1998 Nissan Primera SX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Just add fuel

Faults:

Electric window regulator failed on the driver's side.

General Comments:

Surely one of the most reliable and complete cars ever produced, I bought my Primera from a second hand dealer for 400 pounds, with a patchy service history but a lengthy MOT.

I used it everyday to transport myself, furniture, other people, rubbish to the tip and various other tasks, and it performed faultlessly and in relative comfort. The spec was fairly basic, but everything worked bar the electric window regulator, which I later discovered was one of the very few problems on the P11 Primera. Fuel economy was about 40 MPG with gentle driving, although it was a necessity to change down for long or steep hills.

The car was has a logical, well laid out dashboard and all the controls are easy to reach. Boot space was very impressive considering the car isn't particularly large. Rear legroom was also good according to any passengers sat in the back. The only downside I found on the Primera was the turning circle; I see other people have mentioned this. But the overriding memory of my time with the Primera was just how reliable it was. I would still be driving it now, but for the cost of replacing the rear brakes (discs, pads and calipers), so it was with much regret that it had to go, replaced by a Kia Shuma (see the appropriate review).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2015

1998 Nissan Primera Neo VVL 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

A seriously good wagon

Faults:

Air conditioning lost its gas all of a sudden.

Had a new engine mount and some CVT solenoid before I bought it.

Other than that, nothing at all.

General Comments:

It's a bit of a sleeper wagon really, looks like most other mid size sedans out there, but with a couple trim bits that make it look less granddad spec.

Interior looks classy and is comfortable. Driving position is good for me (180cm), seats are hard wearing and have a nice combination of supportive and soft for the type of vehicle. This interior is specific to the SR20VE powered versions, and I have found the standard ones to have seats which are too firm. Plastics are a high standard. There is plenty of room in the front, and the rear is sufficient for tall people.

I have manual converted this, and it is by far the best thing you can do to the car. The car felt OK, but nothing special when it had the CVT transmission (they are nice for an auto), but with the LSD manual box it is genuinely a quick car, even with a standard engine tune. Bottom end torque is like no other 2L I've driven, and it really feels like it's got a big donk under the bonnet. Top end is good, but with standard tune the VVL kicks in too late and the 7200 RPM rev limit is too low. An aftermarket tune fixes this issue. Wheelspin is an issue in the wet if you are lead footed, and in first gear on a dry road, will light it up, piece of cake.

Utilisation of space is good; in the rear there are storage compartments under the boot floor and on the sides, and the rear seats fold down flat to fit in bulky things, and two tall people could sleep comfortably in the back.

Handling is excellent, there is plenty of grip at the front end and the back, and this is on cheap tyres. Body roll is minimal and steering turn in is precise. The ride is firm but not uncomfortably hard; the car does not wallow at all. I drove it 1700km in two days, and felt like new at the end of it.

Only things I can think of that I would change, is have an adjustable steering column length, and a cable clutch instead of a hydraulic clutch, because the feel of a cable is much better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2013