2001 Nissan Avenir Blastar W11 SR20DE 2.0L inline four from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Worth the money for under $4k NZD

Faults:

Slipping noise/feeling when taking off at low speed. Had the CVT looked at by a specialist who couldn't find anything wrong... Other than the fact that the factory transmission fluid was still in the car (after 174'000KM!!!). Had this issue since purchase, but hasn't affected performance or anything.

Starter motor started to die at 191'000KM. Had it reconditioned at a cost of $350NZD from the Nissan dealer. Works like new now.

General Comments:

Nice and roomy, the middle seats fold down completely flat, which makes it ideal for carrying large loads. I've used the roof rack to carry loads as well, which adds to the appeal for snowboarders/skiers/surfers etc. Have had it packed to the brim with gear and it still runs okay.

Not very good fuel economy. Surprising thirsty actually! Does about 10L/100KM, which is right up there with 3L V6 engines (CVT transmission to blame?).

Dual-front airbags and ABS means it's in the cheapest registration category in New Zealand (so rego is about $110 a year). Insurance is about standard $30 a month (insured for $3k).

The turning circle on it is an absolute pig!! Be prepared for a lot of 3+ point turns. You find better turning circles on most vans/trucks than you do for the Avenir. At least it's easy to see out of the vehicle with a nice even height for the windows all around the vehicle.

Dual-door boot is a bonus. Works with your car key at the rear or a switch on the driver's side. Nice and handy for loading groceries etc.

Decent ground clearance - however the rear sags a bit. Due to this I've had a lot of scrapes on the concrete/kerbs.

CVT transmission seems to be the failing point of these vehicles. Go for a manual or traditional automatic option if you can.

The 2002 Avenir Blastar has the SR20DE and is the last year that this engine was used. Makes it very common/cheap to get parts from the likes of wrecked Bluebirds/Pulsars/etc. Chain-driven cams is a nice bonus too.

The Avenir Blastar has the nicer interior and the ATTESA system for engaging 4WD in slippery conditions. Haven't had to use it yet, but it's a nice bonus.

All-in-all it has been a great family car. Having the extra space is a huge bonus, especially for a young family (strollers/baby gear/camping gear etc.) Fuel economy and ease-of-use leave a bit to be desired, but for the price you get reliability and convenience. A good trade-off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2016

1996 Nissan Avenir Salut X GT SR20DET (2.0 litre turbo) from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

It's a boy racer/tourer/family car all in one.. Masterpiece A+

Faults:

Note that the SR20 engines have lines under the rocker cover that drip oil onto the cams, and the holes in those lines block-up.

So when you buy a vehicle that has a SR20 in it, take off the rocker cover and remove the lines, soak them in petrol, blow the lines out with an air compressor, and change the oil and filter.

If you do this, then these engines will last forever.

When I first purchased my Avenir, my friend told me to do all of the above and I ignored him. Then 7 months down the track and the lines blocked up and caused huge problems.

And eventually my bottom end bearing went (very likely to be unrelated to the oil lines, but ya never know).

General Comments:

I loved this car and will be getting one in the very near future.

The ultimate sleeper, I have beat so many boy racer cars. And I had a full carload of mates!! =p

I found it quite a surprise to see that it had a reasonable sized front mount intercooler (bigger than factory EVO 3 ones).

It's a let-down that Nissan only brought these out in automatic, but on the up-side it has Attessa 4WD (50:50 split), which lets it do some awesome helicopters and even the occasional drift if you're skilled enough =)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2009