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2002 Nissan Sentra

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

Reviewed by 48 users

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Reviews written: 1
View all reviews by scopedog

Bang for the buck, nothing beats it.

by scopedog:      Apr 7, 2003 - Updated Apr 10, 2003

Product Rating: 5.0 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Quick, Fun, Comfortable, Handles great, stylish Skyline front end, and good features.
Cons: Clunky 6 speed, but still smooth enough for me. A little bubbly in the back.
The Bottom Line: The SE-R Spec V is the funnest car i have ever driven. Best bang for the buck out there.

Ok I wrote a short version of my review yesterday. So now here I go with a new updated version:

I have had my Spec V for about 2 weeks now. It’s given me some time to get comfortable with the car.

1) The car is amazingly quick compared to any car within the FWD class. Actually for a stock FWD car, I don’t know of any car within this price range that even compares. To tell you the truth, I am having so much fun in this car that I can’t stop driving it.

I decided to take the car out for a little bit of what I guess you can call "testing the waters." I took the Spec through some winding canyons stretching about 25 miles through an area in Southern California. I was cruising about 70-80mph through the long sweeping turns. The car handled so amazingly that I did not even realize that I was going that fast. It was as if the car was driving it self.

As I hit a windier part of the road, instead of letting off the gas, I decided to be a little crazy and really hit it. Going between 80-110mph and slowing down to I would say 50mph around really steep turns I was absolutely amazed by the handling and the amazing comfort the car.

2) So enough of what you guys already know. What about the style? Well I personally really like the beefy Skyline front fascia. Really smooth curves throughout the exterior of the car. And like said before, most parts on the Spec V that you would expect to be aftermarket, are completely standard.

And did I mention it’s completely loaded (standard also)

A) For all you rim lovers. The SE-R Spec V comes standard with a set of very sporty, semi race style 17" rims. They add a great deal of manner to the overall exterior of the car.

B) Front Strut tower brace. This was a big plus when I first popped the hood of this car about a year ago not knowing what I was going to see. This, the Multi Beam suspension, and aggressive spring rates (still smooth enough ride for grandma to sit in) lead to almost no body roll.

(When taking the steeper turns, if I felt a little slide or roll I just mashed the gas and the car followed very well and responsively).

C) You got to love the rear spoiler. This standard option is just a cool sporty addition to the already very stylish car.

D) The Spec V is a tube framed car. This allows for the reduced body weight (heavier pull and good handling) and reinforced safety.

E) The interior. Well I don’t know why the reviewers in magazines are saying the interior is tacky or not comfortable. What cars are these magazines comparing the Spec too? All I have to say is these Mag guys must be driving too many Mercedes Benz's around because I really enjoy the style and comfort of the interior.

E) The one and only problem that I noticed in performance would be the clunky 6speed. Grabbing 1st is no prob. When shifting into 2nd a little crunchy and bumpy. 3rd would not grab every time (especially on a quick shift). 4th and up I have not experienced any problems. This could simply be the result of the 9k miles driven on the car by the previous owner. I am having the synchros checked out today actually, so I will update you guys on what exactly is causing this.

D) The one and only problem with the exterior. The back end of the car SE-R Spec V is a little bit bubbly. But this can be helped with a beefier exhaust. (Or so I heard)

In conclusion I personally can’t stand reading the magazine reviews on this car anymore. Beyond the point of being inaccurate, the magazines are not giving this car even half the credit for what its worth.

To all those Mag Reviewers out there REALIZE THE LOW PRICE!

This is a true bang for the buck car. Nothing under 20k beats this car. Think about all the money you will save. You can buy 8k in after market parts to equal the price you would pay on a Subaru WRX.

Easy ways to free up Horse Power:

[According to research]

Cold Air Intake: Frees 10hp
Exhaust: Frees 10hp
Replacing Balance Shafts (Voids warranty): Frees 10hp
Lighter Fly Wheel: Frees 4-10hp
Pully Set: Frees up to 10hp
Chip (When ever it is out) Possible 10+hp

My 02 Sentra SE-R Spec V is completely stock, except for I purchased the car with an AEM CAI (Cold Air Intake) already installed in the car. The intake has improved the performance of the car and it definitely sounds cool.

Controversial points:

The Spec V’s quick 6speed and heavy torque steer is not for the weak driver. If you keep a firm grip on the steering wheel you should be fine. And those who like to launch at 5grand, well good luck as you will be spinning through 4th trying to re-adjust.

The ride, comfort, features and handling, well I don’t think anyone can complain about it. Best handling FWD car that I have ever driven. The Spec will “keep up” with the WRX around bends, “if” you’re a crazy enough driver. (I don’t recommend trying)

Some enjoy this car and some don’t. This car is definitely an acquired taste.

Amount Paid (US$): 12900
Condition: Used
Model Year: 2002
Model and Options: SE-R Spec V (stock fully loaded manual) Sun Roof, AEM Cold Air Intake
Product Rating: 5.0
Recommended: Yes 
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