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Discussion Starter #1
What do u guys think?
I want some opinions.
I'm still shopping for my car... Nissan Sentra is a great choice, but recently I cam across Mazda Protege
Offers about the same stuff, for the same price. It has better tires, slower engine, same MPG, but it is made in Japan (not mexico like Nissan). It handles great, good crisp stick shift... good looking too (you gotta admit, the Sentra looks good, but blend... the Protege has a bit of edge that others dont)

Tell me your opinion on this...

Thanks guys.



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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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Al, The Ignorant Fcuk
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You are up early-this must be working on you. Probably lots on this board evaluated both.
I got the Sentra because of :

1. Favorable write up in Edmunds
2. Good reports from a friend who rented Sentras down in Aruba on vac.
3. Very comfortable front seats. (Wife Requirement)
4. Liked its look and the quality of the car in general, I thought was better than Mazda.
5. Nissan Reputation and past experience with a 210- it lasted forever.
6. I felt the inside trim was better than the Protege.
7. Service department in my area is excellent.
8. The engine. Very known quantity-absolutely rock solid. Way overdesigned. Been around for 10 years. Very powerful. This is what really made the big difference. I want economy, but I need HP too. I can't imagine a better Performance to Fuel economy ratio. I got 38mpg going down to NC and 36.5 coming back. I really was trying for economy here. Don't expect that as a normal trip figure.

Yea it's assembled in Mexico. They did a good job on my car though. I believe most of the major components (tranny/engine) are made in Japan. One other thing Mazda right now is having serious financial problems. Nissan also has, but they are over the hump.

You'll probably be happy with either car. Take your time.
Al


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Plain Jane Cappuccino SE
with AutoTrans
 

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In my reading, the deciding factor was what you need the back seat for. If you need it for people, the Protege is for you; if not, then the Sentra is yours.

And yes, the engine is built in Japan, then shipped to Mexico for assembly in the car.

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2000 SE w/ PP auto in Heatwave

 

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Well I test drove a whole bunch of cars, and the Sentra just held my eyes.

I was actually looking at the Impreza RS until I realised it was too much for me (price wise).

I did go take a look at the Protege, but several things turned me off.

-Salesman, was an idiot.
-Interior Quality
-Horse Power
-Options. the damn protege doesnt come with an alarm or any anti-theft device. THAT was a big problem for me and my inssurance.
-And personally, there are too many damned proteges on the road here in Montreal, I dont know about Toronto but I guess its the same. Ive seen many sentra's here, but all XE and you cant really mistake and XE for and SE, looks way too different.

In any case, good luck in your shopping. Im still waiting for my damned Sentra SE, those freaks arent delivering, apparently its stuck at the end of the train yard, BLEH.
 

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BTW, you know what the Protege GT package is right ?
Its only cosmetics.
Compare that to Limited Slip Differential, STAGE II suspensions, etc...
 

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I had the same choose, but if you haggle the nissan dealer and tell them that your also looking at the pretege, then the price will start dropping like flyies :) Also walk away from the deal like in the middle of it... the will come running to you door of your car(if you make it that far) and have a better price. Now when get better price tell them your gonna go test drive the pretege again. ALWAYS bring a friend(s), I hate car salesmen/salesladies. Your friend needs to act like he/she hates the car and wants you to get the pretege. This worked trust me. :) i got my car Cheap! :) if you would rather get the pretege... reverse the situtation. good luck and dont let the car sales people f**** you.

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2001 GXE
from a i4.0 to a 1.8?
oh well
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yah... I didn't sleep until I posted that message this morning!

Edmunds.com has great write up for the Protege too. The car handles excellent they said. Stiff suspension was the downside (but I like it stiff anyway, after driving the Prelude, nothing is too stiff)

Styling, Edmunds loves it... I don't know... I kinda do like the Sentra looks, because it is more grown up, versus the Protege, a 16yr old kid's car look.

The rest, I can't tell you until I really go test drive it... hopefully this Friday.

Yah, Impreza is way too expensive for my pockets.

Here is what I like about the Sentra other than the obvious

Great power, the engine has been around for such a long time, quality and reliability has proved itself time after time.
Sales and service are pretty good (mainly because I know the people there)

The GT package, yah, cosmetic stuff like ABS, AC, Moon Roof, 16" Rims, etc. etc.
So I don't get the lImited Slip Differential, or the STAGE II suspension (which should handle like the Mazda anyway, I hope... at least the reviews are great)

My heart is still on the Sentra, mainly because of the great value I get (biggest bangs for the bucks), but a lot of it is because of THIS Forum! I can't get my eyes off it. I have to log on to this forum everyday and wish I can get my SE today.
But, I'm the kind of guy who really shops around first (2 months head start), checking every possible car out there!

Thanks for the info!

Let me know what else you guys think of it!

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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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I'd have to say for myself, that I was already almost guaranteed to purchase the Sentra vs. the Protege.

1) The interior in the Sentra was in my opinion better.
2) Power and engine
3) I believe in an odd way that the Sentra seemed more sporty overall. The Protege was nice, but looked kinda like a box.
4) Price, I believe. The Protege fully loaded with the options of the Sentra were much more.
5) I was a previous owner of a '95 GXE. Nissan has been very very good to me and my family.
6) After I took a SE wo/PP for the first time, I knew that this was the car I wanted. I didn't have a bad feeling at all.

I guess it comes down to what you want it for. Mazda Protege's are very nice, but not exactly what I was looking for. I'm thinking I'll be a Nissan buyer for a long time. :)

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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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I've just test driven the Protege yesterday and I haven't test drive the Sentra SE. Anyway, this is what I think of the Protege:

1)Noisy engine (it is the 626 2.0 I4),but very good low end torque and enough hp. I test drive the car with my friend (around 280lb) and the salesman (i guess around 220lb) and the engine still loves the hill.
2)2001 interior is much better looking than b4 and I'd have to say it is very impressive. I don't like the mid-night cloth on SE with PP, but the protege's seats are very good.
3)Very harsh suspension but a lot of body roll in cornering ... new definition of oxymoron?
4)All Protege don't come with body-coloured side mirrors for some unknown reason....we don't get the MP3 in Canada so the GT is our top of the line model and still has those black side-mirrors.
5)Mazda is doing $500 rebate right now, and the salesman told me the Protege GT auto includes flight will be around CAD 21500 - the rebate will be 21000 plus tax. Which is roughly about 2000 less then the SE auto with PP.
6)Sentra SE with PP has more equipment than the Protege. 7 speakers vs. 4. 15 more hp and 1 more torque. Remote trunk release with the keyless entry, that's nice, the only other compact has that this is the 1.7 EL.
7)Protege has the A-pillar antenna vs. the Sentra.......that's a big concern for me!
8)The Dunlop SP 5000 in the Protege are very quiet or it's because the engine covered up all the other noise, i dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're right, the Mazda, from the reviews I read, has really loud engine noise, road nose... however, the dunlop tires, I love them... much better than Firestone
GT is more expensive, but not a whole lot more...
The Protege, yes, looks like a box, looks small, looks like an econo box... but I just hope it drives well (and review says it does)
The Sentra, I'll tell you what I think about it since I test drove it twice this month
1) Great performance, good suspension, GREAT brakes.
2) Ugly clothes, but good firm seats, comfy
3) I'm a big guy, no, not 280lbs big, but tall, so I must be able to fit with the seats all the way in to the back. Sentra is comfy
4) Stick shift is the only way to go, the Automatic is in my opinion, waste of the engine... but the shifter vibrates like a Massager... yikes.
5) Interior looks a bit European, but still looks kinda cheap, the HVAC controls are rubbery... cheap plastics.
6) Road noise is okay, the Engine runs smooth with heardly any noise (I kept speeding because I can't hear the engine), but there's that wind and road noise...
7) I was in the car 220lbs, with my friends, 120, 180, 190lbs plus the sales lady, umm... 150 (she's kinda big and tall too)
The car did very well with the hills, acceleration, and well... suprise...
8) location of everything is great... I can change the settings on the radio and HVAC anytime without putting my mind to it
9) steering is not like a VW, but it's pretty good... I wish it had more road feel
10) Great stuff, mooonroof, cds, alloy, wings, all standard... I love the packages.

My heart is now set on the Sentra... I'm pretty sure of it. I just have to wait for that 2 months to pass faster, and I'll be driving one of these... BLACK, Sentra SE Sport 5speed!
If money is okay, I'll be getting one of these, otherwise, looks like it's gonna be a civic... I'll be a turtle then.

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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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I think it's a tough choice beteen sentra or protege. I like cars that have good looking interior because when u are driving the car, u don't see the outside of the car u see the inside, right? But I hate noisy cars, I dunno if i can live with the Protege. On the other hand, I've test drive the GXE b4 and I think it doesn't feel like a compact, it feels like a heavier car. The GXE has less engine noise than the Protege, how does the SE engine noise compare to the GXE? The 1.8 is a new engine, so it could be quieter than the 2.0?
 

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Al, The Ignorant Fcuk
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The SE engine is not quiet. But the sound that it gives is not the noise of an 85 HP thrashing machine. And when you get on it you just love the noise. In short its noise you get to love.

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Plain Jane Cappuccino SE
with AutoTrans
 

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I've had my Sentra SE w/pp since September, and I have to say I LOVE it!
As for the engine, it's quiet till about 3500rpm, so if you're doing normal driving it's civil, but as soon as you gun it your ROARING! Which really is how a car like that should be, I like how it's kind of clark kent/superman. You can drive it like a daily commuting grocery getter and it will politely behave like one. When you're in the only lane that's not moving on the highway and you notice a small gap in the traffic beside you.. vvvVVVVROOOOOM and you've matched speed in the blink of an eye!
And yes, you have to have a manual, I test drove an SE with an auto and it's NOTHING like the manual tranny, especially when you scooting along and need to pass some gravel throwing truck, you pop down a gear and you're pressed into your seat!

My SE w/pp came out to be about $19,950 before dest and taxes. (Canuck)
Honestly the protege can't hold against it, a buddy of mine has one and it's always sad when he tries to pass me on the various two lane roads around town, he approaches I press the gas, he's receeding ;)

The only thing I DON'T like about my SE is I bought it because I had no idea the SE-R Spec V was coming so soon ;)


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2001 Sentra SE w/ PP, Cajun Spice, Canadian Spec.
 

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Ok this isn't really a Mazda vs. Nissan story but it is how I ended up chooseing my Sentra.

Here it was the beginning of February and I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Pheniox Yellow Type R, when I was out test driving cars for fun. Well I stopped by the Nissan dealership b.c I hadn't test driven any of them yet and I thought it would be fun. I started out with a Black 20th Anni. Edition Max. It was an auto and I didn't really like it. Now if it was a stick that would be a different story. Then I decided ah lets try that little 4 door over there. Well it was the Sentra. Black,Sunroof,spoiler,16's,performance package, all the cool stuff. Most of all it was a stick. I took it for a drive with the salesman so I didn't get to really check it out. I liked what I saw and felt while driving though. A few days later I went back and made up this story about how my parents liked it and I wanted to take it home to show my dad. My dad is a qudraplegic and doens't get out of the house much ,that part is true. So I ended up getting the car for about 5 hours. I put like 145 miles on it. I didn't show my parents at all, but I was like, I really love this car. A couple days later yet I brought my mom to see it. She drove it with me and she liked it. Well anyways, I ended getting my car on Feb 12, 2001. By this time I was calling the Acura dealership and told them they can keep the ITR b.c I didn't want it anymore.

If you think about it there are a lot of plus marks towards the Sentra. Sure an ITR is a pretty rare car, but everyone wants one. In fact a lot of people with Ls,Gs,GS-R all try to make it look like they have one, so if you did have a real one ,no one would believe you. And because everyone wants one or at least something from one you have to think about it getting stolen. And if you can't leave your car in a parking lot for a few mins while you get some stuff without being worried its not going to be there when you get back, whats the point in haveing a car if you are afrid to drive it. The Sentra is kinda rare in a sense. Esp the Se with PP. Plus the $10,000 saved is money that can now go into modding the sentra. That much would make it faster then an ITR anyday.

Thats just my story, sorry that its so long.

I would get the Se with PP . You will love it,and the seats do grow on you.

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2001 Blackout Se with PP
Custom Grilles,Painted Valve Cover,Strut Bar, and Engine Bay Accents. Stromung is on order and PRI CAI is comming soon.

 

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I think there are more aftermarket parts available for the Sentra, and you'd have a fairly large database of information between this site and SE-R.net as far as what works, what's bull$#!* and who's got what ready.

Love my Sentra and I think I spent nearly a year looking around at various cars in that whole price range.

Insurance is really quite reasonable especially considering some of the more popular compacts around. Several of my friends drive HX or DX Civics, they're about my age, single, no accidents, yet their insurance is the same as mine even though I've 30 - 40 HP on them.

I think that Nissan may be offering a promo insurance rate right now, I'd check into that. I heard 5.9% on approved credit for 60 months.

Good luck, just be happy with whatever you decide to buy.

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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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Discussion Starter #16
That's Cool!

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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Man, you guys should be sales people... or marketors... now I really want to get my Sentra in a hurry! :p

ITR? Sentra can be faster than an ITR? How? I don't know... I'm happy with my Prelude, it's just I can't afford the buy back right now (University Tuition is a B*tch, wish I'm working full time)... My Prelude, yes, a Rice Boy car, and yes, it's a "HonDUH"... but gas is expensive too on that car. I'll miss it dearly.

But Right now, Sentra is what brings light in to my life... haha... I think they should tell EVERY Sentra buyer at the dealers to come on to this board...

I just thought of some more choices...
Accord Special Edition
VW Golf GL
For a bit more, I can get a bigger car like the accord, or I can get a Golf (or Beetle - they're getting cheap now coz the fad has past). Yah, for a big guy like me, I'll look pretty gay in a Beetle... but VW is what I really love. (only if I can afford them) Accord, well, I know it has great resell value, and it does look a bit more grown up... this is is exactly what I was debating with my friend... get base Accord or Fully Loaded Sentra... we ended the discussion with "BUY THE SENTRA"

Bottom line, I really don't want to feel like "down-grading" to a Sentra, I mean, to us, the Sentra is the best economy car out there, but to my parents, my relatives, and those gossippy idiots who knows crap about good cars wouldn't know how good the Sentra is. I know I know, when I buy the car, is not about what people think of me, as long as I like it myself. But that's one thing I don't want to hear from anyone about down grade. A down grade would be getting another Honda in my opinion. The Prelude is the only one I really like in the family... Civics are just not worth the money! (in terms of getting those most bangs for the bucks)

Anyway, THANKS for all the inputs! It really helps (me and my local Nissan dealer!)

BTW, have you guys seen the new Altima 2002? SWEET... but it's Max's price...
240bhp... blows away any car... including the ITR!




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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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Does anyone know if Nissan Canada is doing any sort of promotion? I know Mazda is doing 500 dollars rebate.

It's kind of off topic here but Mazda tricked all the consumers with their most respected vehicle, the miata. The 2001 miata claimed to have 155hp but later some testing company found out that the real number is 8% less (only 142 hp) now Mazda are giving out 500 dollars rebate and first 3 years of scheduled service to those owners or Mazda will buy back those miatas. I don't know how can Mazda could have miss calculated the horse power.........
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The only one I know is they're doing a "No Security Deposit" on the Low KM Lease
So you only pay first month and the fees (admin, license, air tax)
Altima are probably gonna have good promotion soon with 2002 coming out this Sept.
G20 is going to have the same kind of promotion too (I hope, coz I really want to get the G20 for Sentra price)

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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now I'm thinking of the Beetle! haha.
(felt like letting you guys know... dunno why)
Why get the beetle?
1) I'm not fruity, but it's an okay car
2) VW, I already have 2 VW (Passat GLX VR6, Jetta Wolfsberg 1.8T) I love them
3) European (true Euro design... well... good enough anyway)... drives well, no vibrating shift.

I give up performance and my favorite moon roof though... (that is if I get it around 23K CDN$)...

hehe...

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Jay
1997 Honda Prelude Type S
Getting a Sentra SE Sport soon! 2 more months
 
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