Most JDM enthusiasts only relate the Skyline name to the coupe body style Skylines. Some don’t see a Skyline sedan as a Skyline mainly because of two reasons. Very few Skylines have the RB26DETT, and simple because Skyline sedans have two doors.

Coupe Skylines might have the RB26DETT and other powerful engines. Still, most people forget that Nissan is the only manufacturer that made coupe and sedan versions of their sports car. You can’t get a 4-door Supra or a 4-door RX-7, so a Skyline sedan is still a Skyline. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

Affordable

Skyline sedans cost almost half the price that a coupe would cost. With the only significant difference being the engine type and power output, getting a Skyline sedan is better if you don’t care about the two extra doors. For example, you can easily pick up an R34 sedan for under $7,000. At the same time, a GT-R spec or any other coupe with a turbocharged engine costs almost 3 or 4 times that price. 

Reasonably fast

A Skyline sedan with a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine might not be as fast as a Subaru WRX STI or have a powerful V8 like the Toyota chaser, but it’s pretty quick. Most RB engines made around 150 to 250 horsepower at the time of production, which is more than enough for a car that weighs just under 3000 pounds. 

You can easily beat most modern sedans in a 25-year-old Skyline and rub it in them, knowing you got it for way cheaper, and it will outlive most of them. 

Highly tunable engine options

Apart from the looks, most people buy Skylines because of the RB engines. Getting an RB engine is easier than getting a 2JZ or a 1JZ due to the high number of Skylines produced with RB engines. There are also many variants of RB engines, more than any other JDM engine. 

Naturally aspirated RB engines are good for around 250 to 300 horsepower with stock internals. Suppose you decide to go for an engine overhaul, forged internals, and new supporting components. In that case, you might get around 500 horsepower from an engine made over 20 years ago. 

Higher displacement or turbocharged engines such as the RB25, RB26, and RB30 can easily make over 400 horsepower with the factory internals. However, ensure you check the engine before buying a turbocharger kit or any other modification or tune. 

RB engines sound good too when you straight-pipe the exhaust or replace the OEM exhaust with an aftermarket exhaust. If the engine is turbocharged, you’ll find yourself on and off the throttle to enjoy the turbo flutter. 

Great looking

Skyline sedans might not be as appealing as coupes. Still, they are among the best-looking JDM sedans, even with no significant cosmetic modifications. OEM and aftermarket parts are available to upgrade to a GT-R-looking sedan. If you prefer a minimalistic look, some wheels, an excellent paint job, and lowering the suspension on bags or coil-overs will suffice. 

Grey Nissan Skyline Sedan

GT-R parts are easy to come across in the market, but most are expensive, especially the GT-R wing. Suppose you don’t care that much about authenticity. In that case, aftermarket manufacturers make similar cheaper parts that might look better than the OEM parts. 

Black Nissan Skyline Sedan

More cabin and trunk space than a coupe 

Sedans are more spacious than coupes, but both are built on the same chassis and wheelbase. You can take your friends or family on a Skyline cruise more comfortably. Nothing beats that RB exhaust rumble as you cruise down the highway.  

Most sedans are stock 

Unlike coupes, most Skyline sedan owners keep them stock or with minimal mods only to replace the necessary failing OEM components. Maybe a turbocharger kit if it goes too far, but you’ll rarely find a Skyline with heavy cosmetic or performance modifications. 

 There is a high probability of finding a Skyline sedan with the original interior components such as the seat fabric, stereo steering wheel, and dashboard. Nissan made Skyline sedans mainly for buyers who wanted comfort and maybe a little performance. They aren’t quite abused as coupes. 

Cons

Most sedans were sold with an automatic transmission

Suppose you fancy a manual transmission in your dream Skyline sedan. In that case, you’ll have to look a little bit harder as most sedans come with an automatic transmission. Manual transmissions in sedans are mainly found on Skyline sedans with turbocharged engines or higher displacement engines like the RB25DE and RB26DE.

Even for a beginner, the 4-speed or 5-speed automatic transmission is not as responsive as one would like. You have to budget for a manual transmission swap with time, especially if you plan to increase the engine’s power output. Old automatic transmissions wear out quicker if you increase power output.  

Attracts attention from law enforcement and thieves

A Skyline is always a Skyline, whether a sedan or a coupe. Depending on your state, law enforcement might always be on you. Remember to keep all documentation when in your car regardless of whether you are doing a quick run to the store or an upcountry road trip. Your car might be impounded or even crushed according to the laws of your state

Skylines are hotcakes in the JDM car market, and leaving your vehicle in an unsecured parking space puts it at the risk of being stolen or stripped of parts. Having an alarm system installed is one of the ways you can prevent this, but it isn’t 100% thug-proof. Ensure that you always park in an enclosed parking spot or a parking spot with surveillance.  

Average Prices

Prices for a Nissan Skyline sedan start at approximately $7,000, and there’s a chance you can get one for under $5,000 but with minor issues that need working on. Compared to other JDM sedans, that is a bargain since there are too many things you can do with a Skyline sedan. 

It might not be a show car like its bigger brother, Nissan President, but it makes a goof tuner car, drift car, or a daily driver car that you can use to drop off your kids at school. How cool can it be being dropped off at school or turning up at your workplace in a Skyline? 

If you are looking for a drift car to buy and build on a budget, a Skyline sedan should be on the top of your list, especially if it’s an R33 or an R34. These came standard with an LSD, but you’ll need to install a stronger one, which will cost less than installing an LSD on a car that didn’t have one from the factory. 

Red Nissan Skyline Sedan

View Nissan Skyline Sedan Ads for sale 

Comparable Alternatives

Best Nissan Skyline Sedan Models

If you have already decided to buy a Skyline sedan, you should get an R32, R33, or R34. However, there are older Skyline generations which you can also buy if you are more into classics. Most of these in the market have RB swaps from Nissans produced with RB engines. 

Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R

White Nissan Skyline Sedan

The Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R (C10) was the only Skyline GT-R sold in sedan and coupe body styles throughout the Skyline generations. It has a 2.0-litre inline-six (L20) but with dual overhead camshafts instead of a single overhead camshaft in the standard L20 engine used on base-spec models. L20 engines are not as powerful as the 2000 GT-R had only 160 horsepower at production. 

If you are looking for a project car to restore and use or sell, early generations of the Nissan Skyline are the perfect fit. The engines used can barely make 300 horsepower, and you’ll need to pour loads of cash to get to that. You’ll also have to upgrade the axles, suspension, wheels, and every component that is bound to break due to power output increase. 

White Nissan Skyline Sedan open hood

Most early gen Skylines on the road today have RB engines and other components from later gen Skylines, such as suspension components and transmission. But you’ll rarely see them on the streets compared to an R33 Skyline sedan or an S14 Silvia, as most owners prefer to preserve them as show cars or collectibles. 

Nissan Skyline R31

Nissan Skyline R31 Sedan

RB engines were first used in the R31 Skyline in 1985 after the discontinuation of L-series engines. You can get one listed for under $1,000 or find one in a salvage yard and take out the RB engine if it’s still there. R31 Skylines are some of the cheapest RB builds but just like early gen Skylines, you have to put time, money, and work into one. 

The Skyline R31 was mainly sold with two RB engine options, RB20 and RB30. You can also get one with a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter CA engine and the 2.8-litre RD28 diesel. Turbo versions of the RB20 (RB20DET) can be found in the GT models and the Tommy Kaira edition R31. 

Purple Nissan Skyline R31 Sedan

Being RWD, you can build an R31 to drift specs, and the RB engines make suitable powerplants too. An LSD was also optional for the GT models, but you might have to change it due to wearing out. When drifting, you’ll also need a stronger diff too.  

RB engines used in the R31 made 150 to 220 horsepower, with the turbocharged RB20DET making the most power. All R31 Skylines were sold as sedans except the GTS model. This makes the sedans and wagons more affordable than the coupe models and easy to find replacement parts. 

Nissan Skyline R32

Grey Nissan Skyline R32 Sedan

More RB engine options were introduced in the R32 as the 1.8-liter CA engine was only used in the R32’s first 2 production years. The GT-R badge returned, but only coupes were sold as GT-Rs. However, you can get an AWD R32 Skyline sedan with the naturally aspirated version of the RB26DETT found in the GT-R. 

Base trim R32 GT models have the 2.0-litre RB20E or the RB20DE driving the rear wheels via a 4/5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Higher spec models get the RB20DET or the RB25DE, RWD, an LSD, and Super HICAS (Nissan’s rear-wheel-drive system). An AWD sedan, GTS-4, was the only AWD sedan, and it was also equipped with Super HICAS. 

The R32 is a common sight in the States as it was among the earliest Skylines that laws allowed to be imported legally. Getting parts for one is easy, and they are affordable due to the high number of manufacturers making them, and you can also get OEM parts from importers, or you can import straight from Japan. 

Learn more about the R32 Skyline in our buying guide.

Nissan Skyline R33

Black Nissan Skyline R32 Sedan

Apart from the visual upgrades, there’s not much difference between the R32 sedan and the R33 sedan. Safety was upgraded in the R33 as passenger and driver airbags were made standard, unlike in the R32, where buyers had to pay extra. This is an added advantage if you plan on taking a friend or your kid on a Skyline experience. 

Like the R32, base-spec models have the RB20E, but the RB20DE was replaced by the RB25DE. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual transmission was only used in the R33 GT-R.  

Learn more about the R33 Skyline in our buying guide.

Nissan Skyline R34

Wine Red Nissan Skyline R34 Sedan

Most will choose the R34 mainly because of its looks when all Skyline sedans are lined up. The R34 is one of the best-looking cars ever made, regardless of whether it’s a sedan or coupe. Nissan introduced the RB20DE-NEO and the RB25DE-NEO, which were more fuel-efficient than the standard spec RB20 and RB25 without compromising power output. 

The base trim GT has the RB20DE-NEO, while other models have the RB25DE and the RB25DET driving the rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic or 5/6-speed manual transmission. AWD was standard on the R34 25 GT-Four, and the 25-GTX and both models were equipped with an LSD instead of a viscous LSD which was standard on base-spec models.

Learn more about the R34 Skyline in our buying guide.

FAQ

Can I turn a Skyline sedan into a GT-R coupe? 

Mechanically, this is possible, but the amount of work, finances, and time required make the whole process not worth undertaking unless you are doing it as a solo project in your garage. This way, you’ll cut down the labour costs. It requires high levels of workmanship to ace such a project as you’ll have to relocate the pillars and almost everything else in the car.

Can I turn a Skyline sedan into a GT-R coupe?

Mechanically, this is possible, but the amount of work, finances, and time required make the whole process not worth undertaking unless you are doing it as a solo project in your garage. This way, you’ll cut down the labour costs. It requires high levels of workmanship to ace such a project as you’ll have to relocate the pillars and almost everything else in the car.

It’s not worth it when you think of tearing down a car to build another one with 2 doors less. If you want a Skyline coupe, why don’t you sell your sedan and buy a base-spec coupe with an RB25 or even an RB20, then build it to GT-R specifications?

The cheapest option if you want to turn your Skyline sedan into a “GT-R” is slapping an RB26 on it and doing cosmetic mods, which will leave it looking like a GT-R but with 4 doors, cool, right?

Is a Nissan Cefiro a Skyline?

No. Nissan independently produced the Cefiro as a sedan or station wagon, but it has a similar platform to the Skylines. However, the first-gen (A31) Cefiro made between 1988-1993 features RB engines mainly found on Skylines. Cefiros are cheaper than Skylines, so if you are tight on budget, you can also consider an A31 Cefiro as it was sold as RWD or AWD, just like the Skyline. 

Are Skyline sedans reliable?

Yes, Nissan Skylines, both coupe and sedans, have a reliability rating of 4.3/5.0, which is not bad for a car made 20 years ago by today’s standards. Keeping the engine stock or minor modifications will outlive most modern engines with regular maintenance.

Do Skyline sedans hold their value?

This depends on the amount of work you’ll put into it. Still, you cannot sell it for more than the market price unless it’s a special edition such as the Tommykaira R32 sedan. If you swap an RB26 and some GT-R parts onto your Skyline sedan, it’s likely to sell for more than the market prices, keep it clean stock, and just hold its value.

Is the R34 Skyline still illegal to import to the states?

Yes. If you plan to import an R34 Skyline, you’ll have to wait until 2024.

Do Skyline sedans have the same issues as coupes?

Yes, the only difference between the two is the body style. 
To read more about the common issue read our Ultimate Buyers Guide.

How to Import a Nissan Skyline Sedan

Read our Ultimate Guide, How to Import a Car from Japan.

  • Sources
    • Wikipedia.org. /wiki/Nissan_Skyline
    • Breakeryard.com
    • Youtube.com
    • Featured Image from Reddit/Imgur
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