With JDM sports activities automobile costs rising each day, sedans are rising in popularity and cheaper for individuals who need a piece of JDM automotive historical past. The Nissan Cima is amongst Nissan’s flagship luxurious sedans produced within the late 80s by the 90s, and it’s among the many few JDM sedans that made it to the 21st century.

Gross sales had been so good that Nissan’s Luxurious Division, Infiniti, produced a extra luxurious model of the Nissan Cima. It even outsold the Nissan President, which was Nissan’s VIP sedan discontinued in 2010. Mitsubishi constructed their flagship sedan, the Proudia, based mostly on the Nissan Cima’s platform however made it FWD. 

There’s not a lot distinction between JDM sedans, whatever the producer. However for the reason that Nissan President is uncommon within the US, the Nissan Cima is the following possibility in order for you a Nissan with a V8 engine. You additionally get extra superior options equivalent to twin entrance and rear airbags, which had been non-obligatory in different Nissan Sedans. The truth is, in 1991, the Nissan Cima was the primary Nissan automobile with laser adaptive cruise management. 

If a Nissan Cima has at all times been in your thoughts, this information is for you. Earlier than shopping for one, we’ll cowl the professionals and cons and different associated elements. 

Professionals and Cons

Nissan Cima



Within the US, Nissan Sedans aren’t as widespread as Toyota Sedans just like the Toyota Chaser or Celsior. A part of the reason being that they had been by no means exported to the US. Additionally, Most Toyota Sedans include powerplants able to huge figures, such because the 1JZ, 2JZ, and UZ engines. Thus, making them favorites amongst tuners and fans. 

Whenever you pull up with a Nissan Cima to a tuning storage or automobile meet, it’s assured that the majority wouldn’t know what you’re driving. Some will suppose it’s one other Toyota Sedan, and others will determine it as a Nissan President or Cedric since all Nissan sedans look alike. Proudly owning a 350Z is cool however having a 350Z powerplant below the hood of a Japanese Mafia sedan is a lot better. 

Interesting Appears

JDM traditional sedans demand consideration wherever they go, and the Nissan Cima isn’t any exception. It’s not concerning the fascinating engine below the hood however the cumbersome look with clean flowing physique strains. When one drives by, you’ll suppose it’s floating on a magnetic suspension, unswayed by any highway bumps. 

All you’ll want to make a Nissan Cima stand out from the crown is a wonderful paint job and a few good wheels. You may improve to an air suspension you probably have some money to spare. There’s one thing about an air suspension in such cumbersome sedans. Coil-overs are nice, however on heavy vehicles just like the Nissan Cima, they fully smash the experience consolation. The OEM pneumatic suspension is healthier. 

VIP Standing On A Price range 

As outdated as it’s, the Nissan Cima outshines probably the most trendy sedans you see on the highway immediately. Right here’s the enjoyable bit, it’s additionally cheaper by a substantial margin. You would possibly get bashed for proudly owning a 25-year-old automobile, nevertheless it doesn’t get to you as a result of luxurious options you get pleasure from.

Like each JDM Luxurious sedan, the Nissan Cima was designed primarily to cater to the rear seat passengers. However there are options you get to get pleasure from as the motive force. The entrance seats are simply as comfy because the recliner again house. You additionally get electrical adjustability. 

Nissan Cima
Determine 1 2003 Nissan Cima 450Xl. Driver’s seat with digital adjustability

Throttle response is sluggish however clean, thus making certain nice experience consolation even at freeway speeds. Nissan’s wonderful construct high quality on the Cima ensures there are not any highway noises within the cabin. The one noise you’ll really feel is the colossal V8 or V6 buzzing as you speed up and decelerate. 

When you could have a automobile as candy as a Nissan Cima, you need to discover somebody to drive you across the block every so often however whereas seated within the rear seat. Sinking into the padded silk seat virtually seems like driving in an S-class. 

Tunable Engines 

When inventory, a Nissan Cima will make roughly 250 to350 horsepower. By immediately’s requirements, it’s barely underpowered for a 4200-pound automobile. You’ll get from level A to level B seamlessly, nevertheless it will get awkward being overtaken by a Toyota Prius, but you could have a V6 or V8 engine below the hood. 

Fortunately the engine variants used within the Nissan Cima are much like these used within the Nissan Fairlady Z, Cedric, and Gloria. Thus, making it attainable to get engine tuning components. You may push the 4.1-liter 0r 4.5-liter V8 to barely over 420 horsepower. Any turbocharged V6 engine used within the Nissan Cima can deal with round 450 horsepower with inventory internals.

A drift construct can be attainable with a Nissan Cima on account of its FR (front-engine rear-wheel-drive format). However it is going to require huge weight administration, suspension, and transmission upgrades, amongst different mods. 


Unavailability Of Spare Elements 

Getting substitute spares for a Nissan Skyline or Silvia is simpler than discovering Nissan Cima spares. A part of the reason being that not bought within the US. Even when Infiniti took the Cima and produced it because the Infiniti Q45, only a few items discovered their method to US soil. 

You’ll must ship from Japan or get custom-made components for mechanical parts equivalent to drivetrain or suspension spares. Neither is an affordable possibility, making substitute on account of put on and tear or accidents costly.

All Mannequin Years Have An Automated Transmission

If you’re an enthusiastic driver who loves the upshifts and downshifts in a automobile with a handbook transmission, you would possibly get disillusioned with the Nissan Cima. All fashions from 1988 to 2012 include a 4-speed or 5-speed computerized transmission. A attribute of most JDM VIP and Luxurious sedans. Items made after 2012 have a 7-speed computerized transmission with “flappy paddles.” 

Fortunately you may swap the automated transmission with a handbook one from a 350Z or another automobile, supplied it’s appropriate. However if you’re doing a Cima drift construct, a sequential transmission is a greater possibility. 

Widespread Points

Engine Oil Hunger

Earlier or present Nissan house owners will let you know that is extra of an obstacle than a mechanical-related difficulty. But it surely’s generally present in Nissan’s VG, VH, VQ, and VK engines. On RBs and SRs, it’s not as widespread and could be simply solved with an engine rebuild. 

Having bottles of oil within the trunk is the worth it’s important to pay for proudly owning a Nissan Cima. Additionally, altering the oil earlier than your common oil change schedule is really helpful. For instance, if the engine makes use of 1 quart per 1500 miles, change the oil at round 1300 miles. 

Mechanical faults additionally trigger excessive oil consumption and hunger in older Nissan V6 and VQ engines. Such defects embody worn-out ring seals, defective PCV valves, and a warped engine block.

Pre-Catalytic Converter Failure

Some automobile producers, Nissan included, use pre-cats to curb emissions. The primary catalytic converter is situated on the higher a part of the exhaust system close to the engine, thus the pre-catalytic converter. And the primary catalytic converter is in the course of the exhaust pipe simply earlier than the muffler. 

Over time, excessive engine temps, oil, coolant, and fumes disintegrate the pre-cat, and tiny bits get sucked again into the engine because it “breathes in.” If the automobile had been beforehand concerned in a facet or frontal crash, there’s an opportunity that the affect acquired to the higher a part of the exhaust pipe, inflicting harm to the pre-cat. 

Early indicators of pre-cat failure embody extra smoke, misfires, and lack of energy. At occasions the engine mild will come on after which go off. You may take away the pre-catalytic converter and substitute the primary one with a greater aftermarket one. 

Holding the primary catalytic converter is a precedence, particularly if you’re in a state with strict emission legal guidelines and require common emission exams. Eradicating the pre-cat reduces the chance of engine harm and allows the engine to “breathe” extra effectively by decreasing air backflow. Therefore rising energy output. 

Leaks In The Engine Bay

As a consequence of outdated age, fluid hoses and seals within the engine bay grow to be brittle and crack, thus inflicting leaks. The fastener clamps additionally loosen, leaving the hoses susceptible to coming out below excessive stress. Nissan Cima house owners have reported crankshaft seal, energy steering reservoir, and oil sending unit leaks, particularly in excessive mileage items with V8 engines. 

Some parts, such because the thermostat, additionally trigger leaks if they don’t seem to be working appropriately. If a thermostat is defective, coolant circulation is unattainable. Thus, it is going to construct stress and leak from a weak hose level. This causes the engine to overheat to inadequate cooling. 

In items with V8 engines, changing the O rings when changing the valve cowl gasket and vice versa when altering the spark plugs is really helpful. It is because the O rings insert into the valve cowl gasket. 

Ignition Coil Pack Failure 

Nissan coil packs aren’t that nice, and in case you discover a Nissan Cima with the OEM coil packs, you need to substitute them earlier than your car stalls on you in the course of nowhere. Not that the coil packs are unhealthy, however they don’t final so long as these in vehicles from different producers. 

When you discover misfires and lack of energy at mid and excessive RPMs, it’s an indication you need to substitute the coil packs. Whereas at it, you also needs to substitute the spark plugs. Poor gasoline consumption can be an indication of coil pack and spark plug failure on account of extra gasoline being injected into the combustion chamber to compensate for poor combustion. 


The Nissan Cima is likely one of the best-built vehicles, however rust is inevitable in older vehicles equivalent to itself. Widespread rust spots embody the door jambs, the trunk flooring padding, and the engine bay. That is largely floor rust and could be eliminated by buffing and making use of spray paint afterward. 

Common Costs

Nissan Cima

With costs beginning at slightly below $6,000, the Nissan Cima is likely one of the least expensive JDM vehicles you should purchase. Nevertheless, some items promote for greater than $10,000 relying on the spec, mannequin 12 months, and mileage, amongst different figuring out elements. A Cima 30LV with a VG30DET will promote for greater than a base spec V8 or V6 mannequin.

View Nissan Cima Ads for sale

What To Look For When Shopping for A Nissan Cima

If you’re out there for a Nissan president, the next are some fascinating options you need to contemplate earlier than paying for one. 

The VG30DET and VQ30DET are the perfect engines in a Nissan Cima, particularly in case you plan on squeezing extra energy out of the engine. Each are higher than any RB engine, excluding the RB26 and turbocharged RB25 variants. Aftermarket assist is great, and discovering OEM components shouldn’t be troublesome.

Nevertheless, if you’re on a price range, get a Cima with a VG30DE related construct construction and efficiency. With the inventory turbocharger and gasoline injectors, the VQ30DET and VG30DET could make a most of 380 horsepower. Bolt-on mods will take it as much as over 450 horsepower. 

Earlier than shopping for a Nissan Cima, verify if the adaptive suspension system is useful. It’s not obligatory, nevertheless it’s a characteristic value having in case you choose experience consolation variations. 

When you prioritize seems to be earlier than shopping for a automobile, then the Nissan Cima Y33 is the most suitable choice. Amongst JDM fans, it’s thought of the perfect trying amongst all mannequin years in comparison with the F50 and Y51, that are later mannequin years.

Nissan Cima

Comparable Alternate options

Fashions and Specs

1988-1991 Nissan Cima (Y31)

Nissan Cima

The primary Gen Nissan Cima is constructed on Nissan’s Y31 chassis shared with the Cedric and Gloria. With manufacturing beginning late within the Nineteen Eighties, it was solely made as a sedan, in contrast to the Gloria and Cedric, which had been produced as coupes, vans, wagons, and sedans. Differentiating the three is troublesome, however the Nissan Cima, a flagship VIP sedan, has particular luxurious touches. 

For instance, you get golden Cima badging on the grille and hood and chrome on the door mirrors and windshield encompass. Like another JDM luxurious sedan, the Nissan Cima has woolen seats with silk stitching. Consumers may additionally go for leather-based or linen material. 

All seats have digital adjustability, and the entrance passenger seat has controls on the insert again, permitting the rear seat passenger to maneuver it ahead, thus rising leg room. You additionally get tech items like a Sony CD changer, a coloured infotainment display screen, and a premium stereo system. 

You get the Y31 Cedric with a 3.0-liter VG30DE V6 engine or a 3.0-liter VG30DET engine used within the Cedric and Gloria. Nevertheless, it was solely bought with a 4-speed computerized transmission, in contrast to its chassis counterparts which had been bought with a 4/5-speed computerized or 4/5-speed handbook transmission. 

1991-1996 Nissan Cima (Y32)

Nissan Cima

Nissan Unveiled the Nissan Cima Y32 in late 1991. Like its predecessor, it didn’t carry over physique panels from both the Cedric or Gloria. In 1992 the Japanese asset bubble collapsed, affecting JDM producers who suffered a decline in car manufacturing and gross sales. 

The second-gen Nissan Cima didn’t promote in addition to the first-gen, however there have been some entrance and rear facia updates. You get the identical inside with wood trims on the doorways, dashboard, and heart console as within the Y31 Cima. 

 To compete in opposition to the Crown Majesta, Nissan launched a 4.1-liter V8 (VH41DE) alongside the VG30DET used within the earlier era. A 4-speed computerized transmission was the one possibility supplied. 

1996-2001 Nissan Cima (Y33)

Nissan Cima

Manufacturing of the third era Cima started in 1996 when Japan was below the collapse of the Japanese asset bubble. Nevertheless, this didn’t cease Nissan from making among the best vehicles they’ve ever made. Like its predecessors, it’s constructed on a shared platform between the Nissan Gloria, Leopard, and Cedric. 

A rise in dimensions provides the Y33 Cima a rise in weight in comparison with the Y32. Nissan didn’t produce smaller items like earlier generations, giving consumers a tax benefit. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxurious unit, additionally made their model of the Nissan Cima, equipping it with unique luxurious touches equivalent to window blinds, rear recliner seats, and higher wheels. 

Nissan went to the extent of manufacturing an AWD system for the Cima by Autech. It was additionally used within the Cedric and Gloria, however solely items with the VQ30DET have AWD. All items include a 4-speed computerized transmission and are RWD.                                            

2001-2010 Nissan Cima (F50)

Nissan Cima

Nissan launched the F50 Cima in 2001, nonetheless utilizing the VQ30DET and the VK45DD used within the earlier generations. It’s constructed on the Nissan President PGF50’s platform. 

The VH41DE was discontinued on account of strict Japanese emission legal guidelines, and the VQ30DET adopted swimsuit in 2006, leaving the VK45DD as the one engine supplied within the Nissan Cima. A brand new 5-speed computerized transmission was launched shortly after that, however the 4-speed was nonetheless in use. 

Nissan had initially deliberate for the Cima to exchange the Nissan President, however each vehicles had been discontinued in 2010 on account of security considerations. Both couldn’t be discontinued individually as each share the identical platform and options. Nevertheless, the Nissan Cima was reintroduced in 2012 as Nissan’s flagship sedan however with out a V8. A disappointment to many fans. 

2012-2022 Nissan Cima (Y51)

Nissan Cima

The Nissan Cima returned in 2012, carrying over its cumbersome and demanding look from its predecessors. It sits above the Fuga as Nissan’s flagship sedan, utilizing the identical platform and engine because the Fuga Y51 hybrid. 


Which engine is within the Nissan Cima?

You get the Nissan Cima with varied V6 and V8, with the smallest being a 3.0-liter V6 and the biggest being a 4.5-liter V8.

Does the Nissan Cima have a V8 engine?

Sure, you will get the Nissan Cima with two Nissan V8 variants. Items produced from 1991to 2001 have the 4.1-liter (VH41DE) V8, whereas these produced from 2001 to 2006 have the 4.5-liter (VK45DD) V8. 

Which 12 months was the Nissan Cima produced?

Manufacturing of the Nissan Cima started in 1988, and Nissan briefly halted manufacturing in 2010 on account of security considerations. The Nissan Cima later returned in 2012 for its fifth era ending 2022. It’s nonetheless unclear whether or not there’ll be a sixth-gen Cima.

Was the Nissan Cima bought within the US?

The Nissan Cima was bought within the US however in restricted figures because the Infiniti Q45.

The place can I purchase a Nissan Cima within the US?

As a consequence of its rarity within the US, shopping for from JDM dealerships and on-line listings is the most suitable choice. You may also have an opportunity at discovering a neighborhood unit in case you scout on house owners’ boards and teams.

Can I swap a handbook transmission in a Nissan Cima?

Sure. If in case you have a handbook transmission from a Nissan, Gloria or Fairlady Z will slot in a Nissan Cima completely with minimal fabrication required. There are different handbook transmission choices out there, however one manufactured by Nissan is the most suitable choice.

Is a Nissan Cima dependable?

The Nissan Cima is dependable for a 4000-pound automobile with a thirst V6 or V8 engine. Most house owners give it an above-average reliability ranking. When effectively maintained, a Nissan Cima will simply final for round 200,000 miles earlier than you begin changing main mechanical parts.

How To Import A Nissan Cima

Learn our Final Information on How to Import a Car from Japan

  • Sources
    • wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Cima
    • mymotorlist.com/fashions/nissan-cima/
    • hotcars.com/2001-Nissan-Cima-underrated-jdm-luxury-sedan/
Christopher Weydert
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