Nissan has agreed that prices for the new, plusher, sharper, smoother and cleverer Primera range will start from £14,600 for the 1.8S. Well, officially they will. But till September, Nissan is offering the S from just £13,995 and that’s including a couple of surprising free extras.
The range has grown, too. Things still kick off with the S which as part of the ‘Extras’ promotion adds 16" alloy wheels and a colour rear view parking camera to existing features like automatic climate control and all-round electric windows. And the S also gets many of the improvements made to the new range including a stiffer bodyshell and sharper steering, plus new ‘fine-vision’ instruments, steering-wheel and door trims. But for just £650 over the price of the regular £14,600 Primera S (the Extras promotion being a summer special) Nissan has introduced a new SX version. It too has a colour rear view camera but adds 17" alloy wheels, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, auto dim rear view mirror, a 6CD autochanger, premium audio and Mode seat trim. Like the S, three engines are offered including the recently introduced 138PS dCi. And two body-styles. That’s hatchback and estate, the saloon no longer being offered in the UK.
Onto the Primera SE which goes up in price by £50. Yes, up. But wait before you start firing off emails of complaint because it gains DVD satellite navigation system with the new Traffic Management Control function that must be worth at least £1200 of anybody else’s money. And Nissan has taken the liberty of trading the electric sunroof that used to be standard SE issue for the rather more useful cruise control and colour rear view camera.
The one-from-top SVE is also up in price … this time by £250. But given that Nissan has added leather seats, the front pair being heatable and electrically adjusted, powerful xenon headlights with wash function, a colour rear view camera, cruise control and a 6CD autochanger, the SVE remains something of a bargain. In fact Nissan reckons the extras are worth about £1815. So £250 ain’t bad.
All of which may leave you wondering what Nissan could possibly find to add to the range topping T-spec, the company’s most comprehensively equipped car ever. It did try to accommodate a kitchenette with integrated hob but the legal department raised objections. Cooking is not conducive to safe driving, apparently. So instead the company settled on a colour rear view camera and tyre pressure monitor, in addition to the intelligent cruise control of the 2.0-litre, metallic paint and electronic stability programme of both engines. The 2.0-litre is now only offered with Nissan’s M-CVT automatic transmission for £20,150 – that’s £650 less than before. Or for the same price, the 138PS dCi is available. Estate versions of these and indeed every Primera add £1100.
The new Primera was designed, engineered and is being built in the UK. The changes should guarantee it sells here, too.Published 20 July 2004