Published on February 21st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Used Car Review For A 17-Year Old Teenager_Part 1 of 5
Your 17 year old teenager has just finished taking their driving test and armed with a full driving licence they bug you for a car. You do not have a hand me down car ready for them (you or your spouse’s current cars are still very much useable) and so what do you buy them on a tight budget?
Well we have some options for you to look at and they all cost less than RM10,000 and will not cost the earth to run and maintain. We start from the 5th best used car to the top used car buy under RM10k.
In 5th position is the very safe and reliable Nissan Sentra 1.6. The 1995-1996 Nissan Sentra does come with rather unflattering looks when compared to its older sibling (made popular as a Genting Highlands taxi), it caught my eye simple because it asking price against its condition seemed like a good purchase. First it had a shiny new sliver paint job. Second, its original gray interior looked really good with little wear and when we opened the boot we found a clean, unmarked boot with no scratches, dents or marks indicating a well looked after car. Inside the dashboard was clean and with little wear to be seen. The only indication of wear was on the air-conditioning dials which had most of the markings worn, the accelerator pedal which was worn on the bottom right hand side only and the seat belt holders which looked a little tatty. Under the engine hood was a clean, unmodified engine that had no leaks, no worn hoses and even better, it looked almost new.
We started the engine and with just one ignite it started with no noise and when we turned on the air-conditioning, the air came rushing out with no unwanted smell and it got the cabin cold in 1 minute. All signs of a one owner, full service report, well-kept car that had no young kids inside frequently. After checking with the car dealer, it was confirmed back to us that I was almost right as the car belonged to a single elderly lady that consumed only 320,000 kilometers in 19 years and always serviced the car at the same Tan Chong center in Petaling Jaya. The car was traded in for a new 1000cc compact car (we believe that the lady owner should have kept this car). The dealers asking price was just RM9,000 which could be reduced after some negotiations, but the dealer knew that he had a gem and was not willing to move much downwards. There have been units advertised at some other used car dealers from as low as RM6,000 and if you have a good look at its benefits you will see that this makes for a better buy than some locally made cars at slightly lower prices.
Tan Chong sold this locally assembled Sentra and it came with a very frugal 16-valve, 1.6-liter twin-cam 4-cylinder engine, which produced a decent 115 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission was available with also a 4-speed automatic. Most people looking for a used sedan today will easily miss the car as it does not come with an attractive body shell like its older brother, the Sentra Super Saloon and inside there is little inspiration for the driver and passengers. Yes, you get auto door locks, 4 power windows, power steering and a well insulated cabin, but the drab gray plastics and seat material gives little inspiration when the rivals (Ford Lynx, Toyota Corolla and Mazda323) offer a more sporty exterior. But, like mentioned earlier, if you need a super reliable, low running costs sedan with a large boot and easy to drive ergonomics, then start looking closely at this Sentra which could serve you well for a few years and when it comes time to trade up the car, you will easily find a home and your losses will be modest.
Tomorrow we will bring you the 4th best used buy.