Datsun 100A Reviews

1975 Datsun 100A Estate 998cc from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 998cc Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.5 / 10
Distance when acquired18500 miles
Most recent distance20500 miles
Previous carDatsun 100A

Summary:

Cheap runaround, but watch the rust and cooling system

Faults:

Buying a car of this age is often a gamble, this particular car needed work on the cooling system after a few years of inactivity.

Unusually for a Datsun of this age it is rust free, but I don't tend to use it during the winter.

Asides from very minor faults, a good one should prove hassle free.

The brakes are fairly poor too.

General Comments:

Cheap to run, insure and buy, and due to its basic engine layout a great way to learn about simple engines. Access to the engine is excellent. Body parts are a bit thin on the ground, but can be found via the owners club. Mechanical parts are fairly easy to buy.

This car is not recommended for longer distances, particularly motorways. The engine whine is tiresome at speeds over 50mph and the seats are lack support. However in town it really keeps up with modern traffic, easy to park, excellent turning circle with a light precise feel to the steering. The gearbox is occasionally notchy, but is precise enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2003

1975 Datsun 100A 2-door L 988cc petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership1975
Most recent year of ownership1979
Engine and transmission 988cc petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance55000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Bargain small car for its day

Faults:

Front hub bearing failed.

Carburetter (Nikki) idle air-jet unscrewed itself.

Some rust on chromium bumbers appeared very early in the car's life.

Blew a head gasket at 40000 miles.

Gearbox needed SAE20W50 oil, otherwise would not engage second gear when cold.

General Comments:

Excellent small car spoiled only by poor interior packaging and excessive gear whine. Very well assembled and painted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2002

1976 Datsun 100A E10 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired63000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles

Summary:

An inexpensive and individual vehicle

Faults:

The fuel pump failed. Unfortunately, the problem caused three breakdowns before it was correctly diagnosed. On hot days the engine would die at idle speeds as a result of fuel starvation. As the engine cooled, the problem appeared to correct itself and the car would re-start. The replacement pump cost approximately £40 from a Nissan garage and took ten minutes to replace (2 bolts). No further mechanical problems were experienced.

The rear wheel arches suffered from rust and needed some minor welding.

General Comments:

The car was individual, reliable for its age and, very inexpensive to run. Insurance was less than £100 per year for a male under 25 (in 1994). The car returned over 50 miles to the gallon if driven carefully, and cost just £100 in parts / repairs to keep on the road for 3 years. In addition I had the oil changed every 5000 miles.

Although performance was never the 100A's strong point, it could keep up with modern traffic to speeds of about 40 miles per hour. Any faster, and the car struggled a bit.

For a small car, the interior was very spacious and the car was surprisingly comfortable on long journeys. The cabin was a little noisy at speeds much over 55 mph.

The steering was light and responsive, and the visibility was excellent.

The only irritating feature on the car was the stay which held the boot lid open and needed to be manually released before the boot could be closed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2001

26th Aug 2001, 15:55

We had a similar problem with our '79 B310 Sunny 140Y. The petrol filter became blocked, which meant petrol couldn't get through, leading to the car stalling and cutting out, although it never actually completely broke down.

Apart from that, it's been brilliant. Gets a few stares now because of its age, and also because there are so few about.

Rust is a problem, but then it's an old car. I myself have been looking for a 100A E10 saloon for my first car. Went to look at one, but didn't buy it as it needed much restoration. Are you in the Datsun Owners Club, e-mail me if you want :)

cherry_datsun@yahoo.com

1976 Datsun 100A 2 door L 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance93000 miles
Previous carPeugeot 204

Summary:

A charismatic cheap individual runabout!

Faults:

February 2000, I unfortunately blew the engine up! Due to the sump losing a lot of oil on the A34. Bearing in mind there are less than 90 working examples left in the country, I managed to locate a dead 100A and successfully did a engine transplant.

Other than this, the car needs a little wielding to get it legal for its MOT.

Nothing else has gone wrong with this marvellous little car in the 8 months I've owned it, but I don't fancy my chances in an event of an accident....

General Comments:

The Datsun owners club are a great help with locating parts and advice. Not surprisingly there is no snobbery or elitism amongst its many members.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2000

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 4 reviews