1997 Sentra

Consumer Reviews

1997 Nissan Sentra

$280 - $3,532  MSRP Range
1997 Nissan Sentra

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

11 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.7 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.7 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.5 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4 out of 5 stars Performance
4 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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1 - 10 of 11 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

Not your average econobox!

by Misato from Memphis, TN on Sun Jan 23 2011

I bought a Sentra used in 2001 for two reasons: it was a practical little car and it was inexpensive. It excelled in both those respects and more. This car got me back and forth to college (which was over a thousand miles away, mind you) and then just kept on going. It handled great in the snow and ice of New York as well as on the pothole-stricken roads of Memphis, TN. And yes, it also routinely squealed - mightily - about being flung into a corner faster than its little thirteen-inch tires were prepared to take (yes, Virginia, you can drive stupid fast in a slow car). But once you discovered its limits, including the suspension travel and its tendency to eat CV boots, it was fun to drive in a way. This was the last Sentra built in the United States. The attention to detail shows - these cars were built to last if you take care of them. Fit and finish was excellent, although the seat foam Nissan used on the basic trim levels is seriously lacking compared to newer models (a set of sport seats from a '98 SE fixed that right up). The carpet even held up well, considering the mats wore out about three years ago. A weak point was the anaemic standard stereo, but at least a CD player was available. The engine was a hamster-in-a-alloy-block with barely 100 hp, but even with the four-speed auto, it still had a little bit of spunk and could get up to city speeds rather quick. (Dodging tractor trailers on the interstate at 80 MPH, however, was an adventure I will not relate fondly in my old age.) Everyone has had a car in their life that just refused to die. You wanted something new, but you couldn't really bear to get rid of it because it doesn't require a lot of maintenance, it doesn't ask anything of you, and it was paid for. This Sentra, for me, was that car. Plus, you gotta love rockin' an iPhone through a tape deck.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

22 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Oldie but goodie

by Rob from Atlanta, GA on Sat May 23 2009

Isn't it rather weird? Why am I even reviewing a car that is more than a decade old? I am not sure, but let me do this for information's sake. I have the GXE model, which I believe is the second-highest of the four trim levels. It is silver, got the 14" steel wheels, automatic transmission. It has given very little trouble so far at almost 130K on the odometer. It started developing creaks in the interior at around 100K, and the car had alternator and starter motor changed recently. Aside from that, it required no major repairs. The car runs smooth, or rather, it did; it has developed a metallic rattling noise and now requires tune-up. It is also quite low-frill; the dashboard and the center console are hard plastic and in two tones (black and tan), which is far from tasteful but it works, and it makes up with its durability. Front seats are comfortable and excellent for driving, while the back seat leaves much to be desired--there is little support, and very little road noise from the rear wheels are dampened. Overall, though, the car is surprisingly sound at this age. Handling is quite good, with excellent feel on the road, and steering wheel is very good as well. The brakes are, however, simply abysmal, especially with no ABS; be careful when driving faster and/or on a wet road, or you will be sorry. The gas mileage varies but is normally good, at around 26 on a bad day and 35 on a good one (and averaging around 30 normally). It's a cheap, used car, but it is still a great one, especially if they are properly maintained. Just be mindful that you may do some extensive maintenance work if you do buy one (it is old, after all).

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

1997 Nissan Sentra's

by badjrmo from Mesa on Sun Mar 08 2009

I owned one, I got 34mpg city, 44 hwy miles per gallon. I used a K&N air filter and a good set of tires. Great Car.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Has treated me well

by Jen from Grand Rapids, MI on Wed Dec 31 2008

I have a '97 Sentra with manual transmission that I bought new. I'm sad to say that an accident at 150,000 has put an end to our relationship because this has been an excellent car. Sure, it is no race car, but the nearly 40 mpg makes up for that. Other that routine oil changes, brakes, tires and exhaust, we've put nearly no money into this car. We've never even had to replace the clutch. Early on there was a problem with the power locks, fixed under warranty. At some point the display on the clock stopped working and the fuel door wouldn't close. But if you are looking for a dependable, inexpensive car, you can't go wrong with a '97 Sentra.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Basic Car

by Mountain Man from Montana on Wed Jun 04 2008

This is a superb vehicle for those who want an economical basic ride. This car gets AWSOME MPG with the base 4 cylinder and 5spd manual. I've averaged 43mpg in highway driving (65-75 miles per hour). Its also pretty frisky and fun to drive around town. However when passing or driving uphill on highway you've really got to shift down. Good handling on snow and bad roads and if it gets stuck its so light you can push it out easily. Seating is very tight and uncomfortable for long travels. Only mechanical trouble we've had is a bad alternator immediatly after purchasing it. Other than that solid Nissan quality.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

21 year old reliable transportation

by Chrislindy from Wildwood Crest, NJ on Mon May 21 2018

Paid $400 for this car in 2015. 192000 miles. Needed some work (axles, brakes, exhaust). Now three years later 271000 miles. Changed distributor and timing chain tensioner. That?s it. A/C still works. Car is rusty but still going strong. Hope to pass 300k before rust takes it.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

car was awesome always started right up

by nick puleo from gowanda,ny on Thu Aug 17 2017

car ran great was awesome on gas got over 38 mpg was a little a slow on take off but would cruise once going would love another one

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

I've owned them all and THIS IS THE BEST DEAL

by AnnySylvie from Fairborn on Tue May 16 2017

I have owned Fords, Mercury, Pontiac, Volvo,Dodge, Saturn, Toyotas, and Chevy. But of all of them my 97 Nissan Sentra GXE auto has been the most pleasant and easiest to maintain. A woman bought it new and sold it to me for only $200 in 2015. It had over 120,000 miles and had sat in her garage for 4 years. It had broken down on her, and as she was having health problems, she could not drive much anyway. Having no idea what I was getting into as I could not test drive it, and being a busy mom without a car,I hoped for the best. All it needed was a fuel pump, change of fluids, new brake pads, and a tune up and the car runs like a dream. My boyfriend fixed all these things so I only paid for the parts. Ive only put $600 (including tags, title,taxes, and purchase), into this car and I cant believe how great it runs! I usually pay thousands for a used lemon that spends more time in the garage being fixed than on the road. This Nissan is the Best vehicle Ive ever owned.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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4 out of 5 stars

good economy/performance compromise

by sandman from new york, new york on Mon Jul 06 2009

Bought new and now has 90,000 original miles. Been very reliable and very good economy. I have the GLE top of the line model. Nicer interior materials, a tachometer, small armrest, and alloy wheels, are the major differences to this model. 4 times, this car would not start. 12 times, the remote alarm/door unlock had failed and required dealer repair. New exhaust, starter, alternator, egr valve, vapor cannister...repairs happened during the last 4 years.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Very Reliable

by "Happy Buyer" from Staten Island NY on Thu Aug 02 2018

This Car Is Very Reliable And Very Dependable,Even With The Age Of This Vehicle It Serves The Purpose That I Need Which I Love And I Would Buy Another Nissan When This Vehicle No Longer Runs.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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