Though it is rarely seen in the United States and is considered illegal in many states, the Nissan Skyline is still incredibly popular. Many of its users give the car rave reviews, commenting on its power, handling, and sleek look. However, is the Nissan Skyline as great as many people think, or could it only be the hype surrounding the car’s illegality?
Why was the Nissan Skyline illegal?
In the past, vehicles were imported to America at a huge discount compared to the cost U.S. citizens were paying for an American-made car overseas. Because of this, the government passed the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act, which resulted in a decrease in the amount of imported cars.
The act has been in place for close to 30 years, but it now allows immunity for imports of vehicles older than 25 years. Meaning a Nissan Skyline made before 1991 can be imported, though the costs involved in overcoming the legislation still act as a stumbling block.
The Nissan Skyline failed essential safety tests
There is a list of requirements a car has to undergo before it is deemed safe to hit the general US market. These tests include testing airbags, windshield, and seat belts. On top of that, authorities also need cars tested for crash safety and emissions.
To pass the crash safety test, a car company has to give its vehicles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for independent testing, which is a cost to the company. Nissan chose not to forgo the expense, likely because it didn’t develop the car for export. The Skyline was produced as a right-hand drive vehicle and it would have required extra time and money to produce a left-hand version.
It’s too powerful
The Nissan Skyline’s power was limited in a lot of the markets it was sold in which left the car with less of a kick. Some have commented on the vehicle’s disappointing handling and underwhelming pickup. If you need an extra kick, you will need to get additional tuning to take it up from 300 hp to 600 hp.
While the car’s limited power is not the biggest problem, there was some concern about the power of the vehicle compared to the capabilities of police vehicles. Many police cars are rear-wheel drive vehicles while the Nissan Skyline is four-wheel drive with a maximum speed of up to 200 miles per hour. This would make a Skyline more difficult for the police to catch.
It’s an older vehicle
While the Skyline is an attractive vehicle, a lot of the original model designs, like the R32, are old. While this is part of the package for classic car enthusiasts, the car lacks the technologies modern vehicles are loaded with that add to the driving experience. On top of that, as the years go by, technologies will keep on progressing, meaning the Skyline will be further and further behind.
The Nissan Skyline is costly
While the Nissan Skyline is an ultimate symbol of cool, you will need a considerable amount of cash to get your hands on one. A professionally tuned, well-kept R34 can cost you up to $100,000 while an R33 goes for around $50,000. The high price tag is partly because of the legislation costs you will have to pay to ensure the car is considered legal to drive in America. In addition to purchase prices, the cost of replacement parts is not cheap either.
With this in mind, It is safe to say that most people probably think highly of the Nissan Skyline because it is the forbidden fruit in the US and it’s a rarity many can’t have.