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Market Report: Mid-1990s Japanese Sports Cars

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2017

As you probably know, the 1990s were an exciting time for enthusiasts of Japanese cars. This is because the Japanese -- while simultaneously focusing on dull, normal cars regular people could buy -- were coming out with a wide range of exciting sports cars. Basically every Japanese automaker had a sports car in the 1990s, and some had more than one. And now those sports cars are almost 20 years old, and they're starting to be viewed as collectible. So here's a market report on the current pricing status of the mid-1990s Japanese sports cars we all knew, loved and lusted over.

1991-1999 Acura NSX

1991-1999 Acura NSX

Although the NSX was made (largely unchanged except for facelifts and evolutions) through 2005, I've capped the years to 1999, as this is a listing of 1990s sports cars. Sold new since 1991, the NSX was always on a higher level than rivals like the Mazda RX-7 or Mitsubishi 3000GT, and it's maintained that position on the used market: The average asking price for a 1991-1999 NSX is over $62,000 and climbing fast. Narrow the search to a stick-shift and prices go even higher, with the average asking price topping $65,000. Interestingly, these higher prices aren't limited to later models with more power: Even 1991-1995 NSX models, before the first facelift and the removable roof panel, are averaging ask prices of more than $63,000.

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1993-1995 Mazda RX-7

1993-1995 Mazda RX-7

The 1993-1995 Mazda RX-7, known as the "FD" model, is becoming more valuable due to its gorgeous styling, its lightweight construction and its rarity, as the last-generation RX-7 was sold in the United States for just 3 years. Even though it had just 255 horsepower, the RX-7 was a special car -- its beautiful looks aside, it'll always be known for that rotary engine. The average asking price of an "FD" RX-7 on Autotrader is currently just under $29,000, but ultra-clean low-mileage models are well into the low- to mid-$40,000 range.

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1991-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT

1991-1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT

There are several reasons the 3000GT never quite developed the same interest and excitement as some of the other models on this list. One is that Mitsubishi produced it for longer than any car listed here other than the NSX, which played in a different league anyway. Another is that Mitsubishi sold many 3000GT models in base- or SL-level trim, which meant front-wheel drive and an underpowered engine. Then there was the car's heavy weight and aggressive styling, which hasn't aged well. Proof of this lack of interest is in the asking prices: The average asking price for a 3000GT on Autotrader today is just $10,800 -- a far cry from cars like the RX-7 or Supra. Narrow the search to the top-level VR-4 model, and prices only climb a bit -- to an average asking price of $13,300. The only 3000GT that commands respectably high asking prices is the ultra-rare Spyder model, which used a power-folding hardtop; the average asking price for a 3000GT Spyder is $24,400.

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1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX

1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX

The 300ZX was among the most popular 1990s Japanese sports cars, and it offered two engines: a 222-hp V6 or a 300-hp turbo V6. The average asking price for a 1990s 300ZX is edging up, as it's now $12,500 -- higher than the 3000GT and higher still if you limit your search to a Turbo ($14,900) or a manual Turbo ($15,300). Still, the 300ZX never took off like the NSX, RX-7 or Supra, largely due to its heavy weight and huge production numbers compared to those models. It's also worth noting that the 4-seater 300ZX, dubbed the 2+2, further lowered values, as it's considered relatively undesirable in the used market compared to the regular coupe.

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1992-1997 Subaru SVX

1992-1997 Subaru SVX

Although the Subaru SVX rarely gets mentioned with the rest of these 1990s sports cars, it was a big deal for Subaru at the time: No, it didn't have 300-plus horsepower like the 3000GT or the 300ZX, but it was the most powerful model they ever made. Unfortunately, that led to predictable results; namely, SVX transmissions (all used a 4-speed automatic) famously don't hold up over time, which has led to far too many SVXs being junked. The average asking price for an SVX on Autotrader right now is just $5,000, which is a fairly good deal considering the car's funky styling. Buy an SVX and a transmission swap may be in your future, though.

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1993-1998 Toyota Supra

1993-1998 Toyota Supra

The Supra has emerged from the world of mid-1990s Japanese sports cars as the God among mere mortals -- unless you count the NSX, which was on a higher level than the rest of this list from day one. Revered for its styling, its immense ability to be tuned for big horsepower, and its "The Fast and the Furious" movie placement, the "MkIV" Supra isn't cheap: The average asking price on Autotrader is nearly $53,000. Automatic models are cheaper -- they're averaging only $48,000 -- and so are non-Turbo Supra models, but basically any fourth-generation Supra is going to be big bucks.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Market Report: Mid-1990s Japanese Sports Cars - Autotrader