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2001 Nissan Sentra Review
A reliable economy sedan.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2001 Nissan Sentra is a compact economy sedan that’s significantly more exciting than many competing models in its class. It is available in four trim levels: XE, GXE, SE, and the low-emission CA model. GXE and SE models are equipped with ABS, while XE and CA models feature front disc/rear drum brakes. Models across the line receive a fairly generous list of standard features. It suffers a bit from limited cabin space. However, the sporty SE model is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for something that’s fun to drive and affordably priced.
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Nissan Sentra XE, Nissan Sentra GXE, Nissan Sentra SE
The Nissan Sentra underwent a major redesign in 2000. Consequently for the 2001, no significant changes have been introduced.
The 2001 Nissan Sentra has something of an upscale look for an economy car. The compact sedan now boasts features that are suggestive of the larger Nissan Maxima, such as a low hood, a high rear deck, and chiseled lines running the length of its body. It has also been increased in size by 6.5 inches, giving it an overall length of 177.5 inches.
The 2001 Sentra is compact. Front seats are bucket and the rear bench nominally has space for three passengers, despite a lack of legroom. Split rear seatbacks can be folded down to increase cargo capacity and there is now a storage box located atop of the instrument panel. There are also holders for beverage bottles in the front door pockets. Thankfully, the front seats are fairly comfortable, and the dash is sensibly laid out, which makes finding and operating controls a breeze. The cabin, like its exterior, imparts something of an upscale feel that’s likely intended to be suggestive of the larger Maxima. The SE has titanium-faced gauges, remote keyless entry, an optional power sunroof, and a 150-watt sound system that’s equipped with an in-dash CD changer. Both GXE and SE models can be equipped with power sunroofs.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Nissan Sentra is a lot more fun to drive that you might expect a compact sedan to be. This is particularly true of the sporty SE model, which delivers smooth engine power, sharp steering, handling that is taut, and responsive braking. Its independent front suspension is mated to a beam rear axle that helps facilitate good ride quality. The sporty SE version is equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 145 horsepower. Both the XE and the GXE come equipped with the same 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. Rated at 126 horsepower, that engine maintains the bulk of its torque down low, which helps generate good power for driving around town. The same can be said of the low emission CA (Clean Air) model, which provides identical power to the XE and the GXE while producing zero emissions. The downside to the CA model is that it requires low-sulfur fuel that’s only available in California. Like the larger, more luxurious Nissan Maxima, it features an independent front suspension that’s mated to a sophisticated beam rear axle.
Standard safety features for the 2001 Nissan Sentra include child seat anchors, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and an emergency interior trunk release. Side-impact airbags are an available option for the front seats. The Sentra received four out of five stars in driver and passenger collision tests conducted by the NHTSA. It also receives the second highest rating of ""acceptable"" in frontal offset impact tests conduced by the IIHS. Furthermore, it receives a lowest rating of ""poor"" in side impact tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
- CA model has SULEV status
- SE sport version has peppy 145 horsepower engine
- Provides a higher quotient of fun from a compact model
You Won't Like
- Styling is generic
- Rear seat lacks legroom
A reliable economy sedan.
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