Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Car
After extensive trawling of garages with Swmbo. We have come up with our shortlist of cars, one of them being Nissan Primera (1999 to 2003 model).

Having looked up on the reliability index
The Nissan Primera has a rating of 116.11, against 95.56 for renault megane

Nissan Primera -

Renault Megane -

I thought Nissans would be more reliable.

Is there any particular issues with the Primera 2000 year model that one should be aware of ?

Many thanks
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Jamesh266
Maybe the parts are more expensive for the Nissan. The reliability index website score is based on how much the warranty company pay out in repairs for each particular model of car. For example, a Megane could have three problems, each of which would cost £100 to fix, whereas the Nissan might go wrong once and cost £350 to put right. The Nissan has let its owner down less, but the warranty company have paid out more.

I think that the 2003 on Primera was less reliable than the previous model, but I'm just basing that on anecdotal evidence from down the pub and I have no hard facts to back that up.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Waino
Last December my son paid £2400 for a 2000W Primera that had done 51k miles. He researched the reliability and one of his main considerations was that they are a hot favourite with newly arrived immigrant minicab drivers! Touch wood - it, so far, has been excellent. As I understand it (anecdotal), Renault had a bigger hand in the next model and the reliability became a bit iffy.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - fossyant
The only Primera to avoid is probably the 2.2 dCi on the newer P12 model.

The P11-144 which you are looking at is reliable, as are the earlier and later P12 models. The P12 can be prone to more electrical issues, but that's true of all new high tech cars. I've had my P12 for 4.5 years and it's been very reliable - just a couple of quick dealer visits when in warranty - no issues since.

Watch for MAF issues (common on many cars) and lamda sensors as these bits aren't cheap to replace - but these issues are few and far between.

Look for the usual stuff, one that's been looked after etc. and you won't have a problem.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - lucklesspedestrian
If you have a look at the car by car breakdown on this site it has some really useful pointers:

seems mainly to be re the crankshaft sensor.

Our 2000 1.8S is a good car to drive although apparently the 2.0 litre is the one to have.
The gearstick is slowly disintergrating (just the 'knob' mind, not the gears!)
We have a problem with the ABS triggering below 10mph when you apply the brakes and there's a bit of rust on the tailgate.

Apart from that it's a good car (especially round the twisty bits once you get used to the over light steering)

Oh, and it's a bit tight in the back compared to other cars in its class and the rear bumper seems to sag a bit.

There appear to be a few 2.0 litre estates out there fully specced with leather etc for not much money which I would go for in a flash!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - DSLRed
I used to have the 1999-2003 model as a company car, (diesel, can't remember whether it was 1.9 or 2.0) before we all dropped out of the car scheme and took the money instead.

The reliability of it was spot on - I had it for 2 1/2 years, and put 90,000 on it, with no issues whatsoever.

However, reliability aside, I found it the most dissapointing car I have owned / or had use of. It was BLAND with a capital B and was totally gutless. The pickup from a standing start was just non existent - it felt like I took my life in my hands every time I had to make a sharp entrance onto a roundabout.

Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Altea Ego
>Is there any particular issues with the Primera 2000 year model that one should be aware of?

Yes you should be aware that it is a 7 year old car. Being a Nissan does not prevent it from being crashed, clocked, badly maintained, bodged, abused or an ex taxi. All the standard second hand checks apply.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Car
Thanks for the replies, forgot that the Nissan would be more expensive to fix if it went wrong.

If I go for the Nissan will most likely go for the 1.8, what is the fuel consumtion like around town? and on motorways?
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - lucklesspedestrian
I don't split the figures really but in mixed conditions I'm getting high 30's.

Don't forget one advantage of the petrol Primera is that it's a timing chain and not a belt so you save on replacements as well as the piece of mind that they're not going to break!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - v0n
If I go for the Nissan will most likely go for the 1.8 what is
the fuel consumtion like around town? and on motorways?

You are likely to see high 30ies to 40 mpg on long run, 30-32 in town however 1.8 in P11-144 often does feel somewhat underpowered, and 5 speed gear box doesn't help much either. In terms of reliability it suffers mostly from small annoyances rather than faults of any kind - I blame poor final product quality checks at Sunderland - panels rattling due to missing pins, super badly assembled interior trims with massive gaps, low quality fans squeeking on engine acceleration somewhere deep in dashboard, rusting suspension cover elements under boot carpet due to water ingress from badly fitted boot seals, dead illumination LEDs under trip computer that were never fixed because you have to remove half of dashboard to gain access to them and so on, so forth. All of these things can be spotted quite easily during test drive. Avoid melons and it will serve you for years.
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - lucklesspedestrian
Have to agree with v0n's comments about interior trim issues. Mine creaks rattles and groans at low speed/revs like no other car I've had. Reassuring actually to hear that it's not just mine!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - component part
I can recommend these cars. I have a 2001 Y reg 2l SE 5dr hatch. I have had few problems with the car. When I first got it I became paranoid about the engine making an untoward noise, although I now believe it was just the normal sound of the fuel injectors and valve train/chain drive-these aren't the most refined cars in the world, although refinement is still good.

I have had mine 9 months, I didn't drive it for 6 weeks due to foot surgery, and in that time on the road I have covered more than 22 thousand miles. Only faults I have had are the load adjuster on the drivers side headlamp kept going to it's lowest setting, I have replaced the bulbs in the trip computer/odometer in the instrument panel (not too difficult, took about 45 min, but it is a pain as I hate dismantling instrument panels as they never seem to go back together quite the same way), I have replaced both suspension top links on the front (£50 parts, couple of hours DIY for me). Nothing else really. As has been said, there are a few squeaks and rattles. Drivers seat isn't the best in the world for me, but it's ok.

Oh yeah, radio reception is non existent-factory HU. Have checked aerial connections as best I can, thinking it might be the HU itself.

I get 35-38mpg on the highway, could probably see 40mpg if I drove very carefully-but that's with cruising at 65-80mph, making overtakes over 15 miles of single carriageway, full power when needed etc. Don't do much town work but I reckon I'd be lucky to see 30mpg.

1.8l should be 36-40mpg highway easily, low 30s around town. The performance of the 2l is adequate but not amazing, so 1.8 can't be great, but then I used to drive around in a 1.8 8V Laguna with 95bhp, that was terrible. The diesel version of these cars are rubbish-reasonable economy but very poor performance.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - jase1
I have a 2000/X Primera, which I've had for about six months now. It's the 1.8l.

It isn't the most refined car in the world, the engine can be a bit noisy under load, although in fairness it got a bit noisier after the numpties messed up the clutch change, and I suspect something is imbalanced somewhere.

Seems to be very reliable though, and I've had a Sunny with the 1.6l version of the predecessor to the engine in the Primera which was totally rock-solid. The mechanicals on these cars are about as solid and well-built as they get, the interiors are a wee bit cheap though.

Yes, the old 2.0l diesel in the Primera was awful -- it's a smaller version of the same lump they put in London taxis for a long time, and is thus capable of ridiculous mileages but is totally unrefined (read old Peugeot XUD unrefined) and I couldn't live with one.

I get about 35mpg out of mine, but then I drive at 100mph everywhere and so the economy inevitably takes a hit ;)
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - jase1
Regarding reliability index -- you have to bear a few things in mind:

Primeras (and any other car in its class) are driven harder and further than Megane-class cars. Parts and servicing are more expensive, and this is reflected in the fact that most Vectra-class cars in the survey do worse than the Astra-class ones. Nissan parts are also a bit more expensive than Renault.

In the Megane class, the Almera scores a stupidly low 5-10, regular as clockwork. If you get the 1.8, it's the same engine. What does that tell you?

For its class, the Megane score is pretty poor. The Primera is not that bad taken against its peers, especially when the age of the cars and the price of parts are taken into account.

As has already been said, the Primera suffers niggles. Faults are rare.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - brg190 pete
As you can tell from my name, I have a Primera. It is a 2000X 2.0 SE+. I have had it for 3 years, now on 90,000. It has been very reliable, in fact nothing has gone wrong (yet). Only expenses are for consumables.

It's the most fun car I have had to drive, although the ride is hard. I don't feel the potholes as much as I used to, so probably just got used to it!

Mine is the highest spec (leather, climate, 6cd changer). I would recommend going for a high spec, as I don't think they cost much more than base spec second hand.

Get about 35mpg, which I don't think is bad given that I drive the car enthusiastically (the good handling certainly encourages me to drive faster than in my previous Octavia).

There were certainly a few squeaks and rattles soon after I bought it, but I seem to have sorted most of them out.

I go back to the Nissan dealer who I bought the car from for servicing. They seem very good, don't do work unless needed and charge fixed price servicing for older cars.

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend one, especially as they are very cheap second hand. My problem at the moment is that my car is now at the age / mileage where I would normally part ex for a newer car, but I can't really justify it to my wife as there's nothing wrong with it (touch wood!)

I do believe the later shape Primeras may be less reliable - presumably the Renault influence!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - GregSwain
Have a friend with a Primera 1.8 (2001 model) - has been mostly reliable apart from incompetent main-dealer charging her £400 for a repair which the local diagnostic place could've done for about £150. The QG-series engines are good, but not quite as long-lived as the old GA-series. All Nissan 4-cyl petrols are chain-driven, so no cambelt to snap/replace. As previouly said, avoid the newer model (wouldn't buy a car that ugly anyway).
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - component part
Hey Primera Man-how much do your nissan charge for servicing? When I bought mine it had a full history (on 62K). But my local Nissan wanted a frankly outrageous £180, £280 then £330 for the P1, P2 and P3 services respectively, so I've chopped in the full history to service it myself. Now on 84K so obviously it's academic now, but I'm just wondering like.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - v0n
Problem with Nissan service history is that it isn't worth paper it is stamped on as there is actually no such thing as Nissan central database. Every authorized chain of dealers have their own, separate one. And as such any dealer potentially can pull out fresh service book from their drawer and produce service history practically on the spot without any possibility of proper verification for you as a buyer. What's even worse - I used four different Nissan dealers in Kent and London in last two years and none of them were able to do any kind of lookup on previous services between themselves. You could potentially take your car for £15 oil change at National and then stamp your service book with potato making up garage names as you go and it wouldn't make any difference to the process - noone would be able to fully verify the history anyway.
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - GregSwain
Problem with Nissan service history is that it isn't worth paper it is stamped on...

Interesting stuff about lack of central database! Who'd want to take a QG-series engine to the main-dealer anyway when they're so easy to DIY-service?! Anyone who's ever held a spanner should be able to do a full service in around an hour. Plus they only take 3 litres of oil, so cheap to service too!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Altea Ego
Hey guys, we are talking 7 year old car in the 1500 quid price range, FDSH is not really relevant, centrally recorded or not!
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - brg190 pete
Component part

I guess I can name them, as I am praising them. The dealer I bought from and who I have subsequently used for servicing is Martins Nissan of Winchester. When I last went, I think the cost for older cars was £69, £119 or £169, depending on the type of service. They also provide a free courtesy car.

Having said that, the cost of my last service was £234, but that also included a brake fluid change and rear pads, which I didn't think was bad.

I do trust them to only advise that work is needed when necessary. In fact, for 2 services before the last one, they noted the rear pads needed doing next time. So, at the last service, I just asked them to change them anyway!

If you trust them, then I guess it's a good idea to get the main dealer to check over if any work needs doing other than servicing. There has been talk of a starter motor before which they said would be £400. They also said not to worry as it will get steadily worse, just to leave it in the meantime, so no rush to get it fixed. Clearly, on a 7 year old car, I wouldn't go to them for this but would go to an independent.

After the last service, I e-mailed them to say how impressed I was (never done that before). But I was then subsequently a little annoyed when some idiot destroyed my driver's mirror and the garage quoted me £200+ to replace. When I asked them for the part number, they refused to give it to me as they said I would just go elsewhere. Of course, that's exactly what I did and saved > £100.

On the whole, though, I would recommend Martin's! Hope this is of use.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - McP
I have got a 1.6 1997 P11 which has been reliable and returns around 40mpg mixed driving.
After 4 years/70K Now up to 137K and I too am looking for a newer one.

A couple of weeks ago, I test drove a W reg 1.8 Sport P11-144 and was a bit dissapointed by the performance - No noticable difference to mine.
It was however a nice comfortable drive and would be fine if you are not looking for a fast car.

The oil on the Primeras should be changed regularly to keep the cam chain happy, so some sort of history, even just oil changes is preferable.

The ABS rings are a fairly common fault but don't cost a fortune for your local independant to fix.

Apparantly the Primera has a large turning circle and is difficult to park. I can't say I have noticed.

Also have a look on
You will need to register for free but lots of info on what to look for and some very helpful members.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - brg190 pete
Yes, it has got a poor turning circle. It can make you look inept when parking - but you get used to it.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - component part
Very reasonable servicing costs from your main dealer there, but not giving you a part number? What's that all about!?

Gotta agree with the turning circle, you can swing out nice and wide, crank the lock on and think yep, great, here we go...and didn't make it. Turning circle is noticeably poorer than my aforementioned Mk1 Laguna, and driving a small car like a Fiesta makes the small car feel like a black cab. But like anything, you adapt.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - GregSwain
Interesting talk about turning circles - can't say I've ever tested the turning circle of a Primera, but my Almera's turning circle is really good, and compared to a Clio my then girlfriend drove the Almera turned like a black-cab!
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - v0n
Turning circle of N16 Almera is equally bad to that of P11 Primera. Even LWB Toyota Hilux can make it out of my narrow driveway in one go with steering fully locked but none of my Almeras and Primera could ever negotiate it without a four point turn. I got used to it but it's definitely an issue - underground parking ramps, tight turns inside Speedferries shuttle, U turns just about anywhere in London have to be done with dance floor routines and space requirements of naval armada.
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - GregSwain
Turning circle of N16 Almera is equally bad to that of P11 Primera.

Makes me glad I got one of the last N15 Almeras! ;-)
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - SteVee
I've got a 2000 (W) SE+ 2Litre, which replaced a 2005 Mazda 6.
Yes, the turning circle is a real disappointment - much worse than the Mazda, but as said above, you get used to it. It pulls higher gearing than the Mazda and is possibly a little quieter - but it doesn't handle as well - probably because I'm comparing a 7 year old car against a new one.
The biggest problem I currently have is that the CD player skips sometimes.
I bought the primera for its reputation for reliability.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Car
Thanks for all the replies, the Nissan remains on our shortlist but will have to check the turning circle to my current car,the other canditates for consideration are

Skoda Fabia preferably estate model (2000 year)

Renault Megane (2000 to 2001 year)

Hyundai Accent (2001 to 2002 year)

Ford Escort (2000 to 2001 year)

Ford Focus (2000 year)

Will start the search in ernest this weekend as current car is showing its age and want to replace soon
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - jase1
Fabia, Focus and Accent sound good to me, although the Accent (which I've also owned) is no driver's car. All should prove reliable, and the Accent has the bonus that it is very cheap to buy used.

One thing to note on the Accents; the clutches on the 2000 1.3 cars, and the gearboxes (1st-2nd synchro and linkage) weren't up to the job. They didn't fail as such but had niggling defects like grinding from cold and clutch judder. These issues were fixed by late 2001, but the earlier cars (W/X reg) I'd avoid in all honesty. The later cars were much better -- post 2003 they are pretty much bulletproof.

Not sure about the Megane, although it is the previous model (the early MKIIs have a bad reputation) I've known a number of Megane owners and unfortunately that car always seems to end in tears eventually. They break down for stupid reasons which although they are not expensive to put right, are very annoying when they occur. The electrics are also pretty poor, and are complex for the type of car so can be irritating and time-consuming to put right.

The Escort is a worthy car, but was getting a bit long in the tooth by 2000. Go for the bigger engines and you could get a bargain. Very cheap and easy to fix.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - jase1
A few more cars you may want to consider (now I have a handle on the fact that you seem to value VFM and reliability).

Hyundai Elantra -- bigger than Accent, made for US market and very very reliable, overlooked so cheap. Compliant ride and not as bad to drive as some make out.
Nissan Almera -- Primera's baby brother; go for the 1.8 and it's a quick reliable and cheap car. Underrated.
Citroen Xsara -- there are some unreliable examples, but generally a decent car. Much better than the Megane. Good ride quality.
Kia Magentis -- hey if you're going to look at Accents I may as well throw a sideball in! Big, comfy, toys, very cheap, Mitsubishi mechanicals = very reliable. Essentially a Hyundai Sonata -- if you can find one.
Toyota Avensis -- dull but oh-so-reliable.
Honda Civic or Accord -- this is what you want really -- solid as a rock and they run forever. Previous models quite cheap now.

Of course you could go silly and get something like a Nissan QX, Honda Legend, Mazda whatever-their-barge-was-called or Mitsubishi galant. You'll be surprised how cheap these cars can be, and they're build quality personified.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Car
A few more cars you may want to consider (now I have a handle on
the fact that you seem to value VFM and reliability).

SNIPQUOTE! Please stop being so lazy and pay more attention to the message "please keep this thread as readable as possible by EDITING the quote to INCLUDE ONLY RELEVANT TEXT" that appears on your screen when you click the Quote original message button

Hyundai Elantra
Already had a look at a couple of the cars above and have discounted them , SWMBO did not like the view out of the back and as the car will become hers when she passes her test this is an important consideration.

Citroen Xsara
Clutch operation on these felt strange very stiff to press down then fell to the floor.
Nissan Primera - Bad for Reliability? - Car
Appolgies for not snipping the quote but was in a rush to get to work if you can belive that!

Ask Honest John

Value my car