NSU Prinz Review

1971 NSU Prinz 4L 600cc from UK and Ireland

Model year1971
Year of manufacture1971
First year of ownership1976
Most recent year of ownership1978
Engine and transmission 600cc Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Previous carLeyland Mini

Summary:

Quirky little German car, that if you closed your eyes you could have been in a Porsche 356

Faults:

Engine mounting blocks gave way twice: fixed once by NSU specialist. Second time by my father.

Faulty wiper spindle on the passenger side.

General Comments:

This was actually my fathers car, purchased in approx 1976 if I recall.

Performance was not exactly rapid (it was only a 598cc after all), but it would burble along at 50 or 60mph quite comfortably (although this was approaching its maximum speed). Could be a bit tricky in the wet due to the rear mounted engine.

It proved to be a fairly reliable car, apart from the above mentioned mounting block problem, which caused the engine to drop on one side, and associated loss of gear change.

Used to run on two star petrol if I recall.

Exhaust pipe was like a drinking straw. The most memorable thing about it was the noise...sounded like a VW Beetle. Although it was a rarer car than the Beetle (but in my opinion, better), there were quite a few about in the '70's.

Tan coloured interior, with tan 'leather' look seats, a large steering wheel and inner chrome horn ring. Not a lot of room inside, but we crammed six into it once...it struggled though.

It had a very prominent parking indicator atop each front wing. Replaced with wing mirrors. Single speed wipers. Great in a downpour... we had to stop.

My father traded it in 1978 for a Hillman Minx. Just at the right time in fact because the engine blew on the hapless chap that bought it from the garage we sold it to. Last I saw of it, was parked up beside a garage (probably long since scrapped...I've been in touch with the NSU Club, but they have no record of the registration number still being on the road).

They just don't make them like this anymore. NSU were absorbed by the VW-Audi Group, and subsequently killed off, due to much of the NSU range being in direct competition, mainly with VW's products.

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

Review Date: 5th November, 2006

28th Aug 2008, 14:25

A friend owned one. The car was reliable enough, but people could not help but pick it up and put it in strange places (very light) It was also very underpowered. He would be accelerating constantly and was afraid to slow down for anything, because of the long haul up to speed again. Wish I had one... and about 1600cc's.

29th Oct 2008, 05:11

The TT is the one to get. A right little buzz-bomb of a car!

Average review marks: 5.3 / 10, based on 1 review