1996 Nissan Bluebird Reviews

1996 Nissan Bluebird LX KA24DE 2.4L DOHC from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission KA24DE 2.4L DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 kilometres
Most recent distance141000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Pulsar

Summary:

Very reliable, comfortable, great engine and good value

Faults:

Distributor failed at around 135,000kms, was about $300 to replace. Other than that absolutely nothing has gone wrong in the 2.5 years I've owned the car.

General Comments:

The Bluebird really is a great car; it's not so big that you have trouble parking it in the city, and yet not so small that you can't fit people and luggage in it.

Even the base model LX that I have comes standard with power windows, mirrors, central locking, airbag, etc. so even 11 years on it's got all the basic stuff that you need. I went for the LX model mainly because it is cheaper to buy and insure than the SSS model.

The 2.4L KA24DE is a reliable and quite powerful engine, with plenty of torque for getting up hills, etc. I've serviced it myself every 5,000kms and haven't experienced any hassles except the 1 problem mentioned above. It never burns or leaks any oil, and never seems to get hot, no matter what I throw at it.

The car's interior is comfortable and definitely not as flimsy as I've seen in other cars (Commodore for example). All the controls have a solid feel to them.

Fuel economy isn't bad, obviously it is going to use more than a small 1.6L or something, but it's really not that much more, I average around 10L/100kms, and around 8L/100kms on the highway.

The only negative I have with regards to the car is that the suspension is just a bit too soft. Obviously some of this softness is due to the kms the car has done, but from what I've heard the Bluebirds had suspension from the factory that most people thought was a little soft. You most likely won't even notice it though unless you go over a speed bump or push it around a corner.

I definitely recommend the Bluebird for a good value daily driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2007

1996 Nissan Bluebird SSS 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired205000 kilometres
Most recent distance207000 kilometres
Previous carMazda 323

Summary:

Never goes wrong, but bores me to tears

Faults:

Nothing!! Chain instead of cam-belt so very reliable, you can give the SR-20-DE engine hell and it will come back and ask for more.

General Comments:

Quite quick for a 2 litre, and also pretty economical. I get around 400kms to a tank, and I'm a bit lead footed...

However the suspension is very stiff and can get annoying around town (I live around a LOT of judder bars)

Even though the SSS models are supposed to be sporty, the under-steer in these cars is quite annoying. The car doesn't particularly enjoy corners, even at reasonably low speeds the tyres squeal and draw attention.

Interior is in great condition, but averagely designed with lots of fake wood. Stereo is pretty decent though. And the sound-proofing is phenomenal for a non-luxury car (which sucks if you like the sound of the engine)

If you want a workhorse that is a bit sportier than most softly slung family sedans, this is the car for you - quick, easy to drive, looks the part and will never, ever break down. But not the best purchase if you actually enjoy driving hard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2005

23rd Jun 2006, 01:54

Probably is in NZ, so is infact a U14 (Square as opposed to the U13 Bubble), so is indeed a SR20DE 2Litre.

9th Jul 2006, 05:21

Yeah it sounds like the Bluebird is indeed in New Zealand as was mentioned above. Most of the models they got around the same time had either 1.8 or 2.0 litre engines it seems.

16th Jun 2009, 07:52

I Have a twin turbo 1996 U14 Bluebird SSS in Australia and cannot find the right parts. Anyone who can help with a clutch kit and windows, please call me 61405475509.

7th Nov 2009, 18:31

It's a fair bet to say that the reviewer is from New Zealand. For starters, he or she mentioned that their car had the SR20DE engine, which is indeed, the 2 litre DOHC 4, with EFI, as per standard NZ new specification.

Secondly, they also stated that they lived in an area with a lot of 'judder bars,' the term 'judder bars' is New Zealand English for speed bumps/humps.

16th Nov 2009, 09:28

I am in Swaziland. I have this beauty (HU14 1996) but can't get the right parts. I had to wait for over two months for a sideview mirror from Japan. This time the windscreen took knock from a flying stone and has a crack. Second hand Japanese car dealers tell me they cannot get me one from Japan. Help! Where can I get a new front window or even a used one.

28th Jun 2013, 15:05

I am a NZ owner of a 93 Bluebird with 200000 Ks (my son drives this, and it's been fantastic in terms of reliability). I am driving a 96 Bluebird with 58000 Ks, and look forward to many years of excellent service. Mine has airbags and ABS, which is really the only difference apart from being a bit quieter (being newer).

1996 Nissan Bluebird LX 2.4 DOHC from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.4 DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 kilometres
Most recent distance150000 kilometres
Previous carMazda 626

Summary:

Very very good car

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

Not as quiet or as smooth to drive as previous cars I have owned.

By far the most reliable vehicle I have had for myself or of anyone I know.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2005

1st Mar 2005, 03:44

Have to agree with all the comments I've seen about the Bluebird. Bought one for £300 and have got 5 years and 50,000 miles of trouble free motoring.

Keep waiting for an excuse to get something a bit newer, but the thing appears to be indestructible.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 3 reviews