1984 Nissan Stanza Hatchback. 1.5L 4 cylinder from North America


Fun to drive, but hard to work on


Head gasket, water pump, drivers seat and coil.

General Comments:

I bought this car for $75 to fix up for one of my kids. I knew of all the faults except one. I replaced the head gasket myself in the evenings after work which took four nights in the carport in -30 Canadian winter. This was an ugly job that involved removing just about every component (alt, air injector, etc.) and every mounting bracket. It would have been easier to have pulled the motor all together. (the following week it warmed up. LOL) I replaced the timing belt on spec and the leaky water pump. The broken seat still needs a repair to the bracket and on road testing I discovered that one of coils would give out about every hour on the hour.

The car goes like a little rocket. I am not sure now if I feel safe giving it to my kid to learn in. I mean it really moves. It has a small motor I think a 1.5 L and a five speed. The gas consumption is not too bad for an old carburated car. It has a lot of neat little features and creature comforts like remote opening back side windows and adjustable/removable cover under the lift hatch in back. Folding back seats to increase cargo area and reclining front seats. The interior has held up well with no tears or worn cloth. The drivers seat is understandably broken as the previous owner was in at around 350 pounds. The Paint was in very good shape and would not need touching, but the lower half of car has serious rust. But then again it is a kids first car.

Would I buy one again. Probably not as this is my second Nissan vehicle and there are too many things like unavailability of performance parts and difficulty in getting someone who knows much about them to work on them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th February, 2005

18th Dec 2008, 15:49

I agree with the difficulty working on these. My friends Stanza had a bad alternator and the Manual wanted the engine all but removed for changing. Wait till you try to change the front brake rotors- you're in for a big surprise. Something about the 5 speed trannie- my friends broke at 5th gear- the 3 other cars in the local junkyard had the same break. I fixed these "little" problems for her and advised her to sell it. Good Luck!