Fleet News

Nissan Primera 1.8 SVE - 2,783 miles

Nissan

Review

TWO months into its stay with Fleet News, the Nissan Primera is proving itself as one of the most comfortable and easy to drive cars we currently have on the long-term fleet.

The dashboard dials are particularly easy to read, being set on a central console and tilted towards the driver – so they are not obliterated by the steering wheel at any point.

I am, however, still trying to get the hang of the satellite navigation controls, heating, air con and audio system etc. The layout is a sort of keyboard affair and not, to my female mind, of a logical nature.

Last weekend I had a trip to the coast so thought I'd put the map on view to see how much information it offered. It's more fun being a passenger as you get to watch yourself weaving closer and closer to the sea. Surprisingly, some noticeable B roads were not featured on the map, whereas they appear on systems in other cars I have driven. However, the map view is extremely clear and not as distracting as others I have come across.

The Nissan's most unusual gizmo is the reversing camera. It's a bit disconcerting and I am not sure whether I trust it! I wonder if it is too tempting to be watching the screen rather than what might be to either side, or, in front of you?

One of the big pluses for the Primera 1.8 is the vast interior space. We had to put one half of the split seats down to accommodate a cage for our dog Jim but there was still plenty of room for a teenager, clothes, food and a TV/video player (just because the Met said the weather would be good doesn't necessarily mean it will!). Very impressive.

There would have been even more space if the Nissan did not have a snazzy but steep sloping rear window. But that's all part of the grand design.

On the subject of the car's extremely attractive looks, both inside and out, one of our team made the comment that the styling might date over time. Fleets change vehicles on a regular basis so it might not affect the driver, but could the same be said of the residual value? Time will tell. In our first report, Mike Roberts commented that the car hadn't achieved the manufacturer's combined fuel economy. Well, checking the most recent figures indicate that things are getting worse rather than better, but it's still early days.

Company car tax bill 2002 (22% tax-payer) £52.98 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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