1996 Nissan Primera SRi 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Generally excellent, who cares about the looks!


Windscreen slowly de-laminating in top corner of drivers side due to hidden corrosion. Properly restoring metal when the windscreen cracks will be expensive.

Leak in boot due to rear spoiler's fixing-adhesive denaturing. Now fixed.

Rear nearside passenger kicker-strip retainers broken.

Various minor repairs - CV boots, Silencer.

General Comments:

Note : This car is P10 model (older style - older interior, less rear legroom, no multi-link suspension, and looks like a horses @r$e)

Don't let the SRi badge and ridiculous spoilers fool you, it's only got average family-car performance, the 1.6 must be -very- underpowered, however...

It's a fantastic mile-eater, especially around twisting roads and hilly country. It handles well and gives you good feedback and confidence. Quite enjoyable to drive in fact.

The bucket seats are perfect and have good adjustment. The driving position is only bettered by the Passat. Anyone over 6' will find the headroom insufficient though.

V.Good build quality for '96, especially interior, plastic on dashboard is higher quality than later models!

Good gearing for motorway - It hums rather than screams.

Excellent value for money.

100% reliability.

Despite good build quality, I would prefer them to have used thicker grades of steel for the body panels. Don't go hitting any SAAB's.

The boot is enormous, even in my saloon version, luggage straps would have been nice though.

Turning circle is poor.

Stereo system is good, with excellent high-level (pillar mounted) tweeters, although bass is a bit weak.

I'm very fussy about my driving experiences and I'm quite happy to do another 100k in this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2002

26th Nov 2003, 09:54

The P10 model is the Primera that ran from around 1990 to 1996. After this it was the P11 from 1996 to 1999, I think. Then probably the P12. Clever people those Nissan chaps!

8th Apr 2004, 01:04

About 60,000 miles after posting that initial glowing report, my much loved Primera was shunted at the weekend and is now a write-off. :- (

Am now looking for another, although the build quality on later models doesn't look so good.

A moment of silence please...

3rd Aug 2004, 03:36

The problem with the heater that only runs on setting 4 is caused by the "Heater Rheostat". It will cost about £33 from Nissan dealer and takes no more than 10 minutes to fit. It's buried beyond the glove box...

25th Jan 2005, 05:54

I agree completely with the comment about the heater rheostat - its the only thing I can remember that's gone wrong with my 1996 2.0 p10 SRi 5 door since I bought it with 11k miles in '98. Now its done 120k and its still tight and rattle free.

The handling's great, still loves to go over 100 mph in 4th and the engine oil even stays clean between services.

Turning circle - never noticed a problem. Maybe that's because the power steering and gearbox are nice to use.

Unfortunately I'll have to sell it because I need an estate - someone will get a bargain for just several hundred quid!

1996 Nissan Primera eGT 2.0 from UK and Ireland


One of the best handling front wheel drive cars


Exhaust gasket between centre section and rear silencer has popped twice.

Radiator now decaying and refusing to pass coolant around the engine when heater flap set to cool.

Driver's seat creaking due to previous owners inability to abstain from cakes.

General Comments:

Don't be fooled by the eGT badge. It is not particularly quick. When you consider that cylinder pressures haven't changed that much over the last 30 years, manufacturers let their cars rev higher to generate BHP. It is a quick and high revving engine. Torque is just a memory from my Subaru days.

The handling is excellent for a front wheel drive car. Yes, it has ridiculously poor traction in the wet, but then so does every other front-drive car on this planet, but has very good anti-dive and anti-squat geometry. Torque steer is well muted too. Passive oversteer is available. Terminal understeer will result in damp conditions if care is not taken in setting the car up for corners. There is very little evidence of body roll. The shell feels taught with only minimal discernable twist when pressing on. Rear suspension geometry exhibits passive steer under roll and can generate come quite improbable cornering loads. Very amusing.

The brakes have excellent bite, the steering good ‘feel’ and the clutch a commendably short travel. The gear change is short too, although it’s possible to outpace the syncromeshes when excited.

The rear suspension is mounted to an empty diff cradle, which brings me to my only real gripe. This car would be perfectly fabulous of Nissan saw to fill that diff cradle and make it rear wheel drive. As it is, the only real shortcomings with it are those pertaining to front wheel drive. This may not unduly concern you, as most people today are unable to feel any difference and base their purchases on the ‘tinsel factor’ whereas I like to giggle when I drive. On reflection, more torque would have ruined it’s handling to engine balance.

The suspension is 'exotic' because it was required for homologation into the BTCC in the mid to late 90's. The later cars that weren't raced have a much simpler (and inferior) affair.

The ride can be a little firm and can jar on rougher roads. If you want “relaxing” then this vehicle isn’t suitable.

Insurance ridiculously expensive (more than my Subaru Legacy Turbo) and quite disproportionate to vehicles performance. This would perhaps indicate the claims made for this car by other drivers and hence the sort of people who buy it.

I’ve fitted an LPG conversion and it works rather well. The spacious boot contains a 100 litre LPG cylinder, giving a range on gas of about 500 miles. On LPG and empty, challenging roads, economy works out about 27 mpg. On petrol, reckon on seeing low 30’s.

Nissan dealer is marvellous. They collect the car from home and return it when done. I’ve used them for about 4 years and would recommend them to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2002

6th Jun 2002, 07:19

A refreshingly thorough review. There are a few points/questions that I would like to raise though...

I think the exhaust on the Primera may be a weak spot. What are the symptoms of the exhaust gasket going? Could it be mistaken for a loud sounding engine?

Does anyone else find the steering wheel too big and the rim size too thin? Does the eGT have a smaller steering wheel than other sporting P10 Primera models?

Terminal under-steer in the damp can often happen with rear wheel drive cars. Some of the less sporty "family" models have a setup biased heavily towards under-steer to prevent power over-steer on a damp shopping trip with granny! I find with the Primera that it will over-steer before it runs into the hedge or lamppost. I demonstrated this last winter when I hit a patch of black ice mid turn. I lifted off, cranked in more lock and the back end swung out making it easy to slot through the narrow gap between traffic island and pavement. I went happily on my way. If you keep the power on it probably will keep under-steering - a symptom of front drive.

How noisy is the eGT engine? Is it worse than the standard models?