Used 1997 Nissan 200SX
Edmunds' Expert Review
Enthusiasts have always lamented the loss of the econo-sport sedan that paved the way for cars like the Volkswagen GTI, the Dodge Omni GLH and the current Ford Escort GT. That sedan was called the BMW 2002, and it blended performance with function, offering within its sedate three-box shape the ability to speed undetected by police who were looking for brightly colored, finned and spoilered muscle cars to yank over to the side of the road.
The BMW was affordable fun, and most of the souped-up hatchbacks that followed it never adhered to the basic formula that the Bimmer embraced; simplicity in style, with an emphasis on performance and the driving experience. Most 'pocket-rockets' were painted in bright hues, with spoilers and ground effects and hood vents to give them the boy-racer look, which only attracted attention from speed enforcers.
Then along came Nissan, in the midst of a corporate change in philosophy that dictated that cars should be good looking and fun-to-drive. In 1991, Nissan gave us the 140-horsepower Nissan Sentra SE-R, a version of the Sentra coupe stuffed with a big four-cylinder engine, fat tires, and a tweaked suspension. Discreet fog lights, a small rear spoiler and attractive alloy wheels were the only external clues that indicated this was more than a regular Sentra coupe. The press affectionately labeled it the modern-day BMW 2002.
Nissan replaced the Sentra coupe with the 200SX in 1995. Three versions are available, and all of them are more roomy and refined than the old Sentra coupe. Base and SE models are affordable, sporty runabouts, but our favorite continues to be the zipster doofus SE-R. This is a smoother car than the brash and scrappy Sentra SE-R, but it has lost much of the charm of the original. The new SE-R is still lots of fun to drive, but it feels heavier and less responsive. Still, performance is its virtue, and it continues to possess the stealthy anonymity that made the Sentra SE-R so desirable.
Despite the rather dull styling and measly 115 horsepower engine, base and SE versions of the 200SX are more appealing than the coupe they replaced. Interiors are ergonomically correct, offering a fine driving position and room for four. SE models are well-trimmed, and can be equipped with anti-lock brakes, power sunroof and a rear spoiler.
Nissan keeps changes for 1997 to a minimum, adding a spoiler to the base and SE models. Basically, we like this car. In a market saturated with good compacts, the 200SX can do battle with the best of them, particularly in SE-R attire.
Features & Specs
Used 1997 Nissan 200SX Overview
The Used 1997 Nissan 200SX is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include SE 2dr Coupe, 2dr Coupe, and SE-R 2dr Coupe.
What's a good price on a Used 1997 Nissan 200SX?
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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Nissan 200SX?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.