Together with the Cabstar and NV400, the Primastar completes Nissan ’s lineup of light commercial vehicles. The vehicle was design together with the Renault Traffic and Opel Vivaro and shares the same design and underpinnings with its two siblings.
The Primastar is one of the most versatile models in Nissan ’s lineup and is offered with both long or short wheelbase and two roof heights. Under the hood, the Nissan Primastar is equipped with either a 2.0 liter or 2.5 liter diesel engines which develop 115 hp and 146 hp respectively. The vehicle has a payload capacity of up to 1.2 tones and is priced from $25000.
The Nissan Prima Star is around for more than ten years now, and despite it’s relatively old age the exterior design continues to conquer the hearts of many fans. Thanks to its modern lines and the bold stance, the Nissan Prima Star continues to be one of the most appreciated vans in its class, as its offers a perfect balance between functionality and practicality.
The dynamic stance is underlined by a bold curved honeycomb grille which sets the tone for a tasty crease that flows along the sides, and then follows the bottom line of the side windows. The bumper hasn’t anything to stand out from the crowd and has a pretty simple design. However, sometimes less means more, and this is the perfect example as the minimalist design of the bumper is a perfect match for the rest of the design. For a better road visibility the bumper is also fitted with two round fog lamps.
Viewed from the sides, the Primastar shows its elegant raked bonnet and the sloped windshield which give the vehicle a tasty aerodynamic look. The same dynamic pattern can be found in the door windows design and the pronounced side swage lines.
The rest of the body is features a typical boxy design, while at the back there are two vertical lamp clusters a practical bumper that also serves as a step for easy access to the cargo area.
Access inside is made fairly easy, as the Nissan Primastar has a relatively low ground clearance. If the exterior style managed to keep its fresh look over the years, we can’t say the same thing about the interior as the dash is starting to show its age. The materials can’t be compared with models like the Volkswagen Transporter or Mercedes Vito, but the overall build quality isn’t bad and everything looks well put together.
The central dash is a bit cluttered, yet we don’t have any complains about the controls layout, as they are pretty intuitively placed and are easy to reach from the driver’s seat.
While we find the dash-mounted gear knob fairly easy to grab and pretty ergonomically placed, we can’t say that the middle passenger will have any good thoughts about it, as it will find its position rather intrusive, limiting its knee room.
On the other hand, the driver’s seat is fairly comfortable and also features enough adjustments to help you get cozy behind the steering wheel. We don’t have any major complains about the four spoke steering wheel either, and despite its dull look it comes with both tilt and telescopic adjustments increasing the driver’s comfort.
The dashboard design features practical storage spaces and is fitted with an audio systems that features Bluetooth for hands-free phone, remote controls and convenient auxiliary input for your iPod and MP3 players.
Moreover, Nissan also offers a healthy list of goodies for its Primastar which includes a navigation system, power windows, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote control locking, trip computer and air conditioned glove box.
Engines and transmissions
The Nissan Primastar is offered with a choice of either 2.0 l or 2.5 l diesel engines. The 2.0 liter unit develops a maximum power of 115 hp @ 3500 rpm, while the 2.5 unit comes with 145 hp achieved at 3500 rpm. Both engines are combined with a standard six speed manual transmission, but there is also available an automatic six speed gearbox.
The intercooled engines are fitted with direct injection for a better fuel economy. There is also a common rail system which improves performance and reduces noise levels, and an electronically regulated exhaust gas recirculation which further reduces emissions.
The 114 hp engine delivers a generous torque of 290 Nm and offers a good balance between power and efficiency, being able to boost the vehicle to a top speed of 160 kmph. The stronger 2.5 liter unit is capable of producing 146 hp at 3500 rpm and 320 Nm or torque at 1500 rpm.
The torque is most noticeable, as the Nissan Primastar simply surges when you whack the go pedal. Its power is more than enough to keep you satisfy both on the highway and in the city traffic.
While we don’t have any complains about the engine’s strength, at high speed cruising it becomes obvious that Nissan didn’t waste any money on soundproofing.
Nissan Primastar Engines Specifications
Ride and handling
At the front, the vehicle is equipped with McPherson independent suspension, while at the back it gets a torsion crank axle configuration. The ride is compliant and comfortable being among the best in the segment.
The steering is also well weighted and the vehicle has a limited body roll which is translated into a good handling and pretty precise turnings.
The Nissan Primastar is fitted with all-round disc brakes, brake assist and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution). The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is also available, but only as an option.
Together with the Renault Trafic and Opel Vivaro , the Nissan Primastar continues to be one of the most appreciated light commercial vehicles in its class and its exterior design still has what it takes to make some heads turn.
However, the interior should get a series of upgrades, as it starting to show its age. Luckily, the overall ergonomy is pretty good with plenty of storage spaces and common sense features and technologies designed to make your life easier.
Another strong point is the handlings which can stack up against the best players in the segment, while the engines are also up to the task and cope great with the utilitarian nature of the Primastar.