Nissan Primera | Auto Express

23 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Nissan Primera | Auto Express
Nissan Primera

When I last reported on the fortunes of our long-term Primera in October (issue 726), the odometer was barely into three figures and we were in the early stages of getting to know each other. Now, with just over 6,000 miles under its tyres, we#039;re going steady – and while our relationship has had its highs and lows, the car has yet to let me down.

Excessive fuel consumption, interior wear and tear, sluggish when pulling away

When I last reported on the fortunes of our long-term Primera in October (issue 726), the odometer was barely into three figures and we were in the early stages of getting to know each other. Now, with just over 6,000 miles under its tyres, we’re going steady – and while our relationship has had its highs and lows, the car has yet to let me down.

First the good news. The Nissan’s engine and gearbox have finally loosened up and the two seem to gel together much better than they did originally. Although it still feels as though the wheels are stuck to the road with treacle when you try to pull away from traffic lights, the mid-range seems a lot stronger, while motorway cruising is as relaxing as it gets.

The only real hassle is explaining to passengers that the high-revving engine noises are due to the CVT gearbox rather than my own ham-fistedness with the clutch. Perhaps I should start taking the press pack with me on every journey and hand it around before we set off.

The Primera’s immense practicality has also come in very handy on a number of occasions. As I’m Auto Express’s staff snapper, the boot is almost always full to the brim, and while it’s a bit on the shallow side, loading and unloading has proved very easy so far. I’ve also been impressed with the way in which the folding seat mechanism works. Simply pull a lever and hey presto – a perfectly flat load area. There’s no need to fiddle around with seat cushions or headrests.

Rival manufacturers should take note.

Nissan Primera

Another plus point has been the sat-nav system, which has converted even the most hardened GPS critics. It’s a standard-fit item on our T-Spec model and I can safely say it’s the best device I’ve used so far.

Key to its appeal is the ‘birdview’ display, which gives a 3D map of the road ahead. It’s superb for plotting shortcuts and has already sliced 15 minutes off one of my regular journeys. Any system that can do that is worth its weight in gold.

Downsides? Well, my biggest complaint to date concerns the fuel economy – which is dreadful. At first I put it down to a tight engine and gearbox, and the fact that there weren’t enough miles on the clock. But as time has passed, it’s dawned on me that this particular Primera has an unhealthy thirst for unleaded.

With an average of 23.9mpg, the Nissan is easily the least fuel-efficient long-termer I’ve run, and although my Air Miles account at the local BP garage has benefited enormously from this, stopping every other day for a tankful of unleaded is inconvenient and annoying.

Indeed, when I shot our recent Porsche Boxster, Honda S2000 and Lotus Elise group test, my Primera actually recorded the lowest average fuel figure of the lot! If anyone else out there has this particular engine and gearbox combination, let me know if you’re experiencing the same problems. There’s also a question mark hanging over the quality of the cabin fixtures.

Although Nissan fixed the rear interior light soon after the last update was published, the driver’s seat has an odd bum-shaped imprint in it already. Given that I’m not one of the Auto Express heavyweights and that the car has covered only 6,000 miles, I suspect that the seat foam isn’t up to the job. I only hope I haven’t fallen through it by the time the estate goes back later this year.

Four months of Primera ownership has certainly been an interesting experience – if not always for the right reasons. As a long distance cruiser, I have no complaints about it at all. However, those fuel bills mean that you may need a supercar budget to keep the Nissan running.

Nissan Primera
Nissan Primera
Nissan Primera
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