1997 Nissan Primera SLX 1.6 GA16DE


Left side drive-shaft snapped at 250k.

Left side rear spring plate split at 260k.

Distributor and starter had to be replaced at 270k.

Depression hose crumbled at 270k.

General Comments:

Handling was good, was very stable even at high speeds, and there was good feeling of the road, without requiring you to steer all the time. Also, was stable on icy roads with studded tires.

Noise level was OK - a Toyota Avensis is quieter, but the 2008 Auris has more interior noise.

The 1.6 gasoline engine doesn't have much torque in the low end, and with the gearbox having long ratios, performance can only be found by revving the engine to high rpms. On the other hand, fuel economy is quite good, about 7 l/100km.

Headlights were quite dim, even after replacing them (voltages were OK).

Driver's seat gives some leg support even for tall persons, and has lot of adjustment possibilities.

Rear seat is quite comfortable for its size and age.

SLX equipment spec was good for its age, too: AC, electric windows front & rear, electric & heated mirrors, heated seats. Aftermarket (SCS frigette) cruise-control couldn't keep speed constant, but that wasn't Nissan's fault.

Despite the problems, the overall feeling was positive. When a car has close to 300k km on its odometer, you can expect a couple of things to blow up every once in a while.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2011

1997 Nissan Primera SLX sedan 1.6i 74kW


Nice for long trips


Left side rear shock absorber snapped (replaced both sides, usual when a car has this many kilometers behind it).

Left side drive shaft snapped around 258000 km.

General Comments:

Performance is not very good with the 74 kW engine, especially because low rpm torque is weak and gear ratios are long. It wakes nicely around 4000 rpm, so relatively quick acceleration is possible, if you put in a low enough gear.

In city driving, it's not very agile because of the large turning radius, aforementioned weak low rpm torque, and long gear ratios.

In highway driving, it's very stable and not noisy.

Headlights give out lot of light, and the pattern is good, concentrating light around the edges and right side.

Reliability: I'd would say about average or slightly better for a car of this age and km.

SLX equipment level is quite generous for year 1997: 2 airbags, 4 power windows, heated power mirrors, heated seats + optional A/C and cruise.

Fuel consumption is good: about 6.5 to 7.5 l/km.

Liftback body style would be superior to the sedan, as even though you can fold the rear seat also in sedan, the gap between the trunk and cabin will remain tight + there is a rear window wiper in the liftback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th August, 2010

1995 Nissan Primera SLX 1.6i


Reliable, well handling car at a very good value!


Alternator burned (stator burned-not brush fault!) at 220 000km. According dealer a common problem with 1.6 engines, but NOT on 2.0 engines of this year. Apparently different sub suppliers or design.

Heater was performing very poorly, and according previous owner he had it for service several times for same thing. After some hours of investigation found it a simple problem to correct: The sleeve of the operating wire to the "hot/cold valve" (behind the radio) was only held in place by a clip, so was moving with wire and not allowing full opening and full closing of valve. Tightened it with 2 plastic tie-wraps and got wonderful heating. 1 year ago, and problem not repeated.

Connectors for headlights both burned/ poor connection with a few months apart. Easy to change and just a few Eur.

General Comments:

Overall very happy with the car.

Very reliable and starts easy in the cold Finnish winter.

Engine not powerful, but adequate - fuel economy great! Handles surprisingly well..."too sporty" handling for those wishing a more soft and comfortable ride (like my dad).

Was body coated / tectyl when new, and so far no rust signs (!) Pretty impressive for a 10 year old Japanese car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2006

15th Jun 2006, 15:18

I had similar problem with burned alternator, and 1,6 engine. Shop guy told root cause was Nissan designers under-protecting their alternator - alternator starts to overheat when trying to reach nominal voltage for battery... suited perfect with me finding the battery notingly weak for several months before alternator burned... and even needing start help a couple of times... so keep an eye on battery, and don't wait too long (like I did) if it starts to be cranky...