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Nissan 200SX

Back Page Bargain Published: 28th Jun 2013 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Nissan 200SX
Nissan 200SX
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For old time thrills, it’s hard to beat this modern classic


Aside from rust spots on the sills and wheelarches, plus possibly the front strut towers and behind the rear bumper, corrosion shouldn’t be an issue on any 200SX.

Poorly repaired crash damage is likely though, so check out the front inner wings and the boot fl oor, looking for signs of rippling.

Many 200SXs have been abused and most have seen a lot of use. Squealing brakes aren’t necessarily an issue, but smoke from the exhaust suggests a tired turbo, although the engine itself shouldn’t be worn if the oil has been changed frequently, using highquality materials. If the oil isn’t changed regularly, blocked spray bars will result, leading to worn camshafts.

Other likely faults include tired subframe bushes (parts are available), sticking brake callipers (easily fixed) and blown turbocharger gaskets – also easily fixed. Also make sure the wipers work ok as the linkage can fail. Listen for groans from the power steering, which may mean the pump or rack needs replacing – although not necessarily, because noisy racks can soldier on for years. If there are chunks missing from the alloys there’s been lots of kerb contact which will have knocked the suspension out and potentially could have thrown out the suspension geometry. Bushes may also have seen better days by now; a visual inspection is normally enough to tell you. Check for uneven tyre wear or rubber that’s simply worn out; these cars just beg to be driven hard, and tired tyres is the classic result. Finally, check that the car was sold new in the UK; some Japanese imports feature little in the way of rustproofing, while there are also important spec differences.


There aren’t many 200SXs about, and of those that do come up for sale, most have been modified to a degree. There also aren’t many low-mileage cars about, so you’ll need to be prepared to search and wait for the right car. If you’re lucky enough to stumble across a 200SX with a reasonably low mileage and it’s in superb condition, you’re unlikely to have to pay more than £4000 in a private sale, although dealers may charge a bit more. Most of the 200SXs that are available have covered over 100,000 miles and are priced at £2000-3000.


The 200SX’s raison d’etre is the driving experience. It may be decently practical – at least for two – but when it comes to brilliant dynamics, the 200SX excels. Power comes from a turbocharged DOHC 1998cc engine, that pushes 197bhp to the rear wheels; there’s no traction control, but a limited-slip diff is standard on all cars. As a result, there are driving thrills aplenty whether it’s track days, fast-road driving or just cruising that fl oats your boat. Some cars (but not many) came with an automatic gearbox, which works well enough, but such a transmission rather undermines the point of a modern classic like this.

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