2002 Nissan Primera S Estate 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Efficient reliable workhorse that needs using. It's nothing to get excited about though


Drivers door electronic window sticking/working intermittently.

General Comments:

As a person who usually buys utility vehicles, i.e. 4x4s or van-derived MPVs I was attracted to the idea of a Primera P12 Estate car as there is no cambelt to worry about as long as frequent oil changes made (it's chain driven), I liked the oddball styling of the Estate, although don't know if I could live with the rear end styling of the 5-door. I still have a very old 4x4 with hi-lo box, so I've never tested the Primera in snow or ice.

I needed a car that had multi-airbags and a good NCAP rating, that could handle the third lane of the motorway and mix-it with the fast boys (which my Berlingo Multispace could not). In other words, an efficient modern car.

The Primera satisfies these requirements. I was a little apprehensive about Renault interference and what nightmares in the electronics department may ensue. Other than the drivers door window nothing else (yet!).

The centre console is easy enough to operate, although I prefer more traditional heater slide controls etc. Gearbox is slick and smooth. Clutch operates very well indeed. ABS brakes are outstanding. Steering OK, if a bit vague. Appreciate the steering wheel adjustments available.

1.8 engine is OK, but needs thrashing when overtaking.

Ride and comfort excellent. General cabin environment very pleasant. Air conditioning excellent. It is however the first car I've had for years that the inside of the windscreen mists up overnight so much it's quicker to leather it than use the heating. Back windows also take a long time to clear.

I like the dials being central and a distance away (compared to conventional designs).

The fuel consumption is NOT however as advertised, and on my use I find I'm getting 28 - 32 mpg on average, so nothing brilliant here.

Other points: I like the left hand petrol filler; like the stowage boxes in the boot of the Estate; like the fact it has a full size spare and not a spacesaver; and finally like it being reasonably easy to work on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2010

3rd Dec 2010, 14:12

OK, same owner. I believe in coming back and telling how things are going.

Yes, very satisfied with the car. Only problem being is that the driver's electric window went altogether. It's not an easy job to undertake, so I have had it timbered up tight all year. This is not an issue of any importance to me however, and the aircon works fine in Summer. Have covered quite a lot of miles with journeys between England and Wales, and it never misses a beat. Exhaust shields started vibrating quite a lot, but I've adjusted that. Practically no wear on the brake pads, ABS still amazingly sharp, engine runs sweet on Carlube oil (I'm a miser!), tyre wear on those big wheel negligible (they are nearly as big and heavy to handle as my 4x4 wheels!).

I don't spend a lot on cars and this will certainly do for a few years yet. Yeah, dead pleased (comparing to what a nightmare my son's 2005 Vectra has been for expense during the same period.)

2002 Nissan Primera Wagon 2.0L petrol CVT from Australia and New Zealand


Good looking car that is comfortable, but with questionable reliability


Head gasket blew at 138000KM - cost to repair $5300 - time to repair 6 weeks!! Unacceptable time to get parts - longer than my Volvo used to take!

Ongoing surging/missing issue - dealer unable to correct - believed it was a coil playing up, but could not identify which one.

145000km "Coil issue" ended up being major fault with the drive computer. Engine management system totally fried itself and all coils. Fuel injection system did not switch off because of this causing fuel to be pumped into the engine constantly. Luckily this did not cause any major engine damage. Cost to repair $6000 - dealer stepped in to cover this along with warranty company.

151000km - failure of starter motor - cost to repair $750.

General Comments:

The Primera has nice styling and modern lines. Inside comfort levels are good with climate AC, CD and a reasonable stereo.

Handling wise those who have driven the earlier model Primera may be disappointed. Ride is much softer than the bone jarring suspension of the earler race bred models. This has impacted on handling somewhat, as the old models could be thrown into some serious corners without getting into too much trouble. The new models feel a little spongy in tight situations with some body roll evident.

The engine is an OK 2.0L petrol with reasonable levels of torque and power - unfortunately mated with the CVT as in this case initial pickup is slow and the engine noise considerable at higher RPMs. Fuel economy is average - open road around 8.8L per 100KM - similar to my 2L turbo Volvo. Would be interesting to drive a manual version as this would change the dynamics considerably.

Reliability - for this car at least - was a major issue. Multiple major failures within 12 months had me praising my foresightedness to get a mechanical breakdown warranty! Not sure if this extends to other Primeras of similar ages/mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th February, 2008