1998 Nissan Laurel Medalist 2.0
Available for: $8,295
Why putt around in a derelict USDM Altima when this midsize Nissan looks cooler, drives nicer, and is just as simple to service? Our 1998 Laurel medalist is backed by a durable 2.0 I-6 and has racked up a scant 42k miles over the years. Finished in spark silver (KL0) the paintwork shows a few chips and dings from daily use. While we did want to note some sizable spots of clear coat fade on the trunk and roof, this C35 is still a looker and is set off by OEM rainguards and some sleek snowflake factory alloys. Drifting die-hards know the Laurel is Nissan's answer to the JZX platform and Nissan enthusiasts see it as a formidable daily driver. As for us, we think this super sedan is a bonafide Japanese Classic!
The interior is equipped to handle the rigors of daily use and abuse and the plush cloth upholstery on the seats is no worse for the wear, showing nearly no evidence of prior abuse from their life in Japan. Finished in a complementary grey vinyl, the dash sweeps the width of the cabin and tucks away nicely against the firewall. Integrated into the center stack, digital climate control works as you'd expect, and an OEM Multi-AV system lies adjacent if you prefer your own tunes over the RB's soundtrack. Daily driving in the 21st century, power amenities are a must, and functionality is important. All four power windows slide up and down without a hitch and the power locks and power folding side mirrors work too! Dual SRS airbags are present up front and the driver can also tilt their steering column at will to gain some extra comfort behind the wheel. Those extra two doors can be put to use to comfortably haul a few extra passengers, and they'll find the interior quality extends to the rear of the cabin as well. The carpets below have been sheathed by some factory mats and if you can see past a couple of sagging spots in the headliner and UV damage to the multifunction display, this cabin really impresses overall.
Under the bonnet, enthusiasts will know the RB20DE's reputation as being fun, frugal, and easy to service too! Better yet, this Laurel's is bolstered by NEO variable valve timing and is fresh off a recent service by our trained technicians. To start, we performed an oil and filter service and replaced the gaskets on the leaky valve covers. We also dropped in a new 12v battery to ensure this laurel cranks over the first time every time. The engine air filter and fuel filter were replaced as a bit of a preemptive tune up and this RB now runs right as rain. Acceleration is decent compared to its larger 2.5L brethren, and the automatic gearbox throws power rearward without hesitation. The driveline received a comprehensive refresh to ensure you won't come up short on handling. We installed new polyurethane rear control arm bushings, new ball joints in the rear lower arms, and installed new coilovers all the way around for good measure. While the Laurel handles fantastic and soars over larger road imperfections with ease, we did want to note the steering rack is seeping slightly. This one stops on a dime thanks to new brake pads in the front and rear, and we went ahead and wrapped the refinished rolling stock in fresh Falken rubber. Not only are the tires comfortable, they should last for a good while to come!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.