1996 Nissan Vanette Cargo 2.3L diesel from UK and Ireland


Clutch hose sprang a leak and lost the fluid - £15 and 10 minutes to fit it - away we went.

Thermostat broke (meaning no heater); £12 and 20 minutes later it was lovely and warm.

Rear spring shackle bushes were worn out when I got it (and missed by the MOT station); only £40 a set from Nissan, and took an hour to fit.

Everything is easy to get at on this van. Once you have removed a trim panel, tipped the seats up and taken the floor out...

General Comments:

This is generally a good reliable van. A relation uses one in his lawnmower repair business, and it has spent most of its working life towing trailers and fully loaded.

So I bought one!

They are very reliable if a little noisy and under-geared for motorway use. However if you are happy to follow lorries and not try to overtake them, fuel economy is reasonable at around 25MPG.

Just watch out for worn rear spring shackle bushes which make the van hop around the road under acceleration/braking.

A broken thermostat is common, but only takes 25 minutes to fix!

Cabin noise can be vastly reduced by fitting old household carpet under the rubber floor covering and in the rear load space. Also fit a decent radio.

Gearboxes and drivetrain are a bit clunky, but unbreakable.

Watch out for rust in the sills and behind the front wheel where the wishbone bolts to the chassis, as this can be terminal.

Easy to service and maintain.

All in all a good workhorse - a proper 'donkey' van that does what you want, even if overloaded a bit, it will still get you there - and back again!

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

Review Date: 8th May, 2010

1997 Nissan Vanette Cargo 2.3 diesel from UK and Ireland


Complete rubbish


Leaking oil for three weeks. Now it won't start. I think it's the starter motor; can anyone help? It happened before and it was a loose wire. I had a go today to try and fix it. I just want rid so I can get a new van

General Comments:

It's the worst van I've ever had slow; loud and unreliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th February, 2009

1999 Nissan Vanette Cargo 2.3 from UK and Ireland


Solid reliable van with reasonable comfort and good sized cargo area, but is lacking in power


The heater switch started to only work on full power no4 soon after I got the van; I believe this to be a common fault and have found it to be a little credit card sized circuit board located under the bonnet that has blown.

The covers for the side loading door tracks corrode; again this appears to be a common fault.

General Comments:

This van has been very reliable in the three plus years I've owned it.

It is reasonably comfortable, but very noisy, especially over 50mph.

It is quite gutless for a 2.3, but weight does not appear to make any difference; I always have around half a ton in it, and sometimes more.

It does 33/34 mpg on medium and long journeys, and burns virtually no oil between changes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2008

1999 Nissan Vanette Cargo 2.3D from UK and Ireland


A more refined and powerful power unit would make this van the complete package


Rear spring-leaf rubber inserts worn out. Suspension "squeaks" over bumps as an indication. £30 materials, managed to replace myself.

General Comments:

Fantastic reliability.

Power steering, central locking and two side doors as standard.

Not designed for long journeys - seriously under-powered and noisy for motorway use, but geared effectively to take heavy loads around town - most of my work!

Fuel economy is not brilliant, but driving style can make a big difference.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2007

24th Mar 2010, 05:11

Not particularly fuel economic, but it is a big heavy non-aerodynamic brick!

Reliable starter and runner (as you'd expect from a diesel) until you try and start it over 2000m above sea level, then lack of oxygen makes it trickier (crazy I know, but true).

Actually quite comfy for a long journey (5000km round Europe in 40 days), just a bit warm on the leg touching centre console, and significantly noisier when emptier!!

I think later models have better sound proofing, I won't say mine is quiet, but if you stay out of the range of natural body resonance, it's perfectly tolerable, and you can still have a conversation at motorway speeds.

As with any sliding doors, I'd recommend keeping them clean, free from dirt/sand, and well greased and they'll be fine.

Only real negative comment is that the handling, empty in the wet, is lethal, back end slides out way too easily, even with the minimal power this van has!!!

9th Apr 2010, 12:34

I have a Vanette on a P reg 2.3 diesel. Does anyone know if I have power steering, because I don't at the moment, and steering is hard???