Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • 2-door hatchback
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,600*


1992 Nissan 240SX SE 2-door coupe


1991 Nissan 240SX XE 2-door coupe


1991 Nissan 240SX interior


1991 Nissan 240SX interior


1994 Nissan 240SX SX 2-door convertible

Pros:
  • Acceleration (1991-94)
  • Instruments/controls
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Cargo room
  • Entry/exit
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride (sport package)

Although the 240SX does not deliver quite all it promises, its capable engineering and eye-catching design are hard to resist. Still, we’d pick a Mitsubishi Eclipse or its Eagle Talon/Plymouth Laser cousins.

Overview

Redesigned for 1989, Nissan’s stylish, newly shaped sport coupe carried a 2.4-liter engine rather than the 2.0-liter four that had powered its 200SX predecessor. Still rear-wheel drive, it came in 2-door coupe (XE) and 2-door hatchback (SE Fastback) form. Horsepower for the 12-valve 4-cylinder engine rated an impressive 140. All-disc brakes were standard, with antilocking optional on the SE. Both 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions were offered. XE coupes could get a heads-up instrument display, as part of the Power Convenience Group.

Yearly Updates

1991 240SX
A more potent twin-cam, 16-valve 4-cylinder engine arrived for 1991, as a new LE hatchback replaced the XE. Essentially the SE hatchback with leather upholstery and air conditioning, the LE was the highest-priced 240SX model. The lineup also included hatchbacks and notchbacks in base and SE trim. With new sequential fuel injection, the ’91 engine developed 155 horsepower–15 more than before. All coupes got a new nose with an integrated bumper. Antilock braking, previously optional only on the SE hatchback, now could be installed on the LS.
1992 240SX
A convertible debuted during 1992 in “Limited Edition” trim with a rear spoiler, automatic transmission, and power top, windows, and door locks. Otherwise, changes were minimal except for eliminating available antilock braking on the LE model.
1993 240SX
Not much change marked the 1993 models, but the leather-upholstered LE hatchback was gone.
1994 240SX
An SE convertible was the sole body style offered for ’94, unchanged except for a new “cherry red pearl” color choice.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

For its first season only, the 240SX was equipped with a 140-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. For 1991, a new 2.4-liter four went under 240SX hoods, with dual overhead camshafts and a 155-horsepower rating. Any model might have either a 5-speed manual gearbox or optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/145
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 152
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
20/27
20/25
22.2
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/146
Engine HP 155
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 160
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
22/28
21/26
24.8

Road Test

Drivers who prefer a rear-wheel-drive coupe will get a rewarding yet undemanding experience on twisting roads. Responsive steering and a taut suspension help tame demanding pavements. Even with its independent rear suspension, though, the 240SX suffers from a somewhat harsh ride. Still, it’s compliant enough to avoid most discomfort; it takes quite a big bump to knock this coupe off course. Watch out for reduced traction in snow-belt areas, too.

Early engine performance did not match the coupe’s handling capabilities. Acceleration was strong enough at low engine speeds but fell a bit short at the high end, even with a 5-speed. The twin-cam engine introduced in 1991 is better, but still a little rough and rather loud. Torque is sufficient to move the car rather quickly with automatic transmission, though a 5-speed is needed to get the most out of the stronger 4-cylinder engine.

Tire noise invades the interior via the open rear cargo area in the hatchback. The driver-oriented interior sports easy-to-read analog gauges and no-nonsense, mostly convenient controls. Seats offer support as well as comfort, though some road testers have found them to be overly firm. As in most sport coupes, rear leg room is nearly nonexistent, but the front seat is sufficiently spacious.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 Nissan 240SX SE 5-speed

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 42

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.4 178.0 66.5 50.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
8.6 15.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 35.5 41.0 25.4
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.4 178.0 66.5 50.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
8.6 15.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 34.5 42.0 23.8
2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.4 178.0 66.5 50.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.2 15.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 33.3 42.0 23.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1993 240SX 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 192
Injury 147
Theft 141

Trouble Spots

Doors
Description: The fuel-door catch breaks easily and the door will not stay closed. (1990-92)
Timing belt
Description: Timing-chain tensioner tends to fail, damaging the timing cover and allowing coolant to leak into the oil pan. (1990)
Transmission leak
Description: The pinion seal on the differential is prone to leaking. (1992)

Recall History

1990-91
Description: Front-seatbelt release button can break and pieces can fall inside, causing improper operation.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.