While browsing through some old Autocars, I found a long-term test of the Nissan 200 SX. Hasn’t Nissan changed a lot since then?
The proportions are spot on and the pronounced boot is thrillingly conservative. Autocar complained the available volume was too small and the hinges intruded. They decided it was more of a GT than a sports car and who am I to disagree? I had utterly forgotten this car and indeed that side of Nissan that dared to field such cars: rear drive, decidedly plain or reserved and with rear drive. You could have it with a 2.0 or 2.4 litre four cylinder (when perhaps straight six might have been better).
This isn’t really my type of car which is possibly why it has stayed off my radar for two decades. It evidently isn’t other people’s type of car either, to judge from its poor internet presence. Confusingly, the same name served for a rather horrid little FWD coupe designed to ferry American university students from campus to mall to suburbia.
Notice the uninterrupted line running from the front lamp the boot. You don’t see that any more. The pillars look slim and the surfacing is simple. It’s the proportions that lift this car and give it the appeal it has.
Not many are on sale. For €5000 you have to go to Lithuania to find this one, which has the appearance of a car messed with by aftermarket additions.
The market for this kind of car died out in the 00s and Honda gave up on the Prelude while Peugeot’s elegant 406 was not quite comparable. BMW persisted in offering a two door version of the 3-series which is where most of the coupe customers went until Audi sneaked in with their rather fine but FWD A5. It’s not the same is it?
Can we think of any other rivals for this car?