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Please help make the right choice

1285 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Mr SEntra
Hi -

I really enjoyed reading everyone's posts, although I must admit most of the topics are over my head. Please don't laugh at my post, I'm just looking for some advise. Here's my question, and I hope the experts here can help me with my issue:

I am planning to finally go out and spend my hard-earned cash on a decent car under 20K. I test drove a few cars, and read many reviews. I narrowed down my choices to a new 2003 Nissan SE-R Spec V, which I drove and really liked. The only other car that I sort of liked was a used 2000 Celica GTS with 46K miles on it. Both the Spec V and GTS are the same price range.

I read on a few sites that Spec V has several problems:
- poor paint job
- steer torque
- shifting problem in 1st, 3rd and Reverse gears
- 6 gears may be too much.. etc.

That scared me off quite a bit, although most of the bad reviews referred to the 2002 model. However, I wonder if I were picking between
- 2003 Spec V and -2003 SE-R all things considered, which one is a better deal for the money?
- Is the Celica, even though with high mileage a better bang for my buck?

Again, sorry for my lack of knowledge, I appreciate any response.


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Hi I have a 2002 that is now a year old. I have none of the above problems. The problems you listed were isolated occurences, and nissan has redesigned alot of the spec v for 2003. Look at there is a poll on how many spec v owners have had problem with their car. You will find that more people have not had any problems than people who have. I love mine and if I break my tranny I get a new 2003 tranny and thats fine with me.
Re: Coming from a B14 Owner...

stealthb14 said:

I have driven the 02 Spec V, I LOVE that car. Sure some people have complaints about it, but they, as said above, are isolated. Not every car has that. For 2003, They have re-done the transmission, with better gearing ratios, and such. As far as I know, no 2003 Models have that nasty first-year-teething oil consumption problem. The spec V is the best bang for the buck, you're getting, essentially what the old (4th generation Max was) 4DSC - or Four-door sports car. The car handles very well, and BEGS you to drive it, and hard at that. If there are any problems, your manufacturers warranty will cover it.

About buying used...I bought my 97 GXE used, and NEVER again will I buy used. The problem being is that you dont know what kind of moron owned the car before you did, if they babied it, or drove it like a total maniac, and really could care less. I think that is what happened with my car...the previous owner beat the hell out of it, and I have had some problems with it, but thats another story.

Best of luck, and let us know what you decide on!


I agree I will never buy another used car again I had a major tranny issue with my 96 200sx I had to replace it with under 60,000 miles on it(bought it with 20,000miles). Like I said my spec had none of the first year problems and it was one of the first built. built oct 01 never lost a drop of oil.
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