The Nissan Silvia models, and in particular the S13, S14, and S15 are fantastic sports cars. These vehicles are generations of the Nissan 240SX which were, by all standards, the most iconic and interesting sports cars that Nissan ever best. But when asked to choose between the three, which one stands out most?
Any verdict is likely to be controversial. It is important that all Nissan enthusiasts take all factors into consideration and make an educated choice. Each of the cars has great things going on for them and it all comes down to personal preferences in price, style, performance, and appearance. The S13 is the most lightweight, the S15 has greater strength, and the S14 has a great performance boost.
This article highlights the important factors that can help you decide which of the three is the best for you.
Which Nissan Silvia is the Best? (S13 vs S14 vs S15)
Nissan 240SX made its debut in 1988 in North America as the version of the European 200SX and Japanese 180SX. Even as a version, all these vehicles undoubtedly belong to one family, and the only difference is the marketplace.
The 240SX was remodeled into distinct generations of S-chassis cars— the S13 from 1989 to 1994, the S14 from 1995 to 1999, after which the production stopped, but the Japanese model went up to the S15 which continued to 2002. Years later, they are still a popular choice among many, and for a good reason.
Firstly, these cars have unparalleled proficiency when it comes to the sport of drifting. Moreover, they all feature a timeless style, lightweight chassis, rear-wheel drive chassis, and front engine. Others go for it because it gives them the nostalgia of the purer automotive age.
And while there is a mutual love for the S-chassis series, there is an ongoing relentless debate on which of the generations is the best. The debate stems from the obvious ‘sibling rivalry’ of the vehicles which compete in functionality and performance. The debate comes down to these important aspects: cost, appearance, chassis, performance, and availability of aftermarket parts.
What Is the Difference Between S13, S14, and S15?
There are some notable dissimilarities between the 3 S-series vehicles as outlined in the table below.
|Platform||Nissan S platform||Nissan S platform||Nissan S platform|
|Body style||2-door coupe/ convertible/ fastback||2-door coupe||2-door coupe/convertible|
The question that arises is if you want to own any of the three cars, which price tag will hold you back? When it comes to the prices of these S-chassis cars, there are several things to keep in mind.
For one, you should consider the initial price which tends to change by the year making it difficult to determine. However, you should expect to pay more for the S15, followed closely by the S14.
The S13 can be purchased at a price point of $2500. However, if you are looking for one that is already kitted out for drifting, the price is likely to go up to $3000-$15000+ depending on some factors such as the type of engine installed, the aftermarket parts fitted, body kit, paint, and the wheels fitted.
The S14 could cost you around $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the specific build and condition. The S15 is usually priced at around $20,161-$30,861.
Clearly, none of the three cars can be considered cheap. If you want to solely enjoy the vehicle and get a standard model, you should purchase a modified example. This will likely cost you more upfront.
It goes without saying that ultimately, we would want a vehicle that is best looking. When it comes to appearance, everyone has different views. Therefore, it is different to objectively comment on which of the three looks best. It all comes down to personal preference and style.
However, it is noteworthy that the S13 comes in multiple forms (coupe, fastback, and convertible) so it is likely to have a widened fan base. The S14 only has the coupe appeal limited to coupe fans. The S15 is one of the most visually stunning cars there are, with looks that have stood the test of time.
The difference in chassis can be categorized in terms of weight, suspension, and rigidity, among others. Often, one of the most important parts of a vehicle’s construction is the chassis, regardless of the car you are driving.
The chassis can be defined as the foundation that gives the vehicle its strength, form, agility, and much more. The S13, S14, and S15 represent the iconic Nissan S-chassis.
For drifting purposes, an important factor to consider is a lightweight chassis. The lighter cars need less power and often give enthusiasts more fun. Most professional drift cars are made of light- and medium-weight sedans and coupes. Ideally, the chassis should be light, but not compromise on strength and rigidity.
The S13 chassis is the lightest of the three. However, the S14 has greater strength than the S13. The S15 comes with a basic strip of some excess weight. The S13, S14, and S15 weigh 2700lbs, 2763lbs, and 2733lbs respectively.
While the lighter chassis gives the S13 an advantage of less horsepower to break tire traction, it would be best to go for a more rigid S14 or S15 chassis with an improved suspension geometry.
The performance of the vehicle will depend on how effectively and how much it is adapted to the drifting sport with its aftermarket parts. All three are mild in performance at best, considering that they got an inferior engine compared to the 180SX. When driving, the S13 gives a more visceral feel, and the S14 can be described as a more ‘grown-up’ feel.
Availability of Aftermarket Parts
If you intend to get the S-chassis for drifting purposes, you are likely to change its factory setting specification and add other parts that befit the purpose. With that in mind, it is better to know which is best when it comes to switching the parts.
An engine swap is the most common change to be made, and since the S13 has the readiness of the R33 cross member, it performs best. The same cannot be said of the S14 and S15.
Also Read: Is the Nissan Silvia S14 Legal in the US?
Drifting was a popular pastime for 240SX owners and other enthusiasts worldwide. The S13, S14, and S15 in particular represented what a great grip track car really meant. The question of which one is the best will depend on the factors outlined above. Hopefully, you can settle on one.