Shelter from the storm – Nissan Primera 1.8 SVE – Product/Service Evaluation
Now that winter has dug its icy claws into the UK landscape, the Primera is providing a welcome retreat from the inclement weather. Long gone are those awful mornings of shivering in umpteen layers while waiting for the car to warm. Not only does the Primera de-mist quickly, the brilliant climate control system heats the car up to a toasty warmness in mere nanoseconds. Heated door mirrors are also a godsend. And once defrosted, the Primera’s all-round visibility and reversing camera mean any hazards are immediately clear.
In addition, the car’s abundance of safety features is particularly appreciated at present. As I’ve noted before, the Primera is extremely surefooted and I’ve now discovered that it holds the road well in ice and snow. At times like these, it’s also reassuring to know that all trims feature ABS with EBD and Nissan Brake Assist (NBA). Although I’m heartily sick of three letter acronyms, NBA sounds impressive. It uses electronic aids to ensure optimum brake pressure is applied to all four wheels and, in the event of emergency braking, keeps applying the full braking force even if the driver slightly reduces brake pressure. Fortunately I haven’t had to use this function yet but have generally found the brakes to be fast and effective without jerking.
I’ve also been paying much more attention to the external temperature indicator on the trip computer, although the ice indicator does bleep to warn you when things are getting serious.
The windscreen wipers are effective at wiping away the current torrential downpours and I’ve got all-too-used to leaving the rain-sensing setting on when things are looking a bit iffy.
Whatever the weather, the Primera is still proving its worth for long stints in the saddle. It’s highly comfortable and ride quality is good without much wind noise. And, more importantly, after six months of testing, it’s not developed any creaks or squeaks. Although I’m still only realising 32.7mpg for combined consumption.
Frequent trips to the golf club, ice notwithstanding, have tested the Primera’s stowage and I’m pleased to report back favourably. The split/fold function on the rear seats works quickly and simply, and even conveniently holds the seatbelts out of the way. Although the seats don’t fold completely flat, space is still ample. However, my fears about those finned rear lights getting in the way were well founded and I’ve knocked my elbow on them more than once while hefting the golf clubs out.
And one further bone of contention; the sunglasses holder doesn’t fit my Oakleys. This may sound like whinging to some people but it does seriously compromise my ability to pose.
OK, I might not have much need for sunglasses at present but hopefully by the time I report again, the weather may be warmer. But, this being the UK, I won’t hold my breath.
OTR PRICE: 17,000 [pounds sterling]
ENGINE: 1796cc 4-cylinder 16 valve transversely mounted
POWER: 116PS @ 5600rpm
TORQUE: 163Nm @ 4000rpm
DELIVERY MILEAGE: 281 miles
CURRENT MILEAGE: 10,155 miles
INSURANCE GROUP: 9E
C[O.sub.2] RATING: 177g/km (17%)
BIK: 2862 [pounds sterling]
OFFICIAL COMBINED: 38.2mpg
ACTUAL COMBINED: 32.7mpg
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COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group