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2017 Toyota 86 GT vs 2001 Nissan 200SX: new vs used

By Louis Cordony, 10 Sep 2017 Features

2017 Toyota 86 GT vs 2001 Nissan 200SX new vs used

Toyota’s 86 spurs memories of Nissan’s bygone belter

You’ve driven front-drivers for the past decade to teach yourself heel-and-toe and lift-off oversteer.

But you’re bored, and want to explore a whole new world with a rear-driver. 

Well, you’re spoilt for choice while Holden’s Commodore SS is still around, the Nissan 370Z waits for a Nismo spin-off, and Mazda’s MX-5 comes with two engines.

2001 Nissan 200SXBut the most focused option has to be Toyota’s 86. At slightly more than 30 grand it comes with a propshaft, revvy atmo 2.0-litre four and a modern, sorted chassis package.

Toyota’s LSD-equipped drivetrain and crystal-clear steering make it a driving delight, producing levels of feedback and rear-drive adjustability not seen since, well, the S15 Nissan 200SX – our match-up’s ‘used’ contender.

Known as the Silvia in Japan, it sold here from 1991 to 2003. It was heavily updated in ’99 for the S15 platform, scoring a six-speed manual, smaller tracks, and a helical LSD in place of a fluid-filled unit for the stiffer Spec Rs.

2017 Toyota 86Its 2.0-litre turbo four was left alone, with Japan keeping an upgraded 184kW spec donk for themselves, meaning we did with a 147kW/265Nm rear-drive coupe that could run to triple figures in 6.9sec and cross the quarter mile in 14.80sec at 156.3km/h. Very similar figures, in fact, to what MOTOR first extracted from a Toyota 86.

The 200SX also relied on a lightweight chassis, underpinned by a strut-front/multi-link rear and pointed by a good steering rack, more than a decade ago to deliver the same thrills that have made the 86 such a hit.

Thanks to the Nissan’s timeless, muscular looks and turbo tuneability, few remain in original condition. But they do exist, even in lightly modified form, and would be a great discount into the 86-esque driving game.

  2017 Toyota 86 GT 2001 Nissan 200SX
Engine 1998cc flat-four, DOHC, 16v 1998cc inline-four, DOHC, 16v, turbo
Power 152kW @ 7000rpm 147kW @ 6500rpm
Torque 212Nm @ 6400rpm 265Nm @ 4800rpm
Weight 1257kg 1282kg
0-100KM/H 7.63sec (tested) 6.9sec (tested)
Price $30,790 $43,900 (new)