Primera Goes Onto Further Education | Part Two

The Nissan Primera

Nissan Primera

More models in the range are likely to get Nissan’s Birdview DVD satellite navigation system when specifications are confirmed. This move is particularly generous of Nissan because the system now adds traffic information on the screen and can plot a diversion around any problem. The system employed by Nissan is arguably one of the most advanced available. It starts with a DVD based system that works faster anyway. To this has now been added a dedicated FM tuner that does nothing else all day but listen to Radio Data System Traffic Message Channel broadcasts relevant for the car’s location. Very dull for the car but great that you don’t have to. And it means an end to irrelevant interruptions telling you a cow has wandered onto the A1 south of Edinburgh when you’re stuck in a queue for Bluewater. There is a fee for this TMC service but Nissan pays it. And it works in eight other European countries.

The Primera is one of the few new and affordable cars around that has mobile telephone pre-wiring across most of its range. From July, the system gets even cleverer. Using the Primera’s dashboard N-FORM controlled display screen, you’ll be able to use your mobile’s phone book, look at missed and received calls, see who is calling you and pretend to be busy, juggle two calls at once, and put a call on hold. That’s all assuming you have an up-to-date Nokia, Siemens or Sony-Ericsson phone. But even if you don’t, the majority of modern mobiles are compatible with Nissan’s so-called ‘Plug and Go’ system. You just won’t enjoy all the compatibility of the newest mobiles. The safety benefits remain, even more so now that there’s a phone answering button on the new steering wheel, and you will of course be legal … after you’ve had the correct cradle fitted by your Nissan dealer. But the cost of this is a fraction of what other manufacturers or phone shops charge because the integration comes as standard.

The cradle is mounted in the upper storage area of a new centre armrest. Designed in response to feedback from existing customers, its padded lid is higher up and therefore easier to use as an armrest should. The lid means that the phone can now be hidden out of view while a large box below can swallow up to 8 CDs. The space where the phone used to sit is now freed up for a pair of cup-holders that can be hidden away under a louvered lid if you had your caffeine fix at home. An illuminated ashtray or coin holder is situated in the same area. And on heated seat Primeras, the switches are further forward to reduce the risk of an unexplained hot sensation in your lower regions.

The bit of console ahead of the gearlever changes, too. The navigation DVD unit has been banished to under the driver's seat freeing up space for a storage box with – wait for it – a push-push, damped action lid with chrome trim and a flocked interior. Showroom browsers will love it. A more straightforward addition is room to dashboard mount a 6CD autochanger. Before it had to sit in the boot. The steering wheel gets a new flatter design with more neatly integrated switches for the cruise control, audio and telephone. As well as looking shinier, they’re easier to use. So, too, are the new bigger door pulls and higher mounted armrests - more changes that come in response to customer feedback.

The in-dash display screen gets a graphical makeover in the interests of colour and clarity. Primera customers apparently like to clock watch so the time now remains on the dashboard mounted colour display irrespective of whether the audio selection, climate control or satnav is being displayed. And another little change is that the driver won’t be constantly told to be wary of ice when the temperature dips in and out of range. Once is enough, thank you. The climate control operation has been improved – again, because Nissan has listened – with more accurate airflow and fan speed selection and the possibility to manually select a lower temperature range.

continues... | Part Three
Published 12 May 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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