Nissan can now reveal the information its dealer network and customers have been waiting for: prices and specifications of the exciting new Primera. And very happy they should be, too, because with a starting price of £14,600, the car is going to be even more affordable than Nissan first hinted. The company’s also feeling pretty chuffed because a month before it goes on sale, the new Primera has already won its first accolade - Top Gear magazine’s best Medium Car in its 2002 awards beating the Ford Mondeo, MG ZT and every other rival you can mention.
Over to Top Gear’s deputy editor, James Mills: "The new Primera is alternative without being rendered impractical. It brings character back into an area of the market which was fast becoming far too sensible for its own good, and features some genuine technical innovations which display refreshing levels of logical attention to detail." Thank you James. Now, back to the studio and a run through of the Primeras.
First up is the £14,600 1.8-litre S four-door saloon. The five-door when it comes along in July will be priced exactly the same. And equipped the same, too, with all this lot as standard:
- Electronic climate control
- Up/down, in/out adjustable steering column
- Front electric windows
- Trip computer
- 6" monochrome centre display monitor
- anti-dust and pollen filter
- hands free phone capability
- sunglasses holder
- lumbar adjustment on driver and front passenger seats
- anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution
- 60/40 split folding rear seat with Isofix child-seat mounting points
- driver, front seat passenger, side and curtain airbags
- three x three-point rear seatbelts
- remote control central locking, anti-hijack and perimetric alarm
- 16" wheels
- CD radio with six speakers
- Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
You want the rather fine looking estate? Then add £1000. You want more power, a 2.0-litre engine and a six-speed manual gearbox? That’ll be £500. Prefer automatic transmission to manual? Here there’s a choice: the 1.8-litre four-speed auto option, unusual in this sector, is £950 … or M-CVT automatic transmission, with manual gear selection when you want it, adds £1300 to the price of any 2.0-litre. No auto option yet for the 126PS 2.2-litre turbodiesel but it comes with a six-speed manual ’box and adds £1500 to the 1.8’s price tag. The only other option is an electric sunroof at £500.
Next up is the SE. Again you’ve got the same choice of 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol engines, manual and autos, plus of course the 2.2-litre diesel. Yes, and the same three bodystyles, too. For £1000 more than the equivalent Primera S, here’s what the SE adds:
- 6" colour dashboard display monitor with intelligent control
- rear view camera
- ‘Plug and Go’ integration for hands free mobile phone operation
- leather-rimmed steering wheel
- rear electric windows
- rain sensing windscreen wipers
- auto dim rear view mirror
- front foglamps
- 16" alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts
- A Primera 2.0 SE Estate, for example, will cost £17,100.
The SE customer unusually has a no-cost choice of two different seat fabrics. There’s Ambient which is a soft, suede-ish velour offered in either Canvas or Slate colours. Or for those with more racey tastes, there’s Mode – a dark, graphite tweed with silver stitching.
The 2.0 SE is available with Nissan’s technology pack consisting of Intelligent Cruise Control and Electronic Stability Program. It’s priced at £1000. An electric sunroof can be added to any SE for £500.
On we go to the one-from-top Primera SVE which is available in the same array of engine, transmission and bodystyle options as the S and SE. And at the same price differences with another £1400 on top for the SVE pack:
- 7" colour dashboard centre display
- DVD satellite navigation system
- Thatcham category 1 alarm system
- 17" alloy wheels
- uprated speakers and subwoofer
As with the SE, the SVE gives the customer the no-cost choice of Ambient and Mode interior designs and the technology pack (ICC and ESP) can be added to the 2.0 SVE for £1000 - the electric sunroof option also remains. The roof option is included in the SVE-only Leather pack along with, unsurprisingly, leather upholstery and electric adjustable/heated front seats. The price for all that? £1200.
For example then, a 1.8 SVE saloon will be £17,000 and a 2.0 SVE saloon with M-CVT automatic and leather pack exactly £20,000.
So that’s S, SE and SVE. Above these sits the Primera T-spec which Nissan announced recently will be the most comprehensively equipped new car, it believes, available for under £20,000. In fact, it will cost less than that: £19,500 for a 2.0 T-spec saloon or hatchback six-speed manual. (There’s no 1.8 or 2.2Di T-spec offered as yet.) This price is £2000 more than the equivalent SVE and includes:
- leather upholstery in a choice of Parchment or Indy, the latter with silver stitching
- electronic stability program
- electrically adjustable/heated front seats
- intelligent cruise control
- xenon headlamps with wash
- electric sunroof
M-CVT automatic transmission adds, you’ll remember, £1300 to the price and the estate is £1000 dearer. Which means the least affordable Primera is the T-spec M-CVT estate priced at £21,800.
Nissan could stoop so low as to compare Primera equipment lists with those of an equivalent Ford Mondeo. But it won’t. A Nissan dealer, however, will be more than happy to oblige. And to anyone pointing out that new Primera is priced a little higher than the old one, the dealer will say the difference is more than compensated for by the huge advantages made not just in the features the car now has but in areas of safety, comfort and refinement. And of course styling. Of which Nissan is rather proud.
With Nissan’s advertising for the Primera about to dominate the world’s media, that shape will soon be inescapable. As will be the campaign theme, ‘Primera: A New Form of Intelligence’ promoting the N-FORM dashboard design and the plethora of high tech features packed into the car. Tune into www.newprimera.co.uk if you want to learn more.Published 31 January 2002