T-Top Compact: 1991 Nissan NX2000

Though Nissan’s NX sports coupe shares similarities with Sentra compact, it offered much more interesting styling and better driving dynamics than its practical sibling. Barn Finds reader Kevin found this 1991 Nissan NX2000 here on Craigslist, and unlike the NX1600 model, it borrows the peppy 2.0-liter SR20DE engine from the Sentra SE-R.

This NX is available in Wilsonville, Oregon with a clean title. While it may not be a limited-production model, Nissan sold approximately 3,300 NX2000 models during the 1991 model year, which does not make it a common vehicle by any means. Additionally, the NX featured various upgrades over the Sentra SE-R, such as better brakes, a two-core radiator, and a more aggressive wheel and tire setup. This model features a T-top roof, as well as comfort features such as power steering and air conditioning. Only 106,201 miles are on the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which pairs to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels.

The seller is asking $3,450 for this Nissan, though they will also consider trades. During its time, critics considered the NX2000 one of the best handling front-wheel-drive models that money could buy. Would you spend your money on it today?


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  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    No, I would not.

    Like 3
  2. Joel Soto

    I had a 93 nx1600 15 years ago. It was a fun car. Especially with the ttops removed

    Like 3
  3. JoeNYWF64

    What happened to most of these cars in the 90’s? I thought that was when
    rustproofing had been improved significantly.

  4. AnalogMan

    I owned one of these back in the day, a 92 NX2000 I bought new. It was, and still is, a vastly under-rated car.

    By today’s standards there are many cars that could out-perform it (including Camrys and Accords). But by the standards of nearly 30 years ago, it was a standout. It was fast and powerful enough to be fun, yet practical and comfortable enough to be a daily driver (as mine was). The hatchback and fold-down rear seats gave great cargo capacity. The T-tops, though now considered ‘old fashioned’, were a lot of fun (I wish they were still offered, don’t knock them until you’ve driven a car with them, they’re more fun than you think). The build quality was exceptional (other than a tendency to rust, which anything from that era was susceptible to). The 2 liter engine was the same as used in the Sentra SE-R, and was one of the gems of its time. It was reliable and economical, over 30 mpg. I agree with the comment that it was one of the best handling FWD cars.

    And it was reasonably priced, inexpensive enough that someone just a few years out of school could actually afford it. What more could you ask for?

    I’d be hard pressed to think of any new cars today that offer the same package as this car did (maybe the Civic Si comes the closest, but I’ll still take the immediate and linear response of naturally aspirated engine over a turbo any day of the week, and always loved hatchbacks).

    I’ve been trolling classified ads for these for years. If this one wasn’t on the opposite coast from me, I’d go for it.

    Like 3
  5. Ralph

    These were the last installments in the “Pulsar Saga” these replaced the DIY wagon-coupe-truck Pulsar NX, though there was a gap between them of a few years.

    You would have thought these would have been a winner, I’m surprised they only made 3300. It combined the well liked Sentra SE-R attributes in a sport package with a little “Baby 300ZX” look with the t-tops and this was launched during the grand hey-day for the econo-sporty coupe. There was an 1800NX too with the smaller engine, but oddly, a more high line digital dash with a HUD too.

    Such a dead niche today, back then every manufacturer had something in this sometimes even 2 entries, Paseos, Celicas, Saturn SC’s, Probes, MX3’s Eclipses, etc.

    • djkenny

      In 92 I was in the market for a hot hatch. My short list of considerations were the 92 VW GTI 16v, Mazda MX3 GS, Nissan Sentra SE-R, Nissan NX 2000, Ford Escort GT, and Acura Integra RS or LS.

      My top 2 Were the GTI 16v and Mazda MX3 GS with its unique 1.8 V6. I also liked the SE-R since it was more practical than a MX3 or NX2000.. but ultimately, none of them had me as passionate in response to the VW.

      The GTI has much better low end response and sound, the seats were by far the best of the bunch; Real Recaro and to this day the most comfortable stock seats I’ve ever sat in. The interior was by far the most copious. 3 real size people could sit in back and had loads of headroom.. the NX2000 had almost None, and that why I considered the SE-R more (besides being more affordable).

      It had beautiful BBS wheels the cool euro round light grille. I knew that this is a car I wouldn’t bore of in 5 or even 10 or more years. That’s what sold me, it was timeless cool.

      Still is. I haven’t found anything more fun. The aftermarket neuspeed everythung has been fun adding over the years, too.

      But if and when I see an old SE-R or NX 2000, I go back to taje a closer look if I can (sane with MK2 VW GTIs)

      • Miguel

        I bought the new Ford Escort GT which had the Mazda 1.8L engine. My car was number 238 off the line in March of 1990.

        I like it so much I bought another new one in 1993. Both were great cars.

        Like 1
  6. 408interceptor

    The Nissan NX2000’s SR20 engine came with a forged crankshaft and main bearing girdle allowing the engine to redline at 8000 RPM. The 91’s had bad fifth gear synchro’s and would lose fifth gear completely around 100,000 miles. With no fifth gear my car ran 4000 RPM at 65 mph all day long, never ran hot and never complained. After 26 years in upstate NY the corrosion had weakened the unibody enough to make it unsafe. I tried selling it as a good running parts car for $200 but no one replied. The last thing I did with the car before my neighbor added it to his junk farm equipment collection was to run it at wide open throttle with no oil or coolant. It ran for 20 minutes before catastrophic engine failure, the things we do living in the country with no neighbors around.

    Like 2
  7. ATL_Jeff

    I had an SE-R from new and loved every minute I owned it. I regret selling it to this day, although I’ve owned lots of other great cars since then.

    The NX was on my list to test drive, but I couldn’t find one that met my equipment or color requirements. I understand why they’re rare now. Because they were rare then. In the end the Sentra was the better choice for me anyway — a bit more practical.

    This one looks to be in awesome shape. But for me, I think I’d look for another SE-R.

  8. djkenny

    Miguel, yeah those were an incredible value and really great to drive. A huge improvement over the prior Ford engine cars. I’d love a clean last of model, even though the 90 is the coolest looking rear end and colorful logo.
    The GTI 16v was one of the priciest I’m it’s class at $15.000, I could have rolled away on an Escort GT for under $13k. Hard to beat!

  9. Ryan

    Did this sell?

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