The delight comes from the sheer amount of gadgets and buttons you get to play with as standard on our SVE spec hatchback. For £18,575 on-the-road, Nissan packs an awful lot of technology and luxury into this one-off-top spec Primera.
The list is very long, but some of the highlights include the excellent ‘Birdview’ DVD satellite navigation with colour monitor, xenon headlights, electrically-adjustable leather seats, 17-inch alloys and airbags galore.
Plus it’s got that rear-view camera, which shows you what’s going on behind the car via the colour screen which is also used for the sat-nav. Now, no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to resist asking your mate/wife/child to go and dance about behind the rear bumper, just so you can shout: ‘Guess what, I can see you!’.
The disappointment comes from the 2.2-litre dCi diesel engine. With 136bhp and 232lb-ft of torque, it’s right up there with the key upper-medium rivals for power, but in terms of fuel consumption it’s well off the pace.
Nissan claims the Primera dCi 2.2 will return 46.4mpg on the combined cycle, but we never got anywhere near that figure. Our average over six months was 31.9mpg which is, frankly, poor for a diesel-engined car like this.
Even John ‘Economy’ Maslen, our editor and the proud owner of the lightest right foot in Britain, could not get the Nissan to budge above 40 mpg. But none of our team who drove the Primera are particularly lead-footed, and all drove the car on a mixture of roads and not just stop-start motoring around town.
It’s left us a bit perplexed, to be honest, as real world results from our time in cars such as Honda’s Accord diesel (48.1mpg) and Vauxhall Vectra estate (42.6mpg) are far better.
What the team thought
Model: Nissan Primera 2.2 dCi SVE
Price (OTR): £18,575 (as tested)
Final mileage: 6,875
CO2 emissions (g/km): 164
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 22% tax-payer: £62 per month
Insurance group: 9
Combined mpg: 46.3
Test mpg: 31.9
CAP Monitor residual value: £4,425/25%
HSBC contract hire rate: £292
Final expenditure: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles