Last post on Mar 09, 2013 at 12:02 PM
You are in the Nissan Sentra
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Sentra, Sedan
#1197 of 2065 kstephan and crikey
Dec 04, 2001 (1:25 pm)
Actually, IF (and that's a big IF) I had been able to find a Sentra SE with ABS and 5 spd, I would have been pretty happy. And since my fiancee was going to drive the Sentra more, the seat comfort issue would have been less important. But try as I might, I could not find a Sentra SE w/ ABS and 5 spd. There are a couple of owners here on these boards who got that combination. ABS saved me a few times driving in Maine. So I really wanted to get a car with ABS and 5 spd. The Protege ES was easy to find with ABS (cause ABS is packaged with moonroof in the Premium Package) so all I had to do was find an ES with Prem Pack and 5 spd. Since ABS is a stand-alone option (along with Side Airbags), nobody here in Southern Cali orders Sentras that way.
As I've said before, ABS should be included in the SE performance package, and I still believe ABS/Side Airbags are a stand-alone option on the Spec Vs so it'll be difficult finding that option.
Kstephan, I agree Nissan did a decent job with the Sentra, but that axle suspension has got to go. Maybe that would be ok in 1989, but not in 2002. That same suspension hurts the Maxima/I35. I rented an I35 (it was the loaner when my Pro ES was getting some window moldings replaced), and while the VQ35DE engine is superb, the cornering dynamics of the I35 was just as unnerving as in the Sentra because the rear end would want to step out on a bumpy fast turn.
Crikey, I wasn't really comparing the WRX to the Sentra, I was comparing their rides. If a Protege can provide a well-controlled ride/handling balance, I think Nissan can do the same with the Sentra. I doubt you'll find the SPEC V at invoice for a while. The WRX is just starting to be available around invoice, maybe $200-$500 above. I chose the WRX as a replacement to the Sentra because:
1. I didn't want to get another Protege, even though I like them a lot.
2. The WRX offered the best combination of performance, utility, and safety (ABS/Side Airbags/AWD standard).
3. Other cars competing with the Sentra didn't offer much. The Civic is slow and overpriced, the Corolla is outdated. The Elantra is nice, but almost as expensive to insure as a WRX! The Lancer doesn't deserve its name.
I guess I was shopping across classes, but I realized that it's difficult to get everything you are looking for in a car. The WRX came the closest. Sure, the Accord or Camry would be slightly cheaper, but none performs like the WRX. The Altima would have been difficult to find w/ ABS. VWs are great but not reliable enough for me. Kstephan, I live in Upland, CA. It's not really the best place to open up the WRX, but there are plenty of roads in the mountains where it shines (and there are no cops around). Sorry for the long essay.
#1198 of 2065 ideal combination
Dec 04, 2001 (1:29 pm)
I think the Sentra SE (SR20DE engine and its 5 spd transmission) in another body with independent rear susp (like the Protege, for ex) would be an ideal combination. To me ABS was important and was a large factor in my car choice.
#1199 of 2065 RE: ideal combination
Dec 04, 2001 (2:00 pm)
narenji, I'd agree with you on that. A lighter car would be nice too--the Sentra four-door is a little porky. Not to change the topic, but I also own an old Miata, and I've read that the SR20DE is considered an ideal engine swap for the Miata because of its size and weight. Makes me think that a small, light RWD convertible or coupe with IRS would be a nice niche car for Nissan...maybe in the spirit of the late-'80s 240SX, but smaller. I don't think the SR20DE engine needs to be shelved just yet.
By the way, I'm one of the few fortunate ones with an SE w/ABS and a 5-speed. I got lucky.
To the various people who say you can't compare the SE-R Spec V to the WRX--you're right. We weren't doing that. The WRX is clearly in a different league. The Spec V is undoubtedly a lot of bang-for-the-buck for someone who doesn't want to spend an extra $6-8K on a WRX.
#1200 of 2065 Congratulations Niranji
Dec 05, 2001 (6:15 am)
Great choice and great deal.
It is pity though to loose you as a Sentra supporter. 8-)
How do you find cornering abilities of WRX over Sentra on a flat surface? The reason why I am asking is that couple of weeks ago I had followed WRX. He jumped in front of me just before a 25MPH rump to highway and pushed forward. He wasn't taking it easy. I followed him and we passed this rump at 65MPH (ouch). Normally I am going there at 50MPH. But Sentra kept well. No squeals, no complains. Granted, the surface was flat, but still I was pleased. Well, after we went to a strait line he just vanished, which make me think he did his best on the rump as well. What is your view?
#1201 of 2065 Kstephan, Lgoldin
Dec 05, 2001 (11:25 am)
I know the SR20DE is a great engine that responds well to modifications. It's also relatively smooth (compared to the gruff 2.0L in the Protege) as you rev it. I didn't think of the SR20DE as a good swap for the miata, but I can see how it would work well. I think Nissan is going to have a niche car on their hands with the new 350Z. They should just bring the Japan-spec Silvia here. With the success of the WRX, the silvia should do fine. You can get the SR20DE in normal and turbo aspirated forms. The N/A engine makes 170 hp, and the turbo makes 250. I don't know how a smaller Japanese population sustains the mind-boggling variety of car models made there. They still make versions of the of the first Q45 and sell them as new cars! The new QG25DE is a nice engine, but it's going to be difficult to modify compared to the SR20. I don't think Nissan has any turbo version of that engine either.
Lgoldin, thanks. I was happy with the WRX deal, but less so with the trade-in on the Sentra, but I expected poor resale, especially because the SERs are here. Plus, used cars that are less than 2 years old are in a bad spot due to the incentives for new car sales. If you had an older used car, you may not be affected so badly. I had negative equity on the Sentra, but if I don't keep the car, I'd still lost money no matter if I traded now or next year. The Sentra probably wouldn't have a problem keeping up with the WRX on the curve, I think it even pulls higher g's on skidpad. The WRX feels very flat in turns, and the handling balance is mostly neutral, but still biased towards understeer. The Sentra pushes in turns just as all FWD vehicles do. I agree the Sentra feels good on smooth turns and ramps. Throw an expansion joint or bumps into the mix, then its a different story. I haven't driven the WRX really hard yet, but it's very willing and wants more even going fast on ramps. With AWD, you can't let off the gas completely mid-turn though, cause the rear will want to step out, you have to let off slightly to slow down. Do you have the Firestones or have you changed to different tires? The Bridgestones that come standard with the WRX are mediocre as well. The Sentra's suspension is pretty well sorted for very smooth roads, but here in the US, that is rarely the case, and this is where independent rear sus is superior.
Dec 05, 2001 (6:02 pm)
I still have original tires. I don't have problem with them on a dry road, but on a wet or snow they suck. I am going to wait until they have done their job and then switch to a different type. Most likely I'll have set of 15" winter tires and 215/50/16 for summer. This is couple of years from now though.
As for the roads, then I can't tell that all roads in Canada are ideally flat, not even close to that. I am lucky enough to have a couple of good flat rumps on my way to work and back, so I can enjoy them. But you are right, suspensions are not the best in a class and on uneven pavement the car is a little too choppy. Oh well, it works for me nicely.
Congrats again on your purchase. Enjoy.
#1203 of 2065 narenji:my bad about the WRX - Spec V
Dec 06, 2001 (11:01 am)
Congrats on the WRX...like I said, if you can afford it, it's the best performance bargain out there. And I agree with you on ABS, it should be standard and available on SE-R.
#1204 of 2065 SE owners: notice a lot of torque steer?
Dec 06, 2001 (12:46 pm)
One thing I've been meaning to ask other owners of SEs (esp. ones with the the PP): do you get a lot of torque steer under full-throttle acceleration in first and second gears? It seems to have gotten worse on my car, which is now at about 7500 miles. I don't know what would make it worse--maybe I'm just driving the car more aggressively and noticing it more. There's quite a bit of steering wheel fight under acceleration, especially on bumpy roads. I've read reviews of the SE-R Spec V and new Altima that also complain of a lot of torque steer, so maybe it's just a general Nissan tendency/flaw.
I also wonder if the viscous LSD on the SE w/PP could lead to more torque steer.
Maybe this isn't so unusual in most decently powerful FWD cars, but I got spoiled driving a 2000 Civic Si previously, which had next to no torque steer. Of course, it also had next to no torque...
#1205 of 2065 torque steer
Dec 06, 2001 (1:40 pm)
I test drove an Altima 3.5SE, and yes, it does have significant torque steer, but that's to be expected in a FWD vehicle with a large powerful engine up front. The 2.5 in the Altima doesn't exhibit torque steer. My Sentra did have some torque steer, but it wasn't too bad. Torque steer is much more pronounced with the VQ series engines. I also got a I35 loaner when my Protege was getting worked on overnight, and that thing has some torque steer too. Wonderful engines though.
#1206 of 2065 Torque steer
Dec 06, 2001 (1:52 pm)
I also notice some torque steer, but it is manageable. It may be just me, but I prefer torque with torgue steer than no torque - no steer. 8-). Ideal would be of course torque with no steer, but the world is not ideal 8-(.