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Nissan 240SX SE (1995)

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SEE ALSO:Nissan Buyer's Guide

The 1995 Nissan 240SX traces its heritage back 25 years to the debut of the original 240Z in 1969. This is the car that along with the venerable 510 gave the Nissan, then known as Datsun, its real start in the American automotive market. The old Z car was developed as a sports car for performance oriented clientele. But times and demographics change, and in the nineties for many the trends are away from hard-edged pure sports cars towards softer, more luxurious sporty cars. The new second-generation 1995 model 240SX which was introduced this past spring is a prime example of this trend. Nissan designed it to break away from the "boy racer" image to an affordable luxury coupe emphasizing styling, comfort, handling, and value over raw performance.

The latest 240ZX received more than just a facelift. It features new exterior styling and interior design, as well as improvements to the body structure, suspension and engine. It also added several safety components. These factors provide good performance and handling, added comfort and convenience, and a safe and quiet ride.

APPEARANCE: The new 240SX SE is somewhat smoother and rounder than it predecessor. Its pop-up headlights have been replaced by wraparound ones, and a grille has been added. Fog lights are recessed into the front spoiler, while the rear spoiler blends in with the rounded rear deck. The SE is equipped with larger 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and high-performance all-season low- profile tires. Large mirrors adorn each side, and there is black trim around the windows. All of the monochrome finished Durasteel body panels are quite smooth and close fitting. It is an attractive sporty package. During our regular testing we drove the 240SX SE to a prominent Concours de Elegance and received a resounding thumbs up from the unofficial roadside judges along the way.

COMFORT: The interior of the new SE is equipped with redesigned supportive, manually adjustable, low-back front seats covered with a durable fabric that keeps the driver in the proper position. The small contoured rear seat folds down to reveal a pass-through to the low-liftover trunk when added storage is needed. The SE is well equipped with an excellent air conditioner that is quiet and really proved its capability in 107 degree weather and a 160 watt AM/FM/CD six-speaker sound system that pulls in distant stations with clarity. It features an interior with classic black on white instruments, power-operated windows, mirrors and locks, and keyless remote entry. Cruise control and a tilt- adjustable steering column are standard.

SAFETY: For 1995 the 240SX SE is fitted with dual front air bags, four-wheel disc brakes, a front and rear seat belt system that covers three-point belts and features an Emergency Locking Retractor/Automatic Locking Retractor (ELR/ALR) for child safety seats. Other safety features cover a newly designed highly-rigid body structure for improved suspension control, side door beams, and front and rear crush zones. The optional anti-lock braking system includes a limited-slip differential and is a worthy extra as it enhances both safe stopping and car stability.

ROADABILITY: The new chassis of the 240SX does wonders for ride and handling. Utilizing one- piece body sides and extensive computer modeling during the design phase, the new 240 is far stiffer than the earlier model. This plus the all-independent suspension with stabilizer bars and rack and pinion power steering provide a smooth ride with excellent handling characteristics. Improved sound- proofing and new weather-stripping contribute to a quiet ride with little wind or road noise. Its new styling allows great all-around visibility.

PERFORMANCE: Nissan has tweaked its trusty four-cylinder, 2.4 liter, 16-valve, double overhead cam engine for 1995. It is now has higher compression and is tuned for improved low and mid-range torque. This new setup is amazingly flexible which is just what this coupe needed for improved pickup and handling. The optional four-speed automatic transmission is electronically controlled and linked to the engine control module, making it one of the smoothest-shifting automatics available. There is plenty of friendly power for precise maneuvering and merging.

CONCLUSION: The newest 240SX SE is a car worth looking at for those who desire a refined, comfortable, and well-balanced near-luxury sporty coupe at a real-world price.


	   Base Price              $ 20,679
	   Price As Tested         $ 23,094
	   Engine Type             1-4, dohc - 16v, smpfi
	   Engine Size             2.4 liter/146 cid   
	   Horsepower              155 @ 5600
	   Torque (ft/lbs)         160 @ 4400
	   Wheelbase/Length        99"/177"
	   Transmission            4-speed auto w/od
	   Curb Weight             2830
	   Pounds per Horsepower   18
	   Fuel Capacity           17
	   Fuel Requirement        Unleaded premium  (91 octane)
	   Tire                    Dunlop SP Sport 4000 P205/55VR16 M+S
	   Brake                   anti-lock optional   vented disc/disc
	   Drive Train             front engine, rear drive
	   EPA Economy - miles per gallon,        
	     city/highway/observed      21/26/24.6     
	   0 to 60 mph                  8.5 sec
	   1/4 mi (E.T.)                16.4 sec  
	   Coefficient of drag (cd)     .32