1998 Nissan Stagea RS-4 2.5 turbo from Australia and New Zealand
A large, grunty, good value family wagon
The usual coil pack failure. This caused a burnt out exhaust valve, because of the lean running. Not helped by the previous owner from Japan removing the lower boost control line.
Other than that, nothing you wouldn't expect from a 12 year old car.
This is my first auto. In my opinion, the auto is a little 'dumb'. It chops down too early, even in 'Normal' mode. It is a little 'slippy' on the changes. This is quite common on the Nissan transmissions I have since found out.
Maybe I was used to the handling of my 300ZX, but the Stagea disappoints a little. Not saying that it handles badly, it doesn't. It's just a bit 'soft'. It understeers when pitched into a corner, noticeably loading up the front outside wheel. Having said that, the ATTESA 4WD system (taken from the Skyline) makes the car very sure-footed for a large, heavy wagon.
The interior is well laid out with most of the controls easy to reach, except for the rear window heater and synchro (4WD) buttons, which are obscured by the steering wheel. It is difficult to get a good driving position for me. When the seat is far enough back to be comfortable for my legs, the steering wheel is too far away. Had to compromise and have my legs a little more bent than ideal.
There is plenty of room for lugging cargo. This seems to have been done by having a little less leg room available for the back seat passengers though. With the back seats folded down it is about 6ft long in the back. I read that there is about 1575 litres of space.
My particular vehicle came with the Dayz body kit, which has a deeper front air dam, side skirts, rear spoiler and valance. It also had a Nismo 'sport' exhaust, which adds a nice deep burble at idle and is not too loud.
Overall, if you are in the market for a large wagon, don't overlook the Nissan Stagea.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th May, 2010