Shed of the Week: Nissan Stagea - PistonHeads | Catalog-cars

Shed of the Week: Nissan Stagea – PistonHeads

9 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Shed of the Week: Nissan Stagea – PistonHeads
Nissan Stagea


No ‘shooting brake’ estate nonsense here

At the other end of the scale, Nissan builds awesome tackle like the GT-R. What makes the company odd is that there’s never really been all that much in between. At least, not for UK residents.

Japanese Nissan customers have always had plumper range catalogues, as this week’s Shed demonstrates.

The name may look like a misprint, but there’s nothing shonky about a Stagea. It was launched to the home market in 1996 to challenge Subaru’s Legacy wagon and the Mitsubishi Galant/Legnum. This is an early series 1 WC34.

It was facelifted in ’98, when the RS Four S arrived with HICAS steering and a manual gearbox. It was eventually replaced in ’01 by the reskinned M35.

Expect an interior like this, but with an auto

If the inside is a little colourless, the language won’t be when you call up some boost. The WC34 Stagea came in four engine flavours, starting with a fairly anaemic single-cam 2.0-litre four. The maddest one, a 280hp twin-turbo 2.6 straight six, was effectively a GT-R estate, but our Shed isn’t too far behind with 230-240hp (depending on who you believe) from its single-turbo 2.5-litre six.

For comparison, back in 1996 that was more than double the output of a Mondeo 1.8. Your man here is claiming 280hp in his one, courtesy of a decat and a big bore stainless exhaust terminating in a family-size beancan. The Stagea is not a light car at around 1,650kg, but these modifications should be more than enough to blow a thrilling breeze up most skirts.

The metal engine bits are Nissan RB, so largely bombproof. The auto ‘box is also appealingly Flintstonian in its design, and less fragile than the ‘box in the Mitsu VR4. Early AWD Stageas like this come with a strong and simple 4WD system with viscous rear and lockable centre diffs, but some cars will have the more complex GT-R-style ATTESA system.

The way to find out is to check for a small fluid reservoir in one of the boot cubbies.

Nissan Stagea

Switch that exhaust and a proper Q-car is there

No one can guarantee old wiring and electronics, and the area underneath the door wing mirror is a common rust infestation spot, but that’s hardly unusual: Shed’s ’03 Focus chip shop runaround has scabs there.

Stagea servicing is easy, parts supply good, and aftermarket tuning options rife. Second-stage mods will bring up to 600hp on the twin-turbo cars. They’ve gained some traction (or rather, not) in drifting circles, where the semi-slammed nature of the factory styling has formed the basis for some niftily stanced specimens.

The AWD cars should have multilink front suspension, so expect decent handling to go with your mid-20s mpg figure.

The next Nismo GT-R is rumoured to be ‘very special’, but the price will reflect that specialness. For probably one per cent of that you can tap into the early Skyline heritage and get into something really different; a fast and reliable load-carrier that will also hack some serious Continental mileage. If you’re looking to replace that old A6 or Merc wagon, this is worth a very good look.

You just need to see past that beancan exhaust.

Nissan Stagea, series 1. Imported by T W Whites Bookham. Owned by me since. Always looked after as is the family car. 105000 km. Speedo in mph. Long MOT. Tax till December. 5 spoke 18 alloys. Full 3 stainless exhaust, with decat, but have cat for MOT day. Never let me down. Now in my way and needs to go. Grab a great car for very little money.

Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
Nissan Stagea
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