1999 Nissan Primera Si 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland
Why did it take me so long to realise the excellence of these cars?
Air con has packed up - haven't bothered to fix it.
Driver's electric door window is sticky.
Handbrake does not operate very efficiently due to rear disc brakes having a tendency to seize.
Car suffers from the creaky front suspension referred to in other reviews, but for the price we paid, and the mileage the car has done, then we can live with that.
Most importantly, nothing major has gone wrong.
Bought this car as a general runabout. It was previously owned by someone who kept horses and it was in a bit of a state inside.
It didn't take long to realise that these cars are absolutely amazing and I subsequently bought another cleaner example. Our son now runs about in the model subject of this review.
If you are on a low budget, or like us, grudge paying over the odds for second and third rate more fashionable models, then this has to be one of the best secondhand cars available today.
Fuel economy and performance aren't the best, and they do cost a fair bit to tax, but the driving experience is first class, way better than our newer Peugeot 307.
Therefore, if you don't cover a big mileage (best I can manage is 38mpg with an admittedly very heavy right foot), and don't care that you are not in an up to the minute motor with all of the flashy modern extras, then a 1600 Primera should suit you fine; especially if you need loads of luggage room in a car as we do. I'm told that the 1800 engine does a better job, but there are not many of these about, and the 2 litre would make sense if you can find the right one (we couldn't in our area).
Servicing costs can be kept to a minimum by using a reliable local garage (they all know the Primera, and some of the dearer Nissan parts can be substituted if required.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th August, 2007
12th Dec 2008, 01:28
Here Here! One of the most honest Primera reviews I've read on here and one for an older car as well. Mine is 9 years old and also a 1999 (V) model, the one at the top of this list in fact! I love this car, always used to go in my Aunt's 2000 (X) Sport+ VT6 when she had it from new and wished she would sell it to me when she got her new Avensis, but that was 2 years back and I couldn't afford to pay her the Part Exchange that Toyota offered her, so 2 years down the line and I get my very own, in Silver, a better colour than my Aunt's whose was green. Also, she never had an ounce of bother with the front suspension in all 7 years that she owned the car, I think mainly due to there being no speed humps where she lives.
Had to spend a bit of money on it when I bought it but that was down to the last owner not changing tyres and brakes when he should have. Paid £675 for it so can't grumble and its the better looking saloon 4 door as well. The problem with the front suspension is something I am well used to always having old cars, I had it with my previous Mondeo and Laguna before that, so, you've got to give a little - NO car is perfect not even a Rolls Royce. And some of the ungrateful moaning minnies on here seem to expect a Rolls Royce for Primera money! It does annoy me how petty some people are - cars cost money thats a fact, if you dont want to spend out on repairs, get the bus, then you will know about rough suspension and rattles!
I have had a lot of old bangers in my time - I will not buy a car newer than 8 years old - let someone else pay the depreciation and fix all the teething troubles, then I buy the car and it just costs me the annual repair bills which I know I will have with an older car, and the Fuel, Tax and Insurance, which all car owners have to pay anyway. If anything major was to go wrong such as the Gearbox or Head Gasket, then I sell the car and buy another cheap one. As Primeras have a timing chain rather than a belt, that is another bonus and another expense I don't have, as long as I change the oil regularly. In the last 2 years of owning old cars, I have only had to call out the AA once - to a 98 (S) Vauxhall Vectra, Clarkson was right what he said about Vectras - they really are a dog of a car, mine died from engine seizure and had to be scrapped. Other than that, old cars are great if you can do DIY repairs, its budget motoring and I trust my cars to go anywhere. I respect them, they respect me.
An example of what I am saying is that My Aunt bought her 06 Avensis as a Pre Registered car in Mar 2007 for £14,500 plus her old car as part exchange. It's now worth £7,000 so in less than 2 years its cost her £7,500 in depreciation, with no repair bills (its Japanese)
In the last 2 years I have had nowhere near the £3,700 per year costs that she has in depreciation, and I get from A to B in comfort (In a car that she once owned herself) for peanuts.
It makes real sense to buy a used Primera - even having to spend out to replace suspension parts every year or the other odd problem that may arise like the Alternator or Radiator, but bear in mind that a NEW car still needs tyres, brakes, bulbs, wipers, and NEW cars also break down - some more than others. The Primera P10 and P11, as an older car now is still one of the most reliable cars and now that its depreciation is no longer a factor, it's a really good choice for cheap motoring. Long live the Primera, one of the best cars produced to date!