1990 Nissan 240SX Coupe, power package 2.4 SOHC, KA24E from North America

Summary:

The car that has everything!

Faults:

In the time I had my 240sx, nothing went wrong with it. I bought it after I couldn't repair my Talon TSI anymore and this car was the angel. It always started, always drove nice and never gave me any trouble. Extremely reliable vehicle and fun to drive too.

General Comments:

Absolutely amazing combination of reliability and fun. My car was the coupe with the power package. I had every option on it including the HUD, sunroof, power windows, locks, mirrors. And everything on the car worked after 18 years of driving. There were no squeaks, no rattles... nothing. It drove like brand new car.

The engine and transmission were both original and in amazing shape for the age. The car was passing smog with # so low the tech was amazed when he saw the mileage.

This car is pretty quick too. Motor is designed for a truck, so it has a feel of an 80s Chevy V8. Good torque at the low revs, and nothing up high. From the line the 240sx will have a spirited acceleration, which slowly fades as your revs rise.

My car had no speed limiter and an automatic transmission, this combo gave me very low RPM when car was in the OD. I was just above 3k RPM at 70ish. With redline being past 6k RPM, one would think that 240sx could run with the big dogs on the freeway... Sadly, no. I tried to max the car out on the downhill portion of San Mateo bridge at night and it struggled to get past 107. There was no rev limiter, the car just ran out of power with 3 people in it. Engine itself really is not built to rev high.

Now handling and looks is where this car truly shines. It handles like it is a go cart. It is so agile you catch yourself going through turns at speeds far higher than posted. I did regret getting an automatic car though, stick would have made it even more fun. If you are into drifting this car is great to start in. Very easy to control the slide and car is rather forgiving.

The looks of the coupe are timeless too, interior has a superb layout.

Overall this is a great car, very reliable, fun and comfortable. I recommend it to everyone. I sold it after I bought myself a E39 540i.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2009

1990 Nissan 240SX 2.4 KA24E from North America

Summary:

With some love it can be made into a monster!

Faults:

Timing chain was failing upon receipt of the vehicle

Several seals were leaking oil

The transmission was failing upon receipt of the car

The clutch hydraulic system was leaking and the master and slave cylinders needed replacing.

The car needed a tune-up upon receipt.

General Comments:

When I received the vehicle it was in near-excellent physical condition, but sickly mechanical condition. As mentioned above it had a noisy timing chain AND transmission. Fortunately, one of the benefits of having a 240sx is replacement parts are abundant and astonishingly inexpensive. I found another transmission for $80 and if I had the tools and know-how, a replacement timing chain kit could have been had for $120. After the timing chain, transmission, master and slave cylinders, and several oil seals were replaced, the car was in respectable mechanical condition as well.

The vehicle was in bad condition when I received it due to the neglect of prior owners. It had more or less been sitting in one place for a very long time. With the new parts, the car runs like new and I've yet to experience a single problem. Most 240's are extremely reliable, especially if proper care is taken. They are quite resistant to neglect so long as it is not excessive.

As for performance, in its stock form the car has good handling but lackluster speed, even for the era it came from. The engine has plenty of torque since it was designed for trucks, however it isn't as fast as it ought to be. Fortunately, it is very easy to modify, and modifications tend to help it quite a bit. A large difference in performance can be felt simply by freeing up the intake and exhaust, so while the car is a bit of a slug in its stock form, especially with the stock steel wheels, these problems are easily rectified. The engine also takes kindly to forced induction, reaching levels far beyond those of the SR20 engine at a much lower price point.

As for looks, the exterior of the car has styling which I consider to be timeless. It's very aerodynamic looking and not boxy like many of the other cars which came from its era. As for the interior, some models (including mine) came with a rather terrible choice for carpeting. My first thought upon seeing it was "this could not possibly be stock", yet it most definitely was. If you're in the market for a 240 you may have to deal with the ugly carpet, and you'll know when you see it.

In terms of fuel economy, don't expect much. When I received the car it got between 18 and 22 miles per gallon, which is absolutely unacceptable for a four cylinder engine. I did a tune-up and now get between 22 and 27 miles per gallon. While it is a decent improvement, most engines of this size are a bit more economical.

Finally, the 240's biggest caveat is that it is quite susceptible to rust. I was lucky to have very little rust upon receiving mine, however the rust I do have is expanding somewhat rapidly. If you are in the market for a 240 you will almost surely have to take preventative measures against rust.

All in all the 1990 240sx is a good, reliable car. In its stock form it is very humble, but it can be made mean with marginal effort. The KA24E engine, while not the most economical 2.4 liter engine in the world, will put up with a lot of abuse, and will generally surpass 200,000 miles. And if your engine, or transmission, or anything else for that matter decides to give out, another one could probably be had for less than $500. Very few cars come with such a perk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2008