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Automotive enthusiasts know a good thing when they see it, and the Nissan 240SX is a good thing. Known in Japan as the Silvia, this car saw several iterations with various power levels and performance features. That said, the 240SX models we’re interested in are the S13 and S14. That means we’ll forgo the S10 through S12 and the S15, which was never offered in America. With that in mind, here are four reasons why the Nissan 240SX is a superb car.

1. The Nissan 240SX provides an outstanding driving experience

1995 Nissan 240SX SE instrument panel
1995 Nissan 240SX SE instrument panel | Nissan Motor Corporation

From 1989 to 1994, Nissan built the S13 generation of the 240SX. It put the car on the map as one of the best for drifting and driving. This Nissan sports car brought a lightweight, front-engine rear-wheel-drive configuration to the market, making it a fantastic vehicle to drive. Its nearly perfect 55/45 front-rear weight distribution helped the 240SX become one of the most popular drift cars on the market. According to Hagerty, the S13 remains a top pick among drifters over 25 years later.

2. Its impressive styling makes up for a lack of power

1995 Nissan 240SX Coupe concept drawing
1995 Nissan 240SX Coupe concept sketch | Nissan Motor Corporation

The only engine Nissan offered for the S13 240SX was a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 130 hp. Eventually, the automaker upgraded the output to 155 hp, but that still didn’t match the Japanese version, which boasted 202 ponies.

Fortunately, the American version of the S13 received pop-up headlights, giving the front a smooth, finished, and sleek look. Menwhile, the Japanese S13 had fixed headlights. The 240SX’s attractive exterior design still turns heads today.

When Nissan released the S14-generation 240SX in 1995, it was a completely redesigned car. The S14 benefited from a wider track, lower stance, and longer wheelbase, giving it a fiercer style. This aggressiveness was further upgraded in 1997 with a mid-model refresh.

3. The 240SX is easily modified for more power

Nissan 240SX Collin Jackson racing GT3 category
Collin Jackson races a Nissan 240SX in the GT3 category | Nissan Motor Corporation

Thanks to its popularity in drifting and motorsports, this Nissan sports car has received support through aftermarket parts over the years. Among the most meaningful modifications was a stronger engine. The 240SX’s underpowered nature was improved with an RB engine from the Nissan Skyline, giving the car nearly 300 hp. That’s a significant jump from the 155-hp standard engine.

4. Nissan created a reliable sports car

Proper care and maintenance make any car last longer, but the Nissan 240SX is generally reliable and easy to drive. This car is typically dependable for everday drivers, not just enthusiasts. It’s also insurance-friendly and fuel-efficient, making it easy to admire and enjoy, even if it never hit the track or received a single modification.

Is the Nissan 240SX a good car?

The S13 and S14 are commonly modified, so buying one will likely require you to pay a “drift tax.” However, the Nissan 240SX is an excellent car for driving fun, and it can be a good car for everyday driving if you find an unmodified version.

It’s important to note the S13 is prone to rust, which you’ll need to look for in the frame rails. But if you can get your hands on one of these cheap-to-maintain Nissan sports cars, you might have enthusiasts knocking on your door. They know a good thing when they see it.