1996 Nissan Sentra
1-7 of 7 reviews
Test drive review

I'm gobsmacked by these little cars..

by from Redding, CA on June 13, 2011

I'm a great fan the Nissan Sentra. Nissan makes great cars but the Sentras are Nissan's most economical model...a very cheap to own car. And if you like luxury without breaking the bank, their Altimas...
I'm a great fan the Nissan Sentra. Nissan makes great cars but the Sentras are Nissan's most economical model...a very cheap to own car. And if you like luxury without breaking the bank, their Altimas and Maximas, etc are wonderful luxury cars yet extremely cheap to own and operate. I drive alot and need to keep my gas costs as low as possible.. I've been driving Sentras for about 12 yrs now with the 1.6 litre motor! and 5 spd/manual. I can freeway cruise at just a few mph above limit..so 73 when it's marked 70)..I usually get just over 40 mpg freeway (that's the 1.6litre!), unless I'm driving into a strong wind for much time. The early 90's models are my favorite for interior roominess and handling stability. I bought my 1990 Sentra (1.6 litre/5spd-manual) used with 243,000. miles and it had been abused and neglected. Recommended 10w30 or 10w40 would burn through it, make smoke, etc. I had to run 20w50 with 3 oz. of STP and 3 or so tablespoon of MarvelMysteryOil. That thing ran like a champ, passed smog!! until I got rid of it with 400,000 miles on it.. I also went to a slightly larger 13" tire for an even better ride. My '96 Sentra I have to replace because a previous owner did undisclosed damage to the front-end that I can't figure out and it's causing major wear-out problems with the motor mounts and CV joints. -Not the car's fault. All those parts are actually quite cheap... So you people who are looking to buy a cheap-to-own, reliable car, used Sentras are the way to go.. A well cared for Sentra with under 200,000 miles, if properly cared for, can probably go almost another 200,000.. I live in Redding CA where it gets hot.. My Sentras give me that kind of hi miles. I religously change oil, use a tiny bit of Marvel and, with my 200,000+ mile Sentra motors, I'll mix in a small amount of 20w50 for summertime heat, especially if the motor seems to "use" oil. A well cared for 1.6 litre won't "use" (you won't have to add very often)much oil at all. One little side-note nugget...I filled up my '90 Sentra 1.6litre/5spd (with way over 300,000 miles showing on odometer...tired old Sentra). That fill-up point in Redding is 210 miles from my next fill-up point at work in Hayward...most all freeway driving. The wind was with me that night as I headed south out of Redding on I-5 with a strong south wind almost all the way.. Traffic was lite that night. I topped off at the Valero on Hesperian and West Winton.. 5.6 gallons. The tank would not take more gas! Buy a Sentra. -Used. One that has been well cared for...with regular oil changes. A word of caution, though (and this will apply to any car). Don't ever overheat the motor. If you smell coolant/vapor or see steam from the hood..don't wait for the warning lights to come on. Pull over where it's safe and turn it off, I repeat, turn it off...before it begins to overheat. The motors do not, will not, last if they're overheated. So run good hoses (that includes heater hoses), good coolant and ya won't have a problem.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Nice car

by from Seattle, WA on August 1, 2008

Good milage vehicle. Always ran well, handled well, good in ice and snow, good in rain, remarkably smooth ride for its size, never had a major problem over 100000 miles. It's a great car!
Good milage vehicle. Always ran well, handled well, good in ice and snow, good in rain, remarkably smooth ride for its size, never had a major problem over 100000 miles. It's a great car!
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Best car I've owned

by from Louisville, KY on January 25, 2012

I have had this car for ten years and have been very happy with it's performance. It has always started up in the morning and gets great gas mileage (about 37 MPG). Even at 15 years old, it's still a ...
I have had this car for ten years and have been very happy with it's performance. It has always started up in the morning and gets great gas mileage (about 37 MPG). Even at 15 years old, it's still a great car! Nissan should go back and reproduce this car exactly the same.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Great economical car

by from Pennsylvania on January 26, 2008

I bought mine with 49K in October 1998 and it just died in January 2008 with 203K. I had no real repairs, beyond standard maintenance, until about 150K when the alternator went out. I also had to repl...
I bought mine with 49K in October 1998 and it just died in January 2008 with 203K. I had no real repairs, beyond standard maintenance, until about 150K when the alternator went out. I also had to replace the mass air flow sensor, parts of the exhaust system, and the front crankshaft seal around 180K. When the car would not start after passing 203K, I decided it was not worth repairing. I was still pulling over 30 mpg when it died. The body and interior do not look like they had seen so many miles. My only real complaints are the lack of power, which was a common problem for Nissan, and it was uncomfortable for long trips. But overall, the car was great for me through college and law school.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Perfect car if you have plan.

by from North Carolina on June 6, 2007

I got a '96 Sentra when I got out of the Marines and didn't want to (or have) a lot of money to spend. It is a 5 speed manual and had 62k miles when I got it for $3500 in 2003. I used to drive on aver...
I got a '96 Sentra when I got out of the Marines and didn't want to (or have) a lot of money to spend. It is a 5 speed manual and had 62k miles when I got it for $3500 in 2003. I used to drive on average 85 miles every day. It's now June 2007 and the car has 145K miles on it. Other than oil changes and brakes, I had the change the axel boots and the transmition (I went ahead and changed the clutch system too because I might as well). The transmition went out at around 134K miles because I made the mistake of changing the axel seals and didn't check them afterwards for leaks. The transmition fluid leaked and it fried my transmition. Total cost ($600). I think that if I had not made that mistake, the car would not have needed major repairs until around 180k miles. I was NEVER stranded. I was always able to drive the car home. The point is: if you want to get miles out of a car and save gas, the Sentra is a good car. Keep in mind that mine is a '96, the first year of the new model. It's supposed to have a lot of problems but for the money, it is a great car. I still have it and drive it every day. Thanks to my Sentra I was able to work and go school and save money and I'm now on Cars.com looking for new car. Anyways, think about it....Sentra will do the job if that is all you want.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Love this car

by from Orlando, FL on December 18, 2014

I have owned this car since new. It always starts and gets great gas mileage. Tires and other parts are pretty cheap to replace. I'm planning on painting it soon and drive it another 7 years. Not a fa...
I have owned this car since new. It always starts and gets great gas mileage. Tires and other parts are pretty cheap to replace. I'm planning on painting it soon and drive it another 7 years. Not a fast car but will merge on to the highway with no problems. Handles well. People buy these car for economic reasons. You won't be disappointed.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

96 Sentra GXE

by from Seattle,WA on May 6, 2008

There are a few issues we have had with ours but nothing real major. Decent looking car but it gets good economy and its fairly comfortable upfront, rear legroom is a bit cramped. The folding rear sea...
There are a few issues we have had with ours but nothing real major. Decent looking car but it gets good economy and its fairly comfortable upfront, rear legroom is a bit cramped. The folding rear seat is nice. Holds the road fairly nicely for a FWD car. Interior isn't the nicest place to be but its not bad. Low powered engine but for city driving its fine. If they are kept up on maintenance they last a long time. I'm suprised ours has reached 140K because my sister was driving it around with about 1/2 quart of oil in it till I changed it.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
See Model Details
Our Expert Review: 1996 Nissan Sentra

Similar Models

Select up to three models to compare with the 1996 nissan sentra