NEWS: Nissan ends run of the Tsuru in Mexico

Nissan has announced that it will be discontinuing the B13 Sentra. Wait, Didn’t that happen 22 years ago? Yes, but the car was so popular they had to do it again.

Despite having been introduced 25 years ago, the B13 Sentra is still (for now) being built and sold in Mexico as the Tsuru. It’s gone on to amass a rack of awards and has won the hearts of the Mexican populace as a cheap and cheerful form of transportation.

Unfortunately a crash test performed under by global NCAP in 2016 revealed how poorly the Tsuru fared against a modern US-spec Nissan Versa. The Tsuru returned a paltry 0/5 stars with a near guaranteed fatal result for the Tsuru driver. According to NCAP, the number of road deaths involving a Tsuru is about 4,000 deaths per year since 1992, a higher murder rate than the Sinoloa Drug Cartel.

While the Tsuru may be dated, it has always had mass appeal. The B13 is one of the only Sentra generations which was universally loved. Popular not only with drivers of South America, but with the FWD performance crowd embracing the SR20DE powered SE-R. It was even was quite popular with the mini truck and lowrider crowds in the early 90s.

After the Sentra moved onto the B14 generation in the US, it was continued in Mexico under the Tsuru name as a more modern option to the air cooled Beetle. The Tsuru has received moderate exterior upgrades and modernized interior features in the years following, but mechanically it’s largely the same, only receiving a Renault transmission thanks to benevolent overlord Carlos Ghosn. It was the best selling car in Mexico until 2011 but has since retained podium position behind the Jetta.

If you feel like you’ve seen an abundance of B13 Sentras In SoCal or other southwest states, it is because Tsurus have been brought to the United States on occasion. Don’t attempt to get one registered, however, because we still have to wait for the 25 year law to either be abolished (as it should be) or until this car hits that mark. For those of you who are interested in getting one of these few last homages to the B13 and can register it outside of the United States, Nissan is letting it go with a bang.

The 2017 Nissan Tsuru Buen Camino (“good way” in Spanish), as it will be called, will be as close to a collector’s Tsuru as you can get with a car known mostly as a taxicab. Special Orion Blue paint will be complimented by a Buen Camino badge, dark gray hubcaps and a chrome exhaust tip. The interior will have a gray and blue two-tone, a modern AM/FM/CD/USB stereo and hands free Bluetooth. Finally, customers will receive a commemorative plaque, along with a thank you letter from Nissan and a special keychain.

This is as good of a proper send off as possible for the Tsuru. Despite its safety performance, a car like this is instrumental in the mobility of the developing world. A common, accessible chassis also fosters the growth of car enthusiasts in the developing world, which is good for all petrol heads. Adios, Tsuru.

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15 Responses to NEWS: Nissan ends run of the Tsuru in Mexico

  1. M1abrams said:

    “4000 fatalities per year since 1992.” That works out to about 100,000 deaths. That’s either a typo or this car is a killing machine.

  2. SHC said:

    Wouldn’t the ambulance chasing lawyers in the U.S. have a field day with this Nissan given it’s lack of crashworthiness.

  3. Leo said:

    4000 deaths a year.. Isnt that much compared to how many people drives this lovely cars.. Do the math.

  4. Joe Hornberger said:

    I really wish they would focus less on safe vehicles and more on safe DRIVERS. You could wrap someone in bubble wrap, put them in an old Volvo 240 series wagon filled with packing peanuts; and if the operator of this or another car screws up enough, someone can still die. Oh, we might have better drivers if we produced more cheap, fun cars that people would care about. It seems every country in the world is trying to kill fun, basic transportation because we can’t stop texting and driving. And focusing on autonomous cars will NOT help one bit. We already have cars that can park themselves! Parallel parking and shifting your own gears with a 3rd pedal is a lost art. Sigh…

  5. Omar Reid said:

    Damn! I am all the way in the Caribbean (Jamaica) with my B13 and struggle to get parts. I didn’t know they were still being built. Wish I could find a way to get parts from Mexico. Help someone? Lol you can contact me via email. akingirm@hotmail.com or Gmail thanks in advance

    • CelicArt said:

      You can get parts for those hunkers here almost at drugstores and stationery stores!!! Lol I live in the city where they are produced what do you need? Guess we can use regular mail, it’s slow but cheap and it works, my e-mail: daniel.leon.hw@gmail.com

  6. Joe Lee said:

    I am compelled to respond to this one. Really, Ryan, you think an automobile accident possibly resulting in a fatality would be “murder”? Not the kind of thinking suitable for an objective reporter – a supposed automotive reporter to boot. Furthermore, it hardly registers worth consideration when placed against the estimated 250,000 ‘accidental’ deaths per year for the US medical industry.

    Don’t blame the car or the maker for poor outcomes due to user error.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/03/researchers-medical-errors-now-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-united-states/

  7. Randy said:

    I’m with Joe on this: Focus on the driver.

    I know nothing about driving in these countries, but if they’re anything like we see on youtube… Maybe they consider road markers as just a suggestion? Lots of variables.

    I doubt there were 4,000/yr. in the States when they were new, and also without the doo-dads we have today… Maybe we’re just getting dumber.

  8. Tom Westmacott said:

    If there are 24,000 road deaths a year in Mexico, and the Tsuru has been the best-selling car for decades, then for 4,000 of them to involve a Tsuru isn’t that surprising. Other factors like the ability to get a driving licence without taking a test, or pedestrians wandering into the road, probably have more to do with it than any inherent dangers in the car itself.

    Methinks the poor old Tsuru has been fitted up by the dodgy police, played in this case by NCAP.

    (see http://www.economist.com/node/21531484 for the dangers of Mexican roads)

  9. ish said:

    I was just wondering about this. Just got back from Peru and these things were everywhere! Id say 1/4 of the cars there are B13 sentras or E110 Corollas. You could see 3 of them on the road at any time. I assumed that they were still being made somewhere.

  10. Kyle said:

    I live in San Antonio, TX (pretty close to Mexico), and there was a guy who drove a Nissan Tsuru at my old apartment complex. I thought it was an old Sentra for the longest time, then I saw the Tsuru badge and was like, “What the hell is that?” That was about 5 years ago and the first time I heard of the Tsuru. I don’t know how this guy had Texas plates and registration on it (probably registered it as a Sentra), but he did.

  11. César said:

    Hello!!!

    Here in Chile is a very liked car, but the name is “Nissan V16”, is used by taxi drivers and common people, good engine, economic in fuel, the replace parts are no expensive and some pimp the car.

    2 engines: the 16 valve and 8 valve (nickname “tapa roja” engine), automatic and manual transmission.

    I really sorry for this new.

    Saludos desde Santiago de Chile.

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