I Drove A Japanese Luxury Car From The 90s, And I Loved It
Japan was an automotive powerhouse in the 1990s. From that era we got the Mazda FD Rx7, Acura NSX, Toyota Supra, and Nissan GT-R just to name a few. But while the cars that were imported into the US were great, Japan kept some of its best cars for themselves. That brings us to the Nissan Laurel. The Laurel was a larger sedan, that later became the Altima here in the states. Under the Laurel’s hood sat the drivetrain of the more sporty skyline, but was outfitted with more luxurious features on top.
American Luxury cars from the 90s are very different from Japanese luxury cars of the same period. In America, we focused on large plush interiors suitable for Sunday drives to the Cracker Barrel. In Japan, they focused on long wheel bases and big engines. The Laurel I drove had the engine of a R32 Skyline, which is an RB20DET. RB meaning the engine name, 20 standing for its 2.0L of displacement, and DET means that its fuel injected and turbocharged. The RB20DET is a six cylinder, which saves it from the usual horrendous turbo lag found on four cylinder cars. If you watch the video attached, you’ll understand why I love it so much.
As far as the interior of the Laurel, there’s not much to show. There’s an analog clock on the dash and there’s no B-pillar so you can roll the front and rear windows down without a bar in the middle. But otherwise, that’s it. Nissan had rather lack-luster interiors in the 90s, which is why it’s easy to tell the difference between American luxury cars and Japanese luxury cars of the same era.
If you have the opportunity to, drive a right hand drive car. Or if you’re overseas, drive a left hand drive car. It’s a cool way to experience something you’re used to (driving) in a completely new way.
My Video Review Of The Nissan Laurel: