A '90s Classic: The Nissan 200SX

The Nissan 200SX is a ‘90s classic that was fantastic for drifting and came with advanced safety features for its time.
Written by Serena Aburahma
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A Nissan logo set against a black background.
When you think of Japanese cars, most people think of safety, reliability, and affordability. Rarely do people associate Japanese brands as producing exciting
classic cars
, with the Toyota MR2 being a big exception. 
However, Toyota's rival Nissan had a classic hit of their own that is often overlooked. We're talking about the 4th and 5th generation 200SX, which deserves much more attention than it currently receives. 

History of Nissan's Sports Car

In the ‘80s, entry-level sports cars were becoming popular again. 
With oil prices dropping and the economy booming, Americans had the appetite to start driving speed demons again. European and domestic carmakers were able to capitalize on this new trend, with notable examples being the Porsche 914 and Pontiac Fiero.
Nissan wanted in on the action. They already had the Datsun 200SX, but it needed a redesign and a new name to attract the sports car market. 
From that concept, the third generation Nissan 200SX was born, rebranded as Silvia 200SX. The new 200SX undoubtedly looked more sporty, but it wouldn't obtain classic status until the fifth generation 200SX debuted in 1993. 
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings

What made the Nissan 200SX a ‘90s classic?

MORE: Battle of the 2023 Nissan Z Trims: Sport vs Performance
The Nissan 200SX put up some impressive stats for its price. The rear-wheel coupe was powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that could reach a top speed of 146 mph, according to
Automobiles Reviews
. It had a decent acceleration for the time, clocking a 0-60 mph speed of just under 7 seconds. Sure, these aren't supercar numbers. But with a starting price of $12,999, the 200SX made for an excellent entry-level sports car. 
But what really made the Nissan 200SX a special car was its drifting ability. The car is uniquely lower, rounder, and wider with exceptional handling, making it ideal for drifting. This became well known when the 200SX had an impressive performance at the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship. 
While a sporty vehicle, Nissan didn't cut safety features on the 200SX. The vehicle came stock with pre-tension seat belts, reinforced roof pillars, side-impact door beams, and a seat belt locking system. 
Sure, these may sound like standard features in today's automotive world, but these were cutting edge in the early ‘90s. 

Buying a ‘90s Nissan 200SX today

Like most classic cars, the Nissan 200SX has appreciated in value, but not dramatically. An ultra-low mileage 200SX will probably cost close to its original MSRP, meaning it appreciated in value at the same rate of inflation. 
The hardest part of buying a ‘90s 200SX today is actually finding one for sale. We were only able to find a few on third-party sites while writing this article. If you really want a ‘90s 200SX, be prepared to fly to a different city and drive it home. 
Additionally, many previous owners used the Nissan 200SX to practice their skills at customizing a car. Don't be surprised if the 200SX you look at has some unique modifications. 

Drift into cheaper car insurance

Whether you're driving a classic car or a brand-new vehicle,
can save you money on car insurance. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you're always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings