Buy a Sentra or a Cobalt?

“What’s better, a Nissan Sentra or a Chevy Cobalt?” queried a reader, noting they could get a fully equipped Sentra for $14,500 and a comparibly tricked-out Cobalt for $13,600.

We have no clue.

So we shot it over to our brother car blog, Jalopnik, and Ray replied:

“My vote would be the Nissan, mainly cause the re-sale value of the Nissan Sentra is significantly higher — like 80% higher. The MSRP for the Sentra $13,200 and the re-sale is around $10,000. The MSRP for the Cobalt is around $19,900 and the re-sale is around $10,951. Both being 2005 models.

That’s not a good jump.”

UPDATE: Ray read the original email and saw the price our reader is getting quoted. He says, “If the dude can get a cobalt for the price he’s getting a cobalt for — its a better deal.”

There you have it. Get a Sentra. UPDATE: Or a Cobalt. Also, some spellcheck…

SUMER REP OFFI
i am having difficulty choseing between a n “isson -sentra and a “chevrolet-cobalt.” “can you help? i can purchase a sentra rfor $ 14500. with ac., power windows and loclks radio /dic player and power windows : the cobalt has comprible equiptm ent at va price oe around $ 13,600 which in your opinion is a better buy?i have had b ad experiences buying american cars both chrysler and GM,m silloutteAMERICAN MOTORS HAS DEALT ITSELF AREPUTATION “MY OPINION AS MAKING INFERIOR PRODUCTS, THEN THEY DON,T REPAIR THIER MISTAKES . I THANK YOU FOR ANY ASSISWTAN CE AND/OR ANY INFORM ATION YOU CAN PROVIDES THANKS AGAINONE THAT THINKS YOU ARE A GOOD REPUTABLE OFFICE , ONE THAT IS INTERESTEDS IN HELPING THE CONSUMER TO MAKE INFORMED CHOICES , BUT NOT TRING TO PREFOEM A CAPITALISTICOPERATION ON THE CONSUMER/THQAT BEING , RIP HIM OFF FOR AS MUCH SAS THE PERSON WILL TOLERATE EX. PRES. HOVER SAID IR ALL WHEN HE STATED ” THE TROUBLE WITH CAPITALISM ARE THE CAPITALIST, THEY ARE OR B ECOME GREEDYAM ERICAN INDUSTRIES DONT SEEM TO CARE ABOT QUALITYYT
THAN KS AGAIN FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE DISILLUTIONED C AR BUYER

The email came from an AOL address, so yeah, there you go.

Comments

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  1. Ben Popken says:

    Erin writes:

    “Please, god almighty, buy a dictionary and some ESL (English as a second language) classes before even considering plopping down a cent on a machine that can be used to kill yourself. Let’s be honest, no one on earth will want to spend the kind of time necessary to translate your suicide note from Aolish. Then you’ll have left us less one boob with a tricked out crapmobile, and we won’t understand why.

    That said, always, ALWAYS, choose Nissan over late-model Chevy.

    -Erin, copywriter.”

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Jeff writes:

    “Of course, the answer from Ray assumes you are buying a new car (which is usually not the way to go IMO). If you are buying a used car, it’s best to let someone else take the hit on the Cobalt and then buy it from them at the new low price.”

  3. Papercutninja says:

    Wow. All caps make for a better read.
    One of the reasons why the Cobalt has crappier re-sale value is the fact that the only volume that GM is dealing is through fleet sales. This means that tens of thousands of Cobalts are sold to government agencies, coporate fleets, rental car fleets regardless of public demand for the vehicles. This instantly creates a large supply of used Cobalts, flushing the consumer resale value down the toilet.
    Also gone is the sentiment that “import cars are more expensive to repair”. But the fact that domestic cars REQUIRE more repairs than imports still remains.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    It looks like this guy typed this while standing up at his desk, ready to run… like he was in his boss’ office and heard his boss coming down the hall. Or his middle 2 fingers are taped together on each hand.

  5. The Cobalt looks a lot better than the Sentra…Besides, whats wrong with Toyota/Scion or Honda? They are comparatively priced and have far better reliability scores than either Nissan or Chevy, not to mention better gas mileage than both.

  6. Myron says:

    Isn’t this and example of the 5 digit mystery blog spam thats surfaced recently.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/05/23/wtf_is_going_on_with….

  7. thrillhouse says:

    “The MSRP for the Cobalt is around $19,900″ How in the hell did you price a Cobalt at $19k?? I didn’t see the gold-platig option under the exterior section.

    Jeff it right too – buy it used if you are budget conscious. And this “import cars are more reliable” crap may have been true back in the 80′s. Don’t base your choice on that. I’ve owned several GMs, and encountered few problems.

  8. Falconfire says:

    I got the Cobalt, but then I dont buy I lease (I like my rape up fron, rather than a surprise on trade in). Trust me it doesnt matter much what your resale value is unless your selling it yourself because every dealer is going to screw you in the ass on trade in anyway.

    If you can deal with the time consuming hassle that selling a car is, then worry about resale, otherwise get the better value for your buck.

  9. any such name says:

    thrillhouse – if you top out a cobalt SS i’m sure it comes to around that MSRP. no one actually PAYS that much for a cobalt, however, since that’s MSRP….

    anyway, all above are right – fleet sales, reliability, etc. or dude could TEST DRIVE both and i’m sure he’d see the difference. i had a cobalt rental for about 2 days before i made them switch me.

    also, a comparable honda/toyota will be maybe $1000 or so more… but worth it in the end.

  10. Falconfire says:

    sorry I have never driven a japanese car that has EVER made me think they are more reliable than a domestic. As it is my Saturn wasnt in the shop half as much in the 10 years I owned it as the Accourd my girlfriends father owned for 7. And I drove that Saturn into the ground (it was my fathers, I got it for free), he took care of his car.

  11. nweaver says:

    OUT THE DOOR PRICING dood.

    I could be a car dealer who would sell the car for $13,000, which costs the punter $30,000 when all the fees and taxes are added in.

    Also, forget them both. Get a Fit.

  12. thrillhouse says:

    my point, any such name, is that the dumbass over at jalopnik could only make a point by comparing the highes possible Cobalt to the lowest possible Sentra. They both are going to lose 60% of their value over 4 years. you’re even worse off if you pay $17k in fees and taxes like nweaver (where the hell do you buy your cars? Hell?)

    Yeah, and I had a Sentra rental for about two days. Crap personified. Wasn’t worth taking back to the rental place, but it was closer than the nearest scrap heap. Same cheap ass interior they put in all those hondas.

  13. After reading that guy’s email I’d have to say that the best thing for him to do is walk…

  14. …into a bus.

  15. Madrid says:

    That whole post was clear as mud.

  16. Kat2 says:

    I have a brand new 2006 Cobalt and I love it.

  17. Fuzzyman says:

    The correct answer to this question is Mazda3.

  18. Major-General says:

    @Fuzzyman: Ditto!