1997 Nissan Vanette Cargo P3 2.3 diesel


After the first 15000 kms the differential had a very strange noise (The partly self-locking diff wasn't filled up with the correct amount, and make of oil). The dealer fixed it, but it only needed a week and it started from the beginning (they should have changed it, but they are still messing around, with strange ideas).

We also had problems with the gearbox as well. It was very hard work to get it in the gear you wanted. The dealers (because I have tried 3 different) appeared to be awful.

We also found these dealer services awfully expensive. I'm a car mechanic. I'm working with Alfas, Lancias, Fiats. I know that even these sporty Italian cars are a lot cheaper to service (roughly a third).

But the engine is the best part of the Vanette (2.3 naturally asp. Diesel). Stronger than expected, reliable, low on fuel, like a dream come true.

I think the only reason I will never buy a Nissan again is the dealers. It's a pity.

General Comments:

A useful, large vehicle, with a good engine. The optional rear seats are less comfy for longer distance, than the front ones. It can carry 1000 kgs without a problem. The most fantastic thing is, that even full loaded it only needed 7.5 litres/100 kms (average speed around 100km/h).

If you have one, do NOT take it to original dealers!! They are worth nothing. I am going to do it by myself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 1999

16th Oct 2004, 16:38

I also own a "P" Reg Vanette Cargo. I find it extremely good for towing and when in traffic jams due to the very low first and second gears. You can put it in first gear; take your foot off the throttle and relax. This vehicle will then dawdle at the same speed as the stationary traffic. That's amazing. No more good points, but that same very low gearing makes this van very noisy and very thirsty at anything over 45mph. The next big issue is the extortionate cost of parts. Gear linkage cables and air intake hose prices take the biscuit here. Would I buy another? Definitely NO.

6th Apr 2005, 12:10

I own since 1999 a secondhand Vanette from 1996, and had no problems with the van until this year. Then the problems really started. I had to overhaul the engine, which set me back around €3000, and in less than 3 weeks time I had a short-circuit, which caused a fire under the hood. When I went to the dealer to ask him about repairs, he said it would be waste of time, and the cost would be too high.

I then decided to fix it myself, but could not get a maintenance manual from the dealer. Is there anyone who has this manual, and could inform me? refra@refra.nl

31st Jul 2010, 02:47

Did you find a service manual? I am also looking for a manual.

3rd Sep 2011, 00:33

There is no service manual available, unfortunately!

24th Sep 2011, 15:35

1st Feb 2012, 06:04

Does anybody know the best engine oil to run it on, specifically just the weight?

Also, has anyone had any problems with the gear linkages?