A sporty coupe produced from 1994 to 1999 (1995-1998 model years), the Nissan 200SX was an affordable yet reliable and fun-to-drive vehicle. The target market for this rebadged Nissan Sentra B14 coupe was budget-conscious buyers looking for a spacious, sporty coupe that’s also easy to maintain and drive. Despite its discontinuation in 1999, this model continues to attract second-hand buyers who prefer an economical coupe. As a matter of fact, this model is known to have been modded and raced by Nissan enthusiasts over the years.
1995: Nissan’s affordable sporty coupe
Produced in 1994 but introduced in the US in 1995, the Nissan 200SX was based on one of its predecessors, the Nissan Sentra. Several components on the dash and under the hood were similar to those found in the Sentra, although the 200SX had a sportier tuning. This model was available in three trims: base, SE, and SE-R. Nissan Sentra’s 1.6 L, twin cam GA16DE inline-four engine was used on the SE and base editions. As for the sportier SE-R, it was equipped with a 2.0 L SR20DE engine that can produce 140 hp, an engine that used on the Nissan Sentra SE-R. All three trims were manufactured with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission and dual airbags. For the SE and SE-R editions, the anti-lock brakes were optional features.
The Nissan 200SX’s interior was modestly designed but was made of top-grade material. The trunk was spacious enough for passengers looking for more storage space. Despite its lackluster interior, the 200SX gained fans because of its longevity and reliability.
1996-1998: Upgrades throughout the years
In the following years until its discontinuation in 1998, the Nissan 200SX received several upgrades. The list included new door handles and body-colored mirrors for the SE-R and SE models in 1996, as well as an SE-R edition that was no longer equipped with VLSD or viscous limited-slip differential in the same year.
In 1997, the base model now has the same interior trim just like its SE-R and SE counterparts. For the 1997 SE-R edition, the circular exhaust finisher was now an oval component. In the same year, all trim levels were also equipped with a standard rear spoiler. Due to stricter emissions requirements in California, the SE-R was no longer sold in the state in 1997.
The following year, the SE-R’s SR20DE engine was tweaked to meet California’s new emissions requirements. As a result, the SE-R was now available in California. All models were equipped with new headlights and tail lights, a redesigned bumper, white gauges, and a modified grille. The base’s 13-inch wheels were upgraded into 14-inch ones, while the SE’s circular exhaust tip was upgraded into an oval-shaped type.