and dependable in every way. The car was 21 years old, running perfect, looked like it just came off the showroom floor and had no problems when it was totaled by an inattentive 16-year old high school student. I now own a 2004 Sentra. The car is okay but is nowhere in the class of the Maxima, though the Max was nearly 20 years older than the Sentra. Nissans now are mostly all manufactured in the US and I don't feel any car produced here is dependable. Japanese compromised quality and dependability when they began outsourcing production to the US. The only Nissan I recommend now is the 350Z which is still produced in Japan but is only a sports car. My Sentra sometimes cranks, dies and I have to re-crank it, it idles a little and then finally runs properly. So long Nissan for quality and dependability!
5th Nov 2009, 21:07
YES I have heard about the 06 (and the other years) Sentra being a very unsafe car for accidents. SADLY I do drive one of these for my job. It's a company car. Hope I never wreck it!
30th Oct 2010, 12:10
Sorry to hear about the injury, but did you expect stellar crash performance with the base model of an entry-level car? Yeah, it sucks, but to keep the price low, safety has to be somewhat comprised. This was the case with any manufacturer. But nowadays, of course, more standard safety features are required.
11th May 2013, 09:09
Your Sentra is outclassed by your Maxima? Even though they are 17 years apart, the Maxima is a flagship, Sentra is an entry level. Apples to apples here.