Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier

17879818384100

Comments

  • dlancerdlancer Posts: 9
    Recently I want to buy a brand new compact car. The choice has been narrowed down between sentra 1.8s and corolla LE (base model). I can't go with CE because it does not have ABS option in Canada.

    With the cash rebate of Nissan, price of LE is around 20% more expensive than 1.8s. But I really worry about the the safety features of sentra.

    From the NHTSA's: 04 corolla is 5/5 (frontal crash) and 4/5 (side impact); while sentra is 4/5 (front) and 2/5 (side impact). and IIHS gives corolla all "good" rating(top), and sentra "acceptable" only.

    Even with additional safety package (side impact airbags, abs), 1.8s is still way much cheaper than the LE base model(no side impact airbag). Should I spend a couple of thousands more for LE, or settle on 1.8s?

    Thanks for your input.
  • ottomaticottomatic Posts: 12
    I guess whether you should buy the Toyota vs. the Sentra model depends in part how safe or good a driver you are; from a personal standpoint, I've been only in one "major accident" in many, many years of driving.

    So based on my personal driving record, I opted to forgo some of the (more expensive) safety features in more expensive trims and went without side impact and ABS for example; also there is some debate as to how effective ABS really is.

    (According to stories I've read, ABS allows you to control the car better during skids in cold weather climates, but their effectiveness is reduced because studies show most drivers don't know how to use them; you don't "pump" the brake like you used to.)

    Before you automatically assume that the Sentra is "cheaper" than the Corolla, your auto insurance premiums may be lower with the Corolla than the Sentra because the Corolla has a better NHTSA safety rating, as you point out.

    You also should research the Sentra 1.8S and the Corolla LE's "True-Cost-to-Own" on the Edmunds.com website, which factors in the actual cost of the vehicle considering expected depreciation, insurance, maintenance, fuel, etc. and not just purchase price.
  • dlancerdlancer Posts: 9
    Thanks for your quick reply.

    According to the TCO rating on Edmunds, LE is even lower than sentra 1.8s. However, toyota dealers in quebec are using "access toyota" price for all toyota vehicles. No bargain, no discount. Same price anywhere. A base model corolla LE goes with CAD 26K+ (6.2% interest) after tax, and a 1.8s plus safety package can go lower than 22K.

    The question confused me is, which model/option NHTSA tested on corolla and sentra? I can't imagine how sentra with side air bag get only 2/5 (side impact), and Corolla got 4/5, (only the top option of LE has side air bag, and that brings the whole price 30K+, even higher than Camry LE).

    The funny thing I am thinking is, if they tested the corolla with LE + side air bag option, and I buy a LE base model. I'd be spending money on nowhere. I don't consider much of the residual/resale value of cars, since I may keep it for a long time.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Im not a big fan of the NHTSA ratings for side impact, because they do not account for Head Injury rating.

    One thing to note is that the Side Airbags available for the Sentra are seat mounted units that protect the head and chest. For 2004, the Corolla also offers a seat mounted unit, but it protects only the chest, and offers no additional protection for the head. If you're considering a 2005 Corolla, it will offer side impact curtains, which protect the heads of the occupants front and rear, and also the same seat mounted unit to protect front passengers' chests.

    Confusing? Im sorry, I tried to be clear and detailed, but sometimes thats hard to accomplish.

    Personally, Id probably take ABS over side airbags if I had to choose between the two, and you can bet your knickers I wouldnt buy a car without ABS. The added steering control and the assurance that your wheels will not lock is an insurance policy of sorts. ABS has not taken off, as noted above, because of the people who do not understand its intentions or how it works. Some people continue to believe that ABS is intended to make the car stop shorted. Not so. Shorter stops in wet conditions are indeed a result of ABS, but the real benefit is the steering control I mentioned. There are some situations, including sheet ice, that ABS will likely extend your stopping distance.

    Back to Corolla vs. Sentra. The Corolla is newer, and based on all the crash tests Ive seen, it has a stronger safety cage. However, at least in terms of the side impact, the Sentras offering of head protection for a lower price may be more than enough to offset this.

    Bottom line: Whether you go Sentra w/ ABS& Side Airbags, or Corolla w/ ABS but no airbags, I think you're getting a very safe small car. Would I personally buy either without ABS? No. Would I buy a Sentra without side impact protection? Probably not.

    Hope that helps!
    ~alpha

    PS- my current car is a '03 Sentra 2.5LE, which is equivalent to the '04 2.5S.
  • dlancerdlancer Posts: 9
    Hey alpha, that is indeed a very clear explanation. Thanks!

    Yes, I agree with you on the importance of ABS. So corolla CE is out of question. For the 05 model's side curtain airbag, which is only available on LE, is also hard to reach because of its sheer price (almost 30K).

    For a LE w/o side air bag, I guess your opinion is, sentra is comparable with it with the side air bag option. So, generally speaking, they are almost equal on safety features, aren't they?

    One of my friends suggested me go SE-R with safety package since it's only $2.5K more than 1.8s, and $2K less than a LE. I think it's kinda like 2.5S(not available in Canada). May I share your opinion/experience on it? Does it have better safety features than 1.8s?

    Thanks again.
  • ed2004ed2004 Posts: 8
    I notice something this week that I haven't notice before on my 2.5S. When the air conditioning is on AND when the car is stationary (such as at the light), I can really feel the steering wheel vibrating. If I turn off the air conditioning, the vibration is gone. When the car is in motion, the vibration is gone. The car has 6000 miles. Is this normal? Thanks a lot.

    P.S. The steering always vibrate when I start the car, stay like that for about a couple of minute. I assume this is normal.
  • ottomaticottomatic Posts: 12
    It's been my experience, and I believe I've read, that when the air conditioning is being used in any car, it puts an added strain on the car and reduces gas mileage.

    I used to own a Honda Accord and I swore, for whatever reasons, I had a more difficult time braking or getting the car to stop with the A/C on than when it was off, and I seem to recall that the car shuddered, vibrated more as well.

    Now driving a Sentra 1.8S, I notice again a slight increase in engine noise when the A/C is on, like the car has to work harder; however I do not notice a significant vibration of the steering wheel. (But your 2.5S is more powerful, different than my 1.8S.)

    I've also read steering wheel vibration may be a sign of trouble with your tires, like they may need balancing, alignment, rotation, etc. but since your symptom disappears based on whether the A/C is on or not, it's probably not tire related.

    (If anyone else can enlighten us on this topic of A/C and steering wheel vibration, I'd be interested as well.)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    ottomatic-

    "Now driving a Sentra 1.8S, I notice again a slight increase in engine noise when the A/C is on, like the car has to work harder; however I do not notice a significant vibration of the steering wheel. (But your 2.5S is more powerful, different than my 1.8S.)

    I've also read steering wheel vibration may be a sign of trouble with your tires, like they may need balancing, alignment, rotation, etc. but since your symptom disappears based on whether the A/C is on or not, it's probably not tire related."

    The increase in engine noise is likely due to the sound of the extra cooling fan kicking on. Theres also the A/C compressor, which may be causing the vibration that ed2004 is experiencing. (When the compressor is on, the engine idles higher, which may lead to the steering wheel vibration- the engine resonates differently at different RPM). While you are correct that tires may cause steering wheel vibration, note also that the vibration in question occurs when the car is at a stop, which to me is a bigger factor that rules out tires as the cause of vibration in this case, as compared to the A/C being switched on.

    dlancer- Im not sure why you think the SE-R with a safety package would be safer than a 1.8S with the same equipment. If you can find a 1.8S with side airbags and ABS, get it. The SE-R will swig fuel compared to the 1.8. If youre not about the added power, you're wasting your (hard-earned) money, IMO.

    ~alpha
  • ed2004ed2004 Posts: 8
    Hi Ottomatic and alpha01,

    Thank so much for the help.

    Ed.
  • dlancerdlancer Posts: 9
    Thanks a ton, Alpha. Your posts did help a lot!

    I saw some ppl complains the reliability of sentras (seemed they are made in Mexico), trip computer, engine noise, ignition... Does Nissan only make their bigger sedan well enough?
  • dlancerdlancer Posts: 9
    I'd also have some inputs on the luxury package of 1.8s (road trip in states, I guess),with alloy wheels, 7 speakers instead of 4, leather wrapped steering wheel and map lights... For the extra $1,500, is it worthy? TIA
  • ed2004ed2004 Posts: 8
    I don't think it is worth it. It came with my 2.5S. For the road trip, the only feature that I use is the MPG counter. The speaker is good. Only use the map light once. Leather wrapped steering wheel is very nice. Personally, I would't buy it but then again I am cheap. The reason that I bought the 2.5S instead of 1.8S is that I want the safty features and the only 1.8S that they had came with sunroof and the luxury package. So the difference between these 1.8S and the 2.5S without sunroof is around $300.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    There are some aftermarket performance brake pads that can help your car stop a little faster, but they won't keep your brakes from locking. One of the best upgrades you can do is add grippier performance tires. The more grip your tires have, the quicker your car will stop and the brakes won't lock up as easily.
  • ottomaticottomatic Posts: 12
    While driving around in a 2004 Nissan Sentra 1.8S recently, on a sunny day, I noticed something disturbing.

    Because the sun was out, I was wearing clip-on sunglasses over my prescription eyeglasses, and I had the windows up and the A/C on.

    When I happen to look at the driver's side and passenger-side car windows, there appeared to be some uneven, patchy discoloration -- a dark, brownish film with nickel-sized gaps.

    When I took off my polorized, clip-on sunglasses, I couldn't see the discoloration anymore.

    As far as I know, the side windows of the Sentra didn't come with factory-installed car window tinting and even so, that doesn't explain the uneven "film" I saw.

    (I don't believe it's dirt on the window that I saw, given the fact that I wash the car on a regular basis and how much area of the window the discoloration covered.)

    Anyone notice the same thing, on a sunny day, wearing sunglasses? If so, what's causing it, is it a problem and what can or should be done about it?...
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    That could have been the oily haze formed by the new plastics releasing gas when heated up. New cars tend to do this for the first month or so, depending on how new the car is and the quality of the plastic. If it wasn't that, then I have no idea what it could have been.
  • I have a 94 Sentra limited which, when purchased (winter 2004) had 56000 on it. It now has 59k. My gas mileage is rather poor and i'm a bit concerned and unsure why. I will get anywhere from 20 to 26 mpg on a tank. Is poor gas mileage a characteristic of the car or is there a problem somewhere?
  • turboshadowturboshadow Posts: 349
    I just purchased a 2002 Senta GXE, 1.8/5spd. After I shut the car down, I hear a whining, high pitched noise from the back of the car for a few minutes. It sounds like the fuel pump,but is it normal for it to run a few minutes after shutdown?
  • customerxcustomerx Posts: 6
    I was wondering if anyone else has/ had this issue. I have a Nissan Sentra 2000 which I purchased new from the same dealer that my aunt purchased her car from and my gradmother before that. The dealer is family owned and so is the associated service center.

    Well late June the car wouldn't start. the service center says it's the computer. The part hasn't come in for a week. The service center says it's on back order. Another week goes by and the service center has no ETA. They won't provide a loaner. I call nissan consumer. Another week goes by, no call backs, no loaner, no part ETA. So now it's a month later and Nissan tells me the ETA is Week of August 28th.

    I have to pay out of pocket for a rental- for over 2 months- because the part is on back order.

    Okay so it's only a Sentra but do they realize I will never buy a Nissan again? Does the service guys understand that I will never take the car there again or buy a car from them? I guess I just wonder what ever happened to customer service.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how or if I have any way to get a loaner or recoup my costs for the rental?
  • customerxcustomerx Posts: 6
    I used to work for a sunglass company about 4 years ago. having not been in the industry for sometime I really don't recall all the very technical information but while polorized sunglasses are sold for driving there were some serious issues. Issues such as the one you described as well as the ability to see water on the road.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You need to keep calling Nissan customer service to state your frustration, and ask them if there is anyway they could aid you in your situation. Tell them that you have been very satisfied with their product besides this issue (even if this isnt wholly true). Ask them to meet you halfway, at least, on the cost of the rental car. Ask them how the backorder could possibly take so long. Ask them why/if a computer can be pulled from a totaled Sentra and installed (I have NO IDEA if this is even feasible, its just an idea) Is the OB Computer considered part of the powertrain warranty? If so, are you still under warranty?

    my .02

    hope it helps, good luck
    ~alpha
Sign In or Register to comment.