2001 Nissan Primera 4-door 1.8 1.8 petrol, 115 HP from Slovenia


Good daily beater, watch for the engine


Seat heaters don't always work.

CAUTION: Some of the 1.8 petrol engines from these series have too rough cylinder rings and use a lot of oil (1 liter / 1000 km). I've had this confirmed from a garage. Unfortunately there's no quick way of discovering this as the engine is clean and no smoke comes from exhaust.

General Comments:

I've picked this one up on December 08 for about 4k EUR.

The car has 4 airbags, 6 speakers, seat heaters, automatic climate control.

The performance is OK when you're alone in the car, but a full car will need some revving.

The interior is very roomy - more than enough space for four people and a large boot.

The fuel consumption could be lower, but with a light foot on mixed roads you could get 8-8,5 l /100km.

The only real negative is the engine with it's oil consumption. Considering this risk and performance, I'd suggest going with 2.0 if you're at least a little of a dynamic driver.

Otherwise a good daily beater.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2009

22nd Apr 2010, 18:44

I bought a 1.8 p11 144 2001 a couple of months ago (March 2010). It felt nice at first but...

Mass air flow meter went. O.E. replacement euro 360 then...

Inside of front discs badly pitted + pads, euro 230 and now..

Ball joints and wishbone worn, will cost euro 300ish.

Afraid to wonder what next?

I initially paid 2000 for it, but looks more like 3000 now.

The nightmare continues... Tune in next week.

2001 Nissan Primera SE 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Very good car - buy one!!


General wear and tear.

In other words, nothing.

General Comments:

Underestimated car - my third Primera 2.0.

Only buy an sr20de 2.0 - good torque and moves at high revs. Most reliable and strong.

Very good handling - best in its class.

Very good engine the sr20 - proven since 1989 - same as the GTi-R without the turbo!

Anybody who slates this engine is mad. They probably bought a lemon that has been clocked or not looked after. Low mileage does not mean it has been looked after. The aluminium engine doesn't rev high when cold. My last one, a GT, had 168000 miles when I got rid, and did not use oil or water, and was still quiet. These cars can hit 140mph!!

91-96 p10 standard 2.0 115bhp GT 150bhp.

96-99 p11 standard 2.0 129bhp GT 150bhp.

99-2001 p11 144 standard 140bhp

Mine has been de-catted, stainless exhaust, lowered 60mm - 17" wheels, induction filter, spoiler, aluminium trim fitted - power was 140bhp, power is now 170bhp!!!!! BMW 325 eater!!

Get one bought - not the nicest to look at, but brilliant spec and ride. Mine averages on a long run 40mpg, and around town about 30mpg

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2007

2001 Nissan Primera Sport 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland


Japanese reliability???


Had the steering rack replaced twice & steering pump once.

General Comments:

The car is well built, but I have been very put off with the issues I have had. Upto now it has cost me £££££££'s.

I thought Japanese cars were reliable, after all that's why I bought it! Has anyone else had problems?

It does handle well, but could use more power. With a 1.8 16v with variable valve timing, I was expecting a little more, but I would think it's to do with fuel economy?. I get 30-32 mpg on average which is not the best in its class, & I do have a light foot.

Peach or Lemon? I'm not quite sure!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th March, 2007

29th Jul 2010, 11:33

This is in fact a quality Japanese engineered car that's proven to be reliable, well equipped, good to drive and incredibly cheap to buy. It suffers from few faults and most of these are easy to fix. It is easy for DIY maintenance and has the advantage of a cam chain rather than a cam belt.

It is much less likely that you will encounter a lemon with these Japanese cars, but problems are always possible now they are getting on. I have compiled a list of possible problems, but don't let this put you off as this is a great deal of car for your money and much better to drive and own than most on the road.

Items that may cause trouble:

Timing chain can break or stretch, later causes engine light on and maybe poor running (make sure oil level stays correct and that oil and filter are changed regularly and do the chain check if buying, as replacement may cost £650).

Crankshaft and camshaft position sensors can fail, leading to stalling and failure to restart (subject to a recall – check chassis number with Nissan to be sure it’s been done).

Broken ABS rings on drive shafts can cause ABS to come on at low speed (replace ring or whole drive shaft).

MAF (not oxygen sensor!) can wear out and cause the engine light to come on and maybe poor running (£80 genuine original exchange - avoid cheaper ones).

Coils can break down, causing hesitation under load and engine light on (keep a spare in car £20).

Rear brake calipers seize and are more expensive than the reliable front ones (clean them with brake cleaner and lubricate with copper grease or brake grease – there is a how to on Nissan Primera Owners Club forum).

Worn front wiper pivots (check for play by gripping and moving wiper arm and watching pivot) can give squeaky wipers, even with new wipers (pivots £25 per side, or £80 for 2 pivots and 2 connecting rods).

Top link bush (or lower) on front suspension wears giving a clonk over bumps (suspension arms cost £30 per side), but the Primera is allowed a lot of play here to pass MOT (according to VOSA instructions to testers).

Drive-shafts break where the balance weight collects moisture and rusts the shaft (the weight can be removed and rust treated).

Corrosion can appear in the front crossmember / radiator support panel, the sump, door bottoms and wheel arches.

Heater resistor board causes the fan to work only on high speed, not speed 1-3 (get new one £4 from breakers).

CV gaiters may split.

Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) may fail.

Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) may stick.

EGR valve may stick.

Throttle butterfly can become gummed up (clean with carb cleaner).

Coolant can leak from the cracked plastic cover on the thermostat housing.

Engine and body earths can break.

Water- pump may leak.

Electric window switches can stick.

The worst one is probably timing chain stretch, which is expensive, but the chain can be checked for wear.

Look on the forums http://www.npoc.co.uk/ for information.

4th Jul 2011, 10:59

The only things that have gone wrong with my Primera was the drive shaft twice (my driving). After the second time, I got a brand new one, and it has not gone since the back box about a year ago, and just now the flexi is leaking a bit. Oil leak from the filter housing, and that's all in 2 years of very hard driving and regular red lining.

Best car I have had so far. I can't break it even if I wanted to; they are over engineered. Japanese cars cost more to repair, but rarely need it.

20th Aug 2015, 17:32

I bought a 1.6 GLX 1996 Primera with 65000 miles on the clock. Here we are in 2015 - it's been a good buy at £565 from a place in Sunderland. Sadly the body rust has become quite uneconomical - I've managed to find a 2 litre SE 1989 Primera in Blackpool. The pre 2001 Primera seats are the best lumbar support seats I've ever experienced.

Bring back this square shape Nissan - much better than the later models.