Monday, August 29, 2016
Quickie Used Car Review - Nissan Sentra (2001-2014)
The Good: Oodles of space for such low a price
The Bad: The rest of the package is old
The Say: Forget about the badge, you get more room for sub-compact price.
Go For: 1.6 models
Avoid: 1.3 GX AT
Price Range: P170,000-P370,000
Our Rating: ***
Full Reviews: Used Car Review - Nissan Sentra Exalta (2001-2004)/Used Car Review - Nissan Sentra (2004-2014)
Latest vehicle profile: Nissan Sylphy
See the different versions of this vehicle:
Spanning over 10 years, the N16 Sentra is based on the Bluebird Sylphy which replaced the N15 Pulsar in Japan and the B14 Sentra locally that had used a bevy of names such as Sentra, Sunny, Almera, and Pulsar depending on where you live. While it was replaced in 2005, other countries had this for a little longer. For the Philippine market, 2001 to 2004 models carry the Exalta moniker with later ones dropping it.
First models utilize either a choice of 1.5 or 1.6 engines which both run perfectly fine without drama. A 1.3 engine debuted in November 2002 that isn't good when driven hard thanks to a heavy body (unless you are lazy to shift gears, skip the automatic if you can) and a 1.8 that has a relaxed personality. Long drives will result to a comfortable cabin thanks to a suspension set-up but steering isn't tops though. We'd go for models with ABS brakes since they have short stopping distances.
If you think that this vehicle is big outside, no thanks to its wheelbase it suffers a small cabin which limits comfort to four people inside although trunk space is cavernous though. Depending on the variant, the interior range from the basic to the luxurious and tacky.
What Should I Get
June 2001 to January 2004 models have the Exalta name, and had different variant names. Made available in 2002 is the basic GX which gets a 94hp 1.3 engine, alloy wheels, power steering and door locks, and a cassette tuner as standard. The original variants start with the DS that gain a 103hp 1.5 engine, power windows and mirrors, automatic climate control, and reverse parking sensors. Next is the LS that can be had only with a manual adds a driver's airbag, rear sunshade, and speed sensing door locks while the GS (renamed to GS Superio in March 2002) adds ABS brakes, fog lamps, hands free phone system, and is only available with an automatic. Going for the GS Grandeur adds leather seats, steering wheel controls for the audio system, pop-up LCD monitor, and for some units, a sunroof.
Those wearing the Sentra badge had different variant naming and equipment, which we will expound on them. The GX still has a 1.3 engine but gives you an option between alloy (for models with power features) or steel wheels (manual only), power operated windows and door locks (early automatics have this option, with manuals gaining them in October 2008) or manually adjusted ones while standard amenities regardless of the transmission include power steering, and for October 2005 up models, CD player. The GX-S, briefly made available from 2010 to 2011, adds body color door handles and mirrors as opposed to the black of the GX, and two more speakers at the back while retaining the features of the GX Power models. The GSX adds the 1.6 engine, leather seats (August 2005 to 2008 for automatics then transferred to the manual later on), power mirrors, and automatic climate control. The GS adds ABS brakes, driver airbag, reverse parking sensors, speed sensing door locks, alarm, keyless entry, and immobilizer plus it can be had with an automatic. Going for the 180GT gives you the 129hp 1.8, passenger side airbag, fog lamps, and a CD changer.
We recommend, if you can hunt for one, going with a 1.6 engine.
How Much Would It Cost Me
Since this vehicle had a long run plus its stint as a taxicab, parts are spread out and widely available. If you aim an Exalta GS Grandeur check for the sunroof's operation and for most, the suspension which may bottom out especially if the vehicle is full. Other niggles to watch out include the MAF sensor especially it will result to poor performance if it becomes dirty and interior build quality isn't excellent. Avoid ex-taxi units, especially those that had traveled a lot.