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

2017 Toyota 86 GT vs 2001 Nissan 200SX

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)

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!