1998 Nissan Primera GT 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland
Quick, comfortable and reliable
Strange rumbling noise at 30mph, traced to pitted tyres.
Drivers door rattles as though something is loose inside.
Rust blisters around the rear spoiler.
Whirring noise around 50mph as though a wheel bearing is worn, although these have been checked.
For a 2.0 petrol car it is incredibly economical when used as a motorway car, where it is also comfortable and smooth, albeit quite noisy. My true average mpg is about 33, though I've found the fuel computer to be optimistic to the tune of about 3-4mpg.
Half leather seats with lumbar support are very comfortable, although they are trimmed in questionable velour down the centre. Glad that mine has the optional side airbags.
There isn't really enough interior storage space compared to newer cars, and the placement of the cup-holders behind the driver's left elbow is awkward to say the least.
There is plenty of power to the engine, although you have to use the full rev range (red line is 7000rpm) to make the best use of it, below 3500 it could be a 1.6 and feels a little sluggish, but at least the fuel consumption is low enough to match - use the power and watch the fuel gauge plummet. The worst I've seen it say is 16mpg after some exuberant driving. The engine is surprisingly torquey for a non-turbo car, enabling it to be driven in traffic, feet off the pedals in first - almost like a diesel.
Handling is very good, with great power steering, although the rear suspension sometimes feels a little soft when pressing on. The ride is OK, but at low to medium speeds every bump is felt to some extent.
I get the impression that my particular car was not well looked after by the previous owners given it's general condition and the standard CD changer, stereo, spare wheel, tool kit and first aid kit were all missing when I got it - presumably they ended up on an auction site somewhere.
Looks-wise it's certainly the best looking Primera mk2 model, although the base car is not the prettiest to begin with. With the mesh grille and spoilers it does look quite mean, especially in a dark colour. Mine is the only deep metallic red GT I've seen to date.
When all is said and done, it's coping with 500 miles a week in some very heavy traffic extremely well, with only the heavy clutch causing minor irritation - as an all rounder with good performance, comfort and economy for less than £2000, I don't think I could have made a better choice.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2007
7th Apr 2008, 18:18
OK, we've hit 101,000 miles now and we're still going strong. I've grown to respect the car a lot more over the last year and on the right road it's the best thing since sliced bread - yes the ride's still harder than I'd like, and the heavier-than-it-has-to-be clutch is doing my head in when in traffic jams, but for the money I couldn't have bought a better car.
No mechanical problems have surfaced, all the strange noises have been traced and dealt with and, even though some lowlife ripped off the door mirror, a replacement was found quickly and easily on an auction site.
Fuel consumption has levelled off to an average 36 - now my commute has changed to a faster flowing motorway and it's been a solid workhorse, never complaining.
This car likes the motorway but loves the B-road. Highly recommended.