1995-2001 Nissan Sentra
Thanks to user GTi of tsikot.com for supplying some data!
The Nissan Sentra was among the nameplates that received mixed success in the Philippines. Generation by generation, public reception ranged from the good to the bad. The 1988 Sentra (aka Series I or B12) was a success at first but after build and reliability problems mushroomed, people went back to the Corolla and Lancer of the same generation. In mid-1989, it received a new face, chiseled several angles, and improved built quality but Nissan Motors Philippines had to think of a new idea. It was 1992 on the calendar and the Sentra Series II (with platform code B13) was launched. It was a trendsetter back then for offering Anti-lock brakes and 4 disc brakes on its top level SE Saloon trim. So successful, that Nissan sold the Sentra B13 until 1999 in 1.3 base flavors. The Series III Sentra (or B14) was a mixed success in different sectors.
Internationally, this generation was released in 1995 selling under the Sentra, Sunny, and Lucino (200SX) nameplates. This model was put into production from 1995-1999 (although some countries had this one until 2002) and even sporty variants such as the SE & SE-R (it's a tuner's favorite).
The Filipino motorist had their hands on the B14 or Series III Sentra in March 1995 and as I mentioned earlier, it was met with mixed success. A facelift (or shall I say body lift, if ever Belo coined this word) was introduced in 1998 that somewhat looked tacky (but this one varies on someone's taste). Variants include the base FE (added in late 1997), EX Saloon, Super Saloon, Super Touring (1996-1997) and the GT-S (1998-2000). A luxury variant called the Exalta was released in 2000 with luxury items for less cash (this variant will be covered on a separate review). On production until 2001, where the N13 Sentra under the badging "Sentra Exalta" was made available.
Value and Costs
Nissan's not-so-stellar resale prices can be an advantage to used car buyers as prices range from P120,000-P170,000 in varying variants and conditions (do take note that the prices do not include the Exalta variant). This likewise presents to find a unit in mint condition and avoiding ex-taxis and modified units, since these can be a potential money pit.
With this vehicle being popular, parts are widely available and affordable. As with 90's vehicles, check out if the carburetor from an FE variant works decently. And variants with carburetors under their hood do not have an automatic transmission to be paired with.
Exterior and Interior
Evolving from its boxy predecessor, the Sentra has a curvaceous rear that resembles the ones in hatchbacks and complements its sporty nature, as is with the taillights and brake lamp. The front is somewhat frumpy looking, however. The facelift looked more conservative than sporty.
The smaller dimensions may fool you but it is spacious inside, roomy for five occupants. Although tall occupants and those aspiring for ala-basketball player height would think twice on sitting on the rear, as is their heads can hit the roof. Location of controls is placed where the driver could easily reach and manipulate it.
A variety of engines are made standard in the Sentra Series III. These include the GA13DS 1,295cc for the FE trim, GA14DE 1,392cc for EX Saloon models, GA16DNE 1,597cc for the Super Saloon, Super Touring, and GTS variants. While the GA13DS with 79hp at 6,000rpm and 104Nm at 3,600rpm and GA14DE which possess 87hp at 6,000rpm and 116Nm at 3,600rpm are nothing home to write about, the GA16DNE possesses 110hp and 138Nm. It may seem conservative on paper but rev it in the 4,500rpm range and it becomes a pseudo sports car and can bring out the race car driver in you. Even at low rpms, it still has decent power.
This is one of the best affordable options if one prioritizes affordability and comfort. Yes, the Sentra is one comfortable car, thanks to the McPherson and multilink beam suspension combo. Handling is confident although not as agile as the Civic. While the driver can get his Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton dreams in an ordinary priced car, the passenger can sleep soundly despite being on the rough road or the smooth asphalt.
Despite facing a bad rep, Sentra's are good choices for cash-strapped buyers who are not picky nor badge snobs. They do have abundant features at less prices. Imagine this; you can get a 1.6 liter car as priced same as a 1.3 variant of a competitor! Now, that's a bargain. What could be the loss of a brand new owner can be the gain of a used car buyer.
- Comfortable ride
- Strong engine power for 1.6 models
- Not so agile handling
- Tacky facelift for 1998-2001 models
The Pick: 1995-1997 1.6 Super Saloon MT or AT
Engines: 1,295cc GA13DS carburetor, 1,392cc GA14DE and 1,597cc GA16DNE I4 gasoline
Power: 79hp @ 6,000rpm (1.3), 87hp @ 6,000rpm (1.4), 110hp @ 6,000rpm (1.6)
Torque: 104Nm @ 3,600rpm (1.3), 116Nm @ 3,600rpm (1.4), 138Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.6)
Fuel Consumption: 8-11km/L (city); 10-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multilink beam axle
Price (New): P340,000-P570,000 (range from 1995-2001)
Price (Now): P120,000-P170,000
Rivals: Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 323 Familia, Proton Wira, Daewoo Espero, Daewoo Cielo
On Sale: 1995-2001
Nissan Mantrade - 812-6879
Nissan Gallery Ortigas - 635-5888
Nissan Commonwealth - 932-0428
Photos by Myk Belmonte
Sentra unit provided by Guadix Auto exchange