Primera 2.2 dCI T-spec

30% of Primeras sold last month were powered by Nissan’s new uprated 138 PS dCi engine. That’s double the average proportion of Primeras that used to be diesel fuelled. Sensing it’s onto a good thing, Nissan has thrown all its toys at the dCi upping the range to create a new top spec T-spec version. It’s the most comprehensively equipped car Nissan has ever sold in the UK … since the launch of the 2.0-litre petrol T-spec, that is.

The T of T-spec stands for technology: for example the 2.2-litre 138 PS diesel engine that shifts the Primera to 62 mph in around 10 seconds and, with 314 Nm of torque available at just 2000 rpm, gives much more effortless overtaking than the equivalent petrol. The unit is Nissan’s own and uses modern common rail technology, helped by a six-speed gearbox, to achieve 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 mass emissions figure of 164 g/km. That number translates into a 19% BIK band (including 3% diesel penalty) for the 2003/4 tax year. And the price it’s applied to? £19,500 for the five-door hatchback and £20,600 for the estate. Which brings us onto the spec of the T-spec:

Is there a better equipped diesel for the price? Nissan thinks not. Take for instance Nissan’s ‘Plug and Go’ system (which has nothing to do with shampoo before you ask). The driver can plug his or her mobile into a cradle situated between the front seats with no need to remove the SIM card first – cradles are available to suit most mobiles and are fitted by the dealer before the car is delivered to its new owner. When a phone call is received, the music volume is muted automatically, the person’s name or number gets displayed on the dashboard colour monitor and the call can then be received using the controls on the N-FORM dashboard. Think of it as a totally integrated hands-free kit, something we should all be thinking about with upcoming new legislation on in-car mobile phone use.

The rear view camera is unique in the Primera’s class. Many of us have to watch our backs these days. But the Primera can watch its own behind … and potentially your pennies, too, as even the lightest of parking dings can cause severe damage to your bottom line.

The new dCi T-spec brings with it some pan-Primeran upgrades to improve the level of perceived quality inside the car. Chrome now rings the centre mounted instruments and the darker of the Primera interior trim options has had a blackening of tone. Nissan is obliged to point these out because if it didn’t, you’d never notice. Not when there are so many toys to play with instead.

Published : 19/08/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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