Something Rotten In Denmark: 1993 Nissan 100 NX 1.6 SLX

This is not so bad. And it’s cheap. It’s the Nissan 100 NX.

Typical dealer photo, with too much pavement. 1993 Nissan 100 NX:
Typical dealer photo, with too much pavement. 1993 Nissan 100 NX:

As with so many of these types of cars, they dissolve into obscurity and when you chance upon them they look much better than you remember them. We have discussed in these pages design rationalism of the French and German types. In the Nissan 100 NX we see some more of this. The way the shutlines and panel gaps are set up is very disciplined indeed. Look at the way the bonnet shutline goes without interruption from one side of the window base to the other. The styling theme is that of the 300 ZX scaled down a bit and squashed over a front-drive chassis. That car appeared in 1989 and faded away in 2000.

What was the 100 NX? In short, a dressed up Nissan Sunny. It had two doors and was sold with a targa roof and with a fixed steel roof. Two engines served the 100 NX: a 1.6 and a 2.0 litre. For the first three years the 1.6 had a carburettor and then more reliable fuel-injection. The car had power steering and a combination of discs and drums. Five speeds, of course.

1993 Nissan 100 NX 1,6 SLX
1993 Nissan 100 NX 1,6 SLX

Generally, the car is enjoying a fairly decent afterlife. It’s ID aesthetic is now appealingly vintage and the market for small, affordable sports cars is not huge so there seems to be a steady demand for these little front-drive go-karts. Road and Track rated the car’s handling very highly. The British press were less sympathetic, disliking its exterior appearance and drab interior. And yes, it is drab. The reason for that was to keep the cost of the car down. Ford played a similar game with the Puma and ditto the Tigra, based on the Corsa.

1993 Nissan 100 NX interior:
1993 Nissan 100 NX interior:

This particular car has been rust-treated, has a recent MOT and comes in a striking shade of yellow which I must say I find rather appealing. All in all, 22 years later, this little vehicle is a steal at 19,500 Kr. There’s only one on sale in Denmark too.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

5 thoughts on “Something Rotten In Denmark: 1993 Nissan 100 NX 1.6 SLX”

  1. Nissan was an incredibly adventurous company in the late 1980s. Their roster of sports cars alone would fill out a page in my Daily Mail Motorshow Guide. It was easy to dismiss the 100NX at the time, excelling in neither performance nor handling at a time when the market was overburdened with performance cars to suit every pocket. It probably did not help matters that the 100NX looked like a shrunken 300ZX with a poverty spec interior. But time has been very kind; removed from its context, the car’s styling is revealed to be quite fetching. I would be tempted to take a punt on that one, were I to have the garage space.

  2. My memory of the 100NX is of it having a fixed hardtop – I never remember noticing a targa, though a quick check tells me that these were in the majority, so either they weren’t popular in the UK, or my badge snobbery prevented me from looking closer. The T roof, does make the car seem a lot more of an attractive proposition – the open air always makes you forgive any dynamic shortcomings.

  3. I was never a friend of the 100NX. I thought that the odd front treatment was somewhat contradictory to the sober rest. And the interior is definitely a no-go for me, I wasn’t aware that it’s so terrible.

    The colour is great, however, and it’s very typical for this car. Alas, today it usually looks bad: it fades very unevenly, with perceptible colour differences between horizontal and vertical surfaces as well as between plastic and metal parts. The example on the photo looks quite good in this respect, probably a carefully garaged car?

  4. I wasn’t much of an NX Coupe fan at the time either although I can see the appeal of one now. Honda, Mazda and Toyota (at least in Japan, lest anyone think I’m referring to the Paseo/Cynos) seemed to offer better options than the NX. On top of that, I liked the NX’s predecessor, the EXA. Purely because of the novelty of its swappable coupe/sporting brake rear bodywork.

    1. Sporting brake? Shooting brake, not that anyone is likely to have put their hunting firearms in the back of an EXA.

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