Nissan Primera

Nissan put many efforts in transforming its car to suit European taste in recent years. This pay off with the success of Micra, Almera and now, Primera.  

Although Nissan's stylists fail to create a stylish shape ( once again ! ), its engineers had done a great job on improving the handling and riding stability on the chassis. Now Primera can proudly beat many European players in handling - Renault Laguna, Citroen Xantia, Opel Vectra....only Ford Mondeo and Peugeot 406 can marginally better than it. More impressive, both of its 2 litres engines, including a standard 128hp unit and a sportier 150hp unit, runs smoothly and eagerly, which are actually better than all european rivals.  

Inside, though look boring, Primera offers good space and a generous lists of equipment in a bargain price. It seems that Nissan discards all frills, make the car as straightforward as possible to in favour of lower cost. This has its high and low : If you consider only practicality, Primera would be your cleverest choice. The bad news is, your car would look less decent when standing besides a Ford and a Peugeot. Your children would feel boring when siting inside, because the cabin looks so dull. 

Report created before 16 Feb 99. Last updated before 16 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.


Primera M6 Hyper-CVT 

The best, also the most exciting member of Primera must be the Japanese Primera M6 Hyper-CVT. Not only powered by a variable valve timing 187hp, 150lbft two litres four, it is also benefited from the most sophisticated CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) in the world, calling "Hyper-CVT".  

The Hyper-CVT is by far the strongest CVT available in the market. Apart from it, no CVT has ever applied to engine with more than 130hp. It is also the most mature system, being smooth and quick to operate. Besides, it has a manual mode which simulates a 6-speed manual, thus provides driving fun like a Tiptronic.  

Report created before 16 Feb 99. Last updated before 16 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.

Primera 2.0 GT
Front-engined, Fwd
Inline-4, dohc, 4v/cyl.
1998 c.c.
150 hp
134 lbft
1306 kg
Top speed
129 mph*
0-60 mph
8.3 sec*
0-100 mph
23.5 sec*
* Tested by Autocar

Nissan's badge engineering

Under the "Nissan" and "Infiniti" brand name, there are no less than 27 different model names, simply as many as General Motor. Unquestionably, many of them share the same platforms. Here below tells you the story behind these names : 

March platform 

  • March : Japanese version
  • Micra : European version, different name but others virtually unchanged. Build in Sunderland, England.
Sunny platform 
  • Sunny : Japanese version from which variants developed.
  • Sentra : the name of USA version, same as Sunny except styling and engine.
  • Almera : European version. Retuned suspensions improved handling. Looks quite different. Hatchback. Top spec GTi uses 143hp 2 litres 16v engine.
  • Pulsar : Japanese, hatchback version of Sunny.
  • Lucino : Japanese, 2-doors coupe version. Top of the range VZ-R uses 1.6 litres engine with variable valve timing, 175hp, 120lbft.
  • 200SX : strangely, American Nissan calls this car "200SX", easily confuses with the rear-wheel drive 200SX (they call it 240SX in USA). Same body as Lucino coupe, but installed with 2 litres engine, 140hp but output more torque.
  • Tino : mini MPV based on Almera.
Primera platform 
  • UK Primera : build in England and supplies the whole Europe. Emphasis handling.
  • Japanese Primera : nearly identical to UK's Primera, but softer suspensions.
  • Bluebird : simply a revamped Primera. No reason for existence, but Nissan hopes to keep this historical name alive.
  • Camino : another revamped Primera.
  • Altima : USA version, different styling, uses 2.4 litres 16v engine with 150hp.
Cefiro platform 
  • Cefiro : Japanese version
  • Maxima : Simply a renamed Cefiro selling in USA. 
  • QX : Again the same car, supply European market.
  • Infiniti I30 : While Maxima targeting at the full size family sedan market in USA, Nissan offers a better equipped version to compete in executive sedan market. Inevitably, Infiniti brand is used.
Cedric platform 
  • Cedric : all these 3 are local market model. Cedric is the traditional name.
  • Gloria : just different styling.
  • Leopard : it used to be a 2-doors luxurious coupe, but now combines with Cedric to reduce cost.
Infiniti Q45 platform 
  • Infiniti Q45 : International version.
  • Cima : "Nissan" version selling in Japan.
  • President : traditionally the special edition serving Japanese royal family, still base on the first generation Q45
200SX platform 
  • 200SX : standard version.
  • 240SX : American version. Mostly differs in engine - 155hp 2.4 litres 16v. Far slower than 200SX.
Skyline platform 
  • Skyline Sedan : 4 doors version.
  • Skyline Coupe : 2 doors version, shorter wheelbase.
  • Skyline GTR : the hottest version of the Coupe. No need to introduce.
  • Laurel : It used to be a Rwd mid-size sedan. Now Nissan merges it with the Skyline Sedan to cut cost. More luxurious than Skyline.

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