1997 Nissan 200SX

  • 1997 Nissan 200SX E Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      39
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/108
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,999
  • 1997 Nissan 200SX SE Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      39
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      115/108
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
      $15,349
  • 1997 Nissan 200SX SE-R Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      31
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      140/132
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,749
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1997 Nissan 200SX Review

A compact coupe with surprising power.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1997 Nissan 200SX is much more refined and spacious than the preceding SE-R Sentra coupe. It is available in three trims, while the base and SE offer nice looking sporty rides that are affordable. The SE-R, while being first rate and sporty, is economical as well. It's fun-to-drive factor will bring a moderate price hike from the base and SE models.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door coupe
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Nissan 200SX, Nissan 200SX SE, Nissan 200SX SE-R

What's New

The 1997 Nissan 200SX kept changes to a minimum; A new and standard spoiler is added to the base. Brand new exterior color also make its debut.

Exterior

The 1997 Nissan 200SX rides a wheelbase of 99.8 inches and is 54.2 inches tall, 170 inches long, and 66.6 inches wide. Stylistically, its design is rather dull but does carry more visual pizzazz than its predecessor. The body is also much more aerodynamic than its predecessor. The base model comes with 13-inch tires, the SE comes with 14-inch tires, and the SE-R is standard with 15-inch tires. It also is equipped with an independent front and rear suspension.

Interior

The 1999 Nissan 200SX interior seats four occupants with bucket seats in the front and back. These cloth seats are firm and supportive. Getting in and out of the backseat surprisingly isn’t all that complicated for a two-door car. Although the backseat has 31.4 inches of legroom, this can be inconvenient for backseat passengers over six feet tall. Headroom in the front is sufficient for anyone under six-foot-two; however, headroom in the back is challenging for anyone over five-foot-seven. Heavier passengers may also find the seating restrictive and uncomfortable during longer road trips. Seating would be more accommodating to everyone with some additional lumbar support.

The 1999 Nissan 200SX's rear seats can be folded down for a bit more cargo space, but a support structure along the sides will prevent wider objects from fitting. The trunk can still surprisingly hold a lot for a compact car. One downside is the use of cheap interior plastics on the controls, seats, and in the cargo areas. However, controls and pedals are all logically placed, and the column controls for wipers, turn signals, and cruise control are naturally positioned. The driving position is very nice but could benefit from height adjustable seats and a telescoping steering wheel.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 Nissan 200SX feels light while it is driven, a surprise since the SE-R is just shy of 2600 pounds. The engine comes alive when it is revved above 5500 RPM. It's really fun to drive, and the fact that the car feels so light means it nimbly takes corners. There have been some complaints about a weight distribution issue that favors the front and makes aggressive cornering dangerous. It also responds well to quick lane changes and highway passing. The base and SE have a rather measly 115-hp engine but can still handle and perform well.

Safety

The 1999 Nissan 200SX comes standard with driver and passenger front airbags. The car scored five stars for driver safety and four stars for passenger safety in frontal impact crashes in NHTSA crash test results.

EPA Fuel Economy

Nissan 200SX: 29/39 mpg city/highway
Nissan 200SX SE: 29/39 mpg city/highway
Nissan 200SX SE-R: 23/31 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordable
  • Great handling
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Inconspicuous speedster

You Won't Like

  • Not the most comfortable seats
  • Bland styling
  • Base and SE models are underpowered
  • Not many standard features
  • Rear legroom

Sum Up

A compact coupe with surprising power.

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