Nissan Almera Tino (2000–2006)

What's good

Three lap/diagonal rear seatbelts. Power-trains include reliable 2.0 litre Sunderland-built 136 bhp chain-cam 16v engine with Nissan's Japanese-made torque converter CVT. 

Very good four star NCAP crash safety rating. 

18th from top of 100 models for reliability in Auto Express 2002 survey.

100% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey.

Nissan generally had slightly below average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 94.77 v/s lowest 31.93).

Fewest number of breakdowns and average for problems and faults, rated 'Best Buy' in 2003 Which survey. Which? Best Buy 2004. Which? used best buy £5,000 - £10,000 2004. 

Handles better and is better to drive than Almera hatchback. A decent drive and a decent buy, if you can live with the looks. In 4-seater mode, very comfortable for 4 large adults. 

What to watch out for

Less good two star NCAP rating for pedestrian safety.

Torque converter robs CVT of instant response.

Wipers set for Left Hand Drive.

Problems reported by the Consumers Association include faulty exhausts, rattles from rear seats (recall for this: see below), faulty airbag warning light, stuck petrol gauge, noisy clutch.

Alloy wheels can start to corrode and flake after just 3 years.

Wiper motors (front and rear) are extremely fragile. Cost over £200 for each motor.

Engine management light comes on and stays on. Extremely difficult and costly to get rid of.

Tino rear brake calipers can seize shut as in the Primera mark 4.

Front crossmember can rust through after 6 - 7 years and is an MoT failure point (see photo).

Recalls

1-12-2000: 761 Almera Tino built 5/2000 to 9/2000 recalled because side airbag satellite sensor may be incorrectly programmed and side bags may not deploy during a side impact. Sensors to be re-programmed.

12-12-2000: 1,015 Tino built 5/2000 to 8/2000 recalled because pins which locate centre rear seat hinge may not have been installed correctly which could lead to the hinge failing under load. Rear seat hinges to be replaced where found to be defective (explains Consumers Association "rattles from rear seats".

29-1-2002: 34,480 Almera and Primera 1.5, 1.6 and 1.8 recalled because engine crankshaft and camshaft position sensors may case engine to stall and not re-start.

25-2-2002: Parking brake may not set properly because of misalignment between ratchet and pawl teeth.

8-12-2003: Repeat recall of 108,563 1.8 and 2.0 litre petrol engines built 1998 - 2003 over angle and position sensors which can cause engines to stall and/or fail to re-start. Sensors to be replaced.

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