The Nissan Sentra SE-R You Don’t Want To Buy

I'll save you time and money. Don't buy the Nissan Sentra SE-R built from 2001-2012. You are welcome.

The Freshman 15 Didn’t Do Any Good To The Nissan Sentra SE-R

Ok, ok, ok. I have a slight obsession with the Nissan Sentra SE-R produced from 1991-1994.  It’s not my fault though.  Nissan did a horrible job trying to replace it.  Nissan tried with the 1995 200SX SE-R, but it couldn’t even be loved by it’s own mother. Two generations span the worst Nissan Sentra SE-R of all time. They are know as the B15 (2001-2006) and the B16 ( 2007- 2012).  And any enthusiast with a brain wouldn’t touch the Nissan Sentra SE-R of today.


I hate the Nissan Sentra SE-R produced from 2001-2012.  HATE.  Not one time did it take home a Car and Driver 10 Best Award.  Not only that but it couldn’t take home a comparison test trophy.  It gives the Nissan Sentra SE-R a bad name.  By comparison the first generation SE-R was on the Car and Driver’s 10 Best list ever year it was produced!

Here’s Why The 2001-2012 Nissan Sentra SE-R Is Bad

The original SE-R weighed in at 2,200 lbs.   Had a 2.0-liter engine with 140 hp. And was perfectly balanced.  Nissan was never able to find the balance of the original Sentra SE-R.  Like Mazda was able to with their newest Miata.

My one true love…

The B15 and B16 SE-R came from the factory with the base Nissan Altima engine. A 2.5-liter DOHC engine that made 180 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque in “Spec V” trim.  Ten years later it couldn’t even beat the original SE-R’s 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. They are heavier than the golden child B13 (1991-1994) Sentra SE-R.  And the shifter might be made of J-E-L-L-O.

More Always Isn’t Better

I think this is a perfect example of the fact that more always isn’t better.  It’s a humans natural instinct to always want more.  More power, More money, More space.  But when does “more” stop and lose it’s value? The Nissan Sentra is a perfect example of how adding more ended up in a loss.

  • Justin Hughes

    The B13 SE-R is a gem. Mine was the best FWD car I’ve ever owned. It’s really too bad Nissan couldn’t carry that winning formula forward instead of just the name.

    • Mikey


  • Christopher Scott

    Having owned both B14 and B15 SE-R’s, as well as a non-SER B13, I have to concur. The B14 was fun but bloated-looking, the B15 was a good car except for the shifter but didn’t come close to the balance of the B13 platform or the spirit of the SR20. The ’92 B13 XE was the best-handling front-driver I’ve ever driven, and was a blast even with the 1.6.

    • Mikey

      Thanks for reading and the comment Christopher. Sounds like you are a Sentra enthusiasts! Glad that you agree and it’s a shame most B13s are destroyed today.

      • Christopher Scott

        More of a Nissan enthusiast in general, at least the older models. I have an S12 200SX in my garage undergoing a mild restoration.