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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I've been lurking on these boards for several days now; a lot of useful info in here! :)

I'm trying to decide on a new car. It's my first new car, so I want to get it right! I'm considering a Sentra SE, Honda Civic EX, and a Ford Focus ZX3. Well, after test driving all 3 over the weekend, I've pretty much decided against the Focus. I didn't like the way it handled, it was noticeably slower than the Sentra, plus it looked kind of "toyish".

I like the look of the Civic, and I think it has better colors available, but I really liked the way the Sentra drove. Lots of power, and shifting was smooth as butter (I stalled the Civic three times while taking off at stoplights, no problems whatsoever with the Sentra).

My only complaint with the Sentra at this point is the exterior. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very attractive and quite luxurious looking, but I originally wanted something that looked a little more "sporty". The rather bland colors don't help, either. I wish I could wait until the sportier SE-R comes out (love the yellow exterior and those yellow seats!), but I can't wait 6 months, and probably couldn't afford one anyhow.

One thing that does make the current model a little more "sporty" in my opinion, is the sunroof wind deflector and nose mask, as seen in the Sentra brochure. But are these even available from the Dealer? They are not listed as build-to-order options on the Nissan website. Anyone have these, or know how much they cost?

Other options I'd probably buy include the SE Performance Package (pretty cheap for all it includes) and a Sunroof (I hate to admit this, but a sunroof is the number one requirement for any car I buy). Should I buy the ABS brakes? Are they really neccesary?

Also, how common are the problems I've been reading about? I'm not sure if I want a car that "smells like farts!" :D

Thanks,
Torajima
 

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Al, The Ignorant Fcuk
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I think you did good to eliminate the Focus. I don't think it will hold up. The ABS are a good investment. I did not get them for whatever reason. I have ABS on another vehicle. If you are a relatively inexperienced driver who drives aggressively they are a must.

I love my SE. It's an auto with no options except matts and microfilter. The SE has a lot of stuff though to begin with. I'm 55 yrs old-retired and I wanted trouble free transportation with a little sport. The SE is very well made and the engine is unmatched. The engine is what sold me. Yes the PP is worth the money but I bought the extended warranty instead. Car handles more than good enough for me.

You won't go wrong with the SE in my opinion.

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Plain Jane Cappuccino SE
with AutoTrans
 

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Well, if you order a 2001 SE 5spd. you don't need to worry about the ABS package, since Nissan only makes the 2001 SE with an Auto transmission with them. No other models have them as available options anymore. Unless you can find one that has been built already, although the ABS package is a hard one to find. I just ordered an SE last week and was told that, so I wasn't able to get the ABS system like I wanted. But that's ok, since the car I originally test drove didn't have the ABS system and handled fine, even under heavier breaking. As for those accessories, the sunroof wind deflector should be around 40 bucks and the nose mask will probably be around $100. You can get them from the parts counter at your local dealer most likely. Of course, if you get the SE in blackout and get some tinted windows, you wouldn't have a need for the nose mask. Hopefully you choose the nissan though, especially since it rides better, handles better and shifts easier than a Civic.

FrontierBoy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
>If you are a relatively inexperienced
>driver who drives aggressively they are a
>must.

Naw, I'm not inexperienced, I've just been driving used car hand-me-downs for the past 17 years. And I don't drive THAT aggressivly, though at stoplights I do like to be the first one out of the gate! :)

>You won't go wrong with the SE in my
>opinion.

Thanks. Right now, I'm leaning heavily toward the SE. Though I'm going to test drive it and the Civic again before making my decision.

Of course, if I can't get one for around $250 per month, I might end up driving a Hyundai! :p

Torajima
 

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I went by the dealer today to buy that plastic fuel door gas cap holder and saw a cool new teal color. Check it out the next time you go to the dealer, it looks great. My black one is a pain to keep clean (as are all black cars.) The SE is a great buy, excellent bang for the buck. I also saw an anniversary Maxima......for just under $32k. Ouch!

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'97 VW Golf Trek - modded
'00 Sentra SE - PP, PIAAs, Tint
 

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I agree with your choice of the Sentra. I think the Civic is overpriced, and the Focus is anything but reliable, what with all the recalls from Ford.




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2000 SE w/ PP auto in Heatwave

 

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I have some views about the choosing options for a Sentra. I don't know if that fact about ABS not being available on 5-spds is true unless it happened in the last two months. The one key advantage to getting ABS is that it comes with side air bags (not available seperately). Those two safety items may make a big difference in your insurance bill. They sure did on mine. The only thing I don't like is the fact that I can't properly do my own brake jobs (I hate letting others work on my car). It is difficult to find one though.
About a sunroof, is this your first car? Some believe sunroofs are a must have for a car to look good. I can't change your mind on that. On a mechanical side, they are extremely heavy and all that weight is in the wrong place, on top. Besides, sunroof motors are the first things to break after the warranty is out. Not to mention the possibility of leaks. I had a sunroof on my last car and I never used it. For me personally, a sunroof is a waste of money.
As far as making the car look better, Stillen already has a wonderful front fascia. The body kit on the new SE-R is almost a for sure fit on our SE's. And finally, the last thing I want to drive is what everyone else and their dogs drive, a Civic.


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rschauby

2001 Sentra SE w/PP auto (radium)
FOR SALE!
I want the new SE-R!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rschauby:
I have some views about the choosing options for a Sentra. I don't know if that fact about ABS not being available on 5-spds is true unless it happened in the last two months. The one key advantage to getting ABS is that it comes with side air bags (not available seperately). Those two safety items may make a big difference in your insurance bill. They sure did on mine. The only thing I don't like is the fact that I can't properly do my own brake jobs (I hate letting others work on my car). It is difficult to find one though.
About a sunroof, is this your first car? Some believe sunroofs are a must have for a car to look good. I can't change your mind on that. On a mechanical side, they are extremely heavy and all that weight is in the wrong place, on top. Besides, sunroof motors are the first things to break after the warranty is out. Not to mention the possibility of leaks. I had a sunroof on my last car and I never used it. For me personally, a sunroof is a waste of money.
As far as making the car look better, Stillen already has a wonderful front fascia. The body kit on the new SE-R is almost a for sure fit on our SE's. And finally, the last thing I want to drive is what everyone else and their dogs drive, a Civic.


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, the ABS thing did happen within the last two months. I put in an order for a 2001 SE last Monday and was told by the dealer that as of a couple of weeks prior to then, Nissan said they will no longer manufacture any Sentra's but the SE with Auto with the ABS/Side Impact Airbag option. It kind of sucked because I was really wanting the insurance discounts, but I guess I can do without them since i wasn't about to settle for an auto instead of a 5spd. The car has the immobilizer system and my insurance agent seems to care more about the alarms than the airbags.

FrontierBoy
*Currently have a 2000 Frontier KC 4x2 5spd.*
Soon to have a 2001 Sentra SE 5spd. w/PP and Sunroof.
 

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Al, The Ignorant Fcuk
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rschauby

Why can't do antilock brakes yourself? I've done them on my '94 corsica. No difference that I saw- they still work. Sentra may be different.

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Plain Jane Cappuccino SE
with AutoTrans

[This message has been edited by adc100 (edited April 17, 2001).]
 

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I think changing the pads shouldn't be any different, but there is some crazy complicated process to bleed the brakes on ABS equipped cars.

The Haynes manual for my g/f's Neon says to only have certified professionals work on the braking systems of ABS equipped cars.

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2000 SE w/ PP auto in Heatwave

 

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About the sunroof...:

I think you should try to pick up one without the sunroof. I have one on mine, but I have seemed to have lots of problems with mine whistling at highway speeds. I've already taken my car to have it fixed once, now I need to do it again. It is nice though when you're cruising down the street and it's a nice day out.

Well, as for the Focus, a buddy of mine really wants one. We're going to test drive one here in the next few days, and I'll give him my honest opinion on it. The Civic doesn't look as good as it used to, I think. As long as you know what you are looking for, I believe it won't be hard once you start looking at prices, style(inside and out), aftermarket availiblity(depending on if you are going this route), and just plain fun! Good luck!

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Marvin
-2000 Sentra SE w/Performance Package, Sunroof, 5 Spd, Avalanche
Current mods: Gas Cap Holder, Stromung Cat-Back Exhaust System, Place Racing Cold Air Intake
Future mods:Unorthodox Racing Pulleys, Window Tint
-Previous Owner 1995 Sentra GXE, w/mods, Auto, Maroon
 

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ALSO ABOUT THE SUNROOF

I had a aftermarket sunroof installed. Its way better then the factory one. It's all one touch, closes automatically when you turn off the car! And I haven't had any problems with it!
 

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I think that in all honesty the Sentra SE is a great buy out of the box. Lots of goodies stock, great motor, and with the performance package (a must-buy) lower profile tires/wheels and factory limited slip diff. As far as sporty, yes, it's not as visually exciting as, say, a 300 ZX or Mitsu Eclipse, but then again, it's cool to dust some unsuspecting driver at the light as your "family sedan" suddenly pulls a holeshot on them.

I like sleeper cars, no one knows exactly what to expect.

The insurance is a little cheaper on these as opposed to the Honda as well. They don't get stolen as much.

I would definitely look into one ASAP, though. I know that they are getting rarer as the year goes on.

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Waiting for PR CAI, got the Stromung, got the Unorthodox, got a big fat empty "0" in my bank...:)
 
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