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Nissan Primera (2002-2006) Buying Guide

Nissan Primera (2002-2006)
Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Nissan Primera (2002-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

With concept car looks, the Primera doesn't appeal to some - this sector of the market is traditionally very conservative. But look beyond the aesthetics and the Primera is a safe bet thanks to that typical Japanese blend of great reliability and masses of standard equipment. Pick of the bunch is the 2.2dCi engine with a decently high spec - it'll just go on forever and cost pennies to run.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
High equipment levels
Gutless 1.8 petrol engine
Some models don't handle too well
Key Dates 
2/02New Primera launched in four-door saloon and five-door hatchback/estate forms.
7/042005 model year changes bring improved specifications and revised suspension. New SX trim level is also introduced, along with 2.2-litre dCi turbodiesel engine.
8/03LPG-fuelled Primera on sale.
  • Crankshaft sensor fails, leaving car running badly or unable to start at all.
  • Check paintwork on the doors; no rubbing strips means lots of scrapes potentially.
  • Timing chain and tensioner of 2.2-litre turbodiesel fails unless changed twice as often as Nissan recommends.
  • Rear anti-roll bar of early cars can come adrift; longer bolts should have been fitted by now.
  • Check bumpers of cars with rear-view cameras; parking using these is disorientating, leading to knocks.
  • Handbrakes can fail, so check the car is held on a steep incline.
  • Electrics can give trouble, most notably the electric windows and central locking.
  • Turbocharger on diesel engines can fail if not allowed to cool before switching off; look for blue smoke from the exhaust signalling oil being burned.

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