Used Nissan Primera Estate 2002 - 2006 review

Category: Estate car

The Nissan Primera estates is as satisfying to own as it is to drive

Nissan Primera Estate (02 - 06)
  • Nissan Primera Estate (02 - 06)
  • Nissan Primera Estate (02 - 06)
Used Nissan Primera Estate 2002 - 2006 review
Star rating

What's the used Nissan Primera estate like?

The Nissan Primera estate is often overlooked, but as a second-hand car it makes a lot of sense because it feels fresher for longer compared with many of its rivals.

It's very well screwed together and is mechanically refined. All the engines rev keenly and smoothly, and the controls work with a light, easy precision - although the steering is overly light.


The Nissan Primera estates is as satisfying to own as it is to drive

  • The Primera is a practical and reliable estate
  • The car's ride is too firm for many people

Steering aside, you'll enjoy the Primera's taut, tidy handling and it soaks up bumps pretty well at speed. However, around town the ride is a little too firm.

The dashboard, like the styling, may take a little getting used to. The instruments are in a binnacle on top of the centre of the dash - easy to read, but out of your natural line of vision. Still, the car is comfortable, roomy and well equipped, and the luggage bay is an adequate size.

Ownership cost

What used Nissan Primera estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Nissan Primera estate?

In customer satisfaction surveys, running costs are one of the biggest complaints from Primera owners, but they're really no worse than those of most family estates.

Prices aren't too steep, although you'll pay a chunk extra for a diesel version - and that means it only makes sense if you cover lots of miles. The diesels sip their fuel at an official average of 46mpg to 48mpg, which is on a par with their rivals. Go for the 1.8 petrol and you can expect it to return mid 30s with normal use, while the 2.0 typically gives low 30s.

Typical service costs are likely to be cheaper than for estate versions of the Citroen C5 and on a par with the Ford Mondeo's.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan Primera estate should I buy?

There have been a couple of diesels - initially a 2.2 TD and, on later cars, a better 2.0 dCi - but they command quite a premium, and we don't think they're worth it.

If you're after a car from mid-2006 onwards, you'll have to go for the 114bhp 1.8-litre petrol - it remained in the line-up when all the other engines were dropped. It's willing enough, although you do have to work it hard to make adequate progress.

That's why we'd go for the 138bhp 2.0-litre petrol model. It has more muscle to flex in everyday driving, yet it's still keen to rev and quiet on a cruise. It's also not much thirstier than the 1.8 and costs just a little more.

You won't be short of kit in the S version, but we'd sniff out an SE car for its alloy wheels, electric rear windows and better hi-fi. Top-spec SVE has sat-nav.

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