Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $2,700*

1995 Nissan 200SX SE-R

1995 Nissan 200SX SE-R

1996 Nissan 200SX SE

1997 Nissan 200SX SE

1997 Nissan Sentra 200SX SE-R

  • Acceleration (SE-R)
  • Optional antilock brakes
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling
  • Acceleration (base and SE automatic)
  • Rear visibility
  • Ride

Overall, there’s much to like about the 200SX–especially the SE-R. It’s a reasonable, moderately priced alternative to such higher-cost coupes as the Ford Probe and Mazda MX-6, thus definitely worth a test-drive.


Nissan revived the old 200SX nameplate for a new sport coupe, introduced in the spring of 1995. The 200SX came in base, SE, and sportier SE-R models. All shared their front-end appearance, front-drive chassis, dashboard, and many dimensions with the Nissan Sentra. Base and SE editions shared Sentra’s twin-cam 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. The SE-R inherited the 140-horsepower 2.0-liter engine used in the previous 2-door Sentra SE-R. All three came with a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic, and were equipped with dual airbags. Antilock brakes were optional in the SE and SE-R.

Yearly Updates

1996 200SX
The SE and SE-R gained new body-colored mirrors and door panels.
1997 200SX
All models now included a rear spoiler, and the base model adopted the same interior trim as its SE and SE-R companions.
1998 200SX
All models got new headlights, revised bumpers, and white-face gauges. Also, base models replaced 13-inch wheels with 14-inchers. 200SX did not return for ’99 but its 140-horsepower engine continued in the 4-door Sentra.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Base-model and SE versions of the 200SX used a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder engine, rated at 115 horsepower. A bigger (2.0 liter) four with dual overhead camshafts went into the SE-R. Either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic might be installed.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/97
Engine HP 115
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 108
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 132
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

Regardless of model, the 200SX offers better-than-average passenger room for a small coupe, especially in back, though this cabin isn’t huge by absolute standards. Space is adequate up front, and adults have at least a fighting chance of fitting into the back seat. Cargo room ranks near the top of its class. Instruments are well-positioned and clearly marked in a functional, ergonomically designed dashboard that puts most controls close at hand. Visibility is fine except dead-astern.

The SE-R has above-average grip and modest body lean, which produce safe, enjoyable travel on twisting roads. Steering is firm and centers well. Ride quality is rather jumpy over rippled freeways and harsh pavement.

In terms of performance, the 200SX comes in two distinct flavors. The base engine provides adequate acceleration with the 5-speed but slow pickup with automatic. Moving a big step up, the SE-R’s 2.0-liter four has enough torque for swift passing and even for pulling the optional automatic transmission. Gas mileage also is appealing with either engine.


Model Tested: 1996 Nissan 200SX SE-R 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.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 3


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 4
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
Cargo Room - 2


Value - 4

Total: 41


2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
99.8 170.1 66.6 54.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.4 13.2 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 35.4 42.3 31.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 200SX 2-door coupe


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

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


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

Collision 124
Injury 164
Theft 86

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: The check-engine light comes on due to a problem with the rear heated oxygen sensor. (1995-96)
Description: The power door locks may spontaneously lock or unlock due to a problem with the master switch. (1995)
Engine noise
Description: The timing-chain tensioner guide tends to break and the chain becomes very noisy. (1995)
Fuel gauge
Description: The gauge may not register full due to the pump wires interfering with the float arm. (1995)
Description: The sunroof may tilt up, but not slide back due to a problem with the lifter mechanism. (1995-96)

Recall History

1995 w/ABS
Description: Hydraulic actuator was not properly purged; bubbles can cause increased stopping distances.
Description: Water can enter and displace grease in wiper-arm linkage joint, resulting in gradual wear over a period of time that could lead to separation of wiper-linkage assembly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.