Nissan Primera SE 2007 Review

Nissan Primera SE 2007 Review

Nissan Primera SE 2007 fq

Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland must have been mighty pleased to hear that Nissan NZ wanted to take a load of Primeras off its hands. The 2007 Primera, while an improvement on the previous model, has failed to sell, and its future is pretty much over in Japan where its sales have plummeted.

Looking at the car, it’s not particularly pretty, but it’s not ugly either. It sinks a bit into the crowd having no immediately striking features. In fact, when I took the photos I was struggling to take any more than 15, whereas on more visually interesting cars I can easily crank off 40 or more.

On the inside, it’s a different story. The UK model is designed for the European market, which means indicators on the left hand side of the steering column, and the dials are set in a large console in the middle of the dash¦but over to the left, where you can’t see them very well.

As a medium-sized four-door hatchback, it has more than adequate space in the boot and for rear seat passengers, and if you choose the stationwagon version its 460 litres of space in the boot — or 1440 litres when the 60:40 spilt seats are folded down — is quite reasonable.

Safety features are extensive and include six airbags (front, side and curtain), active head rests, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and rain-sensing wipers. As a major point of difference in this segment, the large colour screen in the dashboard is used for a reversing camera. This is a welcome addition, but without including reversing sensors it’s a flawed solution as the camera can lull you into a false sense of security. However, it does make up for the fact that the thick C-pillar is a large blindspot.

Leather seats (with fully electrically adjustable driver’s and passenger’s seat) are standard, and have two levels of heating. They have slightly too much lumbar support for my liking, but are otherwise comfortable.

The almost horizontally aligned stereo/aircon controls are like a video game. I expected to be able to load up Pac Man and play against my passenger. Aircon and stereo readouts are clearly displayed on the large colour screen, and once you know how the controls work, they are easy to control. The steering wheel has buttons for the stereo, as well as cruise control.

The Primera comes with a similar CVT (Constantly Variable Transmisson) gearbox to the Maxima. As it’s got less power than the previous model, and less torque, this just does not work. CVT really needs grunt to compliment it and the Primera’s 103kW and 192Nm of torque are sapped by the gearbox. This means that on hilly roads, you often find the revs rise a lot while the car tries to maintain speed if you’ve got a few people in the car.

But, on windy roads, the Primera’s double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear give it crisp handling, even if the suspension can be a bit crashy over very coarse surfaces. As long as you keep your motions fluid, the Primera will hustle along at pace.

This is a Nissan with a similar interior spec to, for example, a Peugeot 407. It has European quirkiness, but unlike a Peugeot it doesn’t quite work because it doesn’t become endearing. While the Primera will appeal to some because of its level of specification in relation to price, Nissan needs a radical redesign of the Primera for it to be a viable best-seller.

Price: from $42,495

Click this link to view Nissan Primeras for sale (opens in a new window)

What we like:

  • Handling is above average
  • Good specification level for price

What we don’t like:

  • Sluggish
  • Central position of dials
  • Stereo/aircon controls not intuitive at first (e.g. why have an ‘off’ button for the stereo when pressing the volume knob is what turns it on)

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Nissan Primera SE 2007 fq

Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland must have been mighty pleased to hear that Nissan NZ wanted to take a load of Primeras off its hands. The 2007 Primera, while an improvement on the previous model, has failed to sell, and its future is pretty much over in Japan where its sales have plummeted.

Looking at the car, it’s not particularly pretty, but it’s not ugly either. It sinks a bit into the crowd having no immediately striking features. In fact, when I took the photos I was struggling to take any more than 15, whereas on more visually interesting cars I can easily crank off 40 or more.

On the inside, it’s a different story. The UK model is designed for the European market, which means indicators on the left hand side of the steering column, and the dials are set in a large console in the middle of the dash¦but over to the left, where you can’t see them very well.

As a medium-sized four-door hatchback, it has more than adequate space in the boot and for rear seat passengers, and if you choose the stationwagon version its 460 litres of space in the boot — or 1440 litres when the 60:40 spilt seats are folded down — is quite reasonable.

Safety features are extensive and include six airbags (front, side and curtain), active head rests, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and rain-sensing wipers. As a major point of difference in this segment, the large colour screen in the dashboard is used for a reversing camera. This is a welcome addition, but without including reversing sensors it’s a flawed solution as the camera can lull you into a false sense of security. However, it does make up for the fact that the thick C-pillar is a large blindspot.

Leather seats (with fully electrically adjustable driver’s and passenger’s seat) are standard, and have two levels of heating. They have slightly too much lumbar support for my liking, but are otherwise comfortable.

The almost horizontally aligned stereo/aircon controls are like a video game. I expected to be able to load up Pac Man and play against my passenger. Aircon and stereo readouts are clearly displayed on the large colour screen, and once you know how the controls work, they are easy to control. The steering wheel has buttons for the stereo, as well as cruise control.

The Primera comes with a similar CVT (Constantly Variable Transmisson) gearbox to the Maxima. As it’s got less power than the previous model, and less torque, this just does not work. CVT really needs grunt to compliment it and the Primera’s 103kW and 192Nm of torque are sapped by the gearbox. This means that on hilly roads, you often find the revs rise a lot while the car tries to maintain speed if you’ve got a few people in the car.

But, on windy roads, the Primera’s double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear give it crisp handling, even if the suspension can be a bit crashy over very coarse surfaces. As long as you keep your motions fluid, the Primera will hustle along at pace.

This is a Nissan with a similar interior spec to, for example, a Peugeot 407. It has European quirkiness, but unlike a Peugeot it doesn’t quite work because it doesn’t become endearing. While the Primera will appeal to some because of its level of specification in relation to price, Nissan needs a radical redesign of the Primera for it to be a viable best-seller.

Price: from $42,495

Click this link to view Nissan Primeras for sale (opens in a new window)

What we like:

  • Handling is above average
  • Good specification level for price

What we don’t like:

  • Sluggish
  • Central position of dials
  • Stereo/aircon controls not intuitive at first (e.g. why have an ‘off’ button for the stereo when pressing the volume knob is what turns it on)

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

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