This is my first time purchasing a Nissan. I purchased it as new in March 2011. For the last 10 years I have owned Toyota vehicles. I compared the Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla. My choice came down...
This is my first time purchasing a Nissan. I purchased it as new in March 2011. For the last 10 years I have owned Toyota vehicles. I compared the Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla. My choice came down to price. I was able to get a 2011 Sentra S for about the same price as the closeout 2010 Corolla. The Sentra has a smooth ride, except on very bumpy rodes. The seats seem to be comfortable. Even the rear seats seem very comfortable. I do have upper and lower back problems but since I don't drive far, I haven't noticed much problem. I do wish that the driver's seat had an adjustable lumbar support. I like the CVT transmission. You do have to adjust to it. The CVT is nice when you are getting on the highway. The engine will rev high but if you keep the gas pedal down, the transmission will allow the car to get up to speed pretty quickly before going into overdrive. The Sentra seems to handle well on the road. I haven't had the chance to experience handling in the snow yet. Gas mileage seems to be very good. The only time I noticed poor mileage was when the weather was very cold. The transmission didn't seem like it would shift until it warmed up. In the very cold month's, I was getting in the lower 20's in mostly city driving. Now in the warm Summer month's, I am getting around 29 to 30 MPG in mostly city driving. I took the car on a small highway trip last month and got around 42 to 43MPG.
I like the Sentra but the quality doesn't seem to be even close to that of Toyota. Within my first week of owning it, the rear door frame where the window comes out of the door was rattling and loose. The dealer had to replace it because the clips were broken. The first time I filled the gas tank, I noticed that the gas cap retainer was broken so I had to set the cap on the ground and remember to put it back on when I was finished. A few weeks ago, I was on a bumpy road and not long after I noticed that the car was squeeking loudly like an old pick up truck. I looked underneath and noticed that the heat shield above the muffler was bent under the muffler and rubbing on it. I bent it back and it seems ok now.
I am hoping that the mechanics of the car are of higher quality. These problems are scaring me because they remind me of some of the reasons that I stopped buying American cars. Although the American cars I have owned were worse with transmission and engine problems. Remember Nissan, first impressions are lasting impressions. I rarely had to do anything besides regular maintenance with my Toyota.