Nissan Primera Review

List of Pros

  • Original exterior design.
  • Fair selection of engines. 
  • Accommodates three passengers in the back

List of Cons

  • Minor electrical problems. 
  • Low CVT resource. 
  • Unsuccessful 2.2-liter diesel engine.

Nissan Primera Overview

A third-generation vehicle released in 2007 and better known under its commercial index P12 is the last representative of the Primera line. It is available in three body styles: hatchback (five-door), station wagon, and sedan.

Exterior of the Nissan Primera


Primera attracts attention and stands out among other cars on the road. The Japanese designers used the concept known as “monoform” for creating a car profile: it is almost devoid of steps between a hood, roofline, and trunk. A combination of clean smooth surfaces with sharp edges of the side stampings and sophisticated shapes of headlights makes it a bit similar to a UFO, especially in silver paint.


Nissan Primera P12 has a spacious cabin that is fully in line with expectations for a middle-class car. Perhaps it is not record-breaking spacious but enough to feel comfortable for four tall passengers. 

One of the most unusual things is the shape of the front-facing door armrests and a curved dashboard that seems to smoothly slip into the door. When you open the front door, it seems that a piece of the front panel is breaking off. A sloping dashboard has three large dial plates with silver rims, a color monitor under them, and a bit lower – buttons with two rotating handles and a joystick in the middle. Almost the entire control panel is located here, and the rest of the dashboard area is clean of any buttons or controls.

Interior of the Nissan Primera

Technology & performance

Nissan Primera P12 always comes with a four-cylinder engine. There are three gasoline engines with a volume of 1.6 liters, 1.8 liters, and 2 liters (140, 116, and 109 horsepowers respectively) and turbodiesel engines – 1.9 liters and 2.2 liters (138 and 120 horsepowers). The vehicle is equipped with a standard transmission – a mechanical five-speed or six-speed gearbox, depending on trim. A 1.8-liter version is the only one available with an automatic gearbox. The most reliable engine is 1.6-liter, the smallest one that comes as a basic.


When you get on the front seat, you’ll notice an unexpectedly high urban landing. Yes, there is a height adjustment option in addition to the seat that is originally high-mounted. If you lift it, you almost touch the roof with your head and look out onto the road from under the top cut of glass. Unlike most Japanese cars, the seat is also adjustable in reach. Backseats are comfortable for long rides. You can take the fifth passenger on board but keep in mind the backseat is molded for two.

Climate Control System

The climate system is too smart here. Seemingly spontaneous increase in fan speed, switching to glass blowing, and unexpected temperature changes actually occur quite logically. To prevent this independence, you need to set up the parameters manually. Otherwise, forget about an opportunity to turn on maximum cooling/heating mode.

Infotainment System

The multimedia system that comes in a kit is far from impressive. Sometimes it fails due to poor soldering but the sound gets much better if you add a couple of changer emulators. Meanwhile, the central control panel that manages the operation of the audio system, climate control, and trip computer leaves a pleasant impression. All the characters on the screen are large and clear. The logic of controlling some functions, however, may leave a driver a bit confused. Some functions are controlled by a joystick, some by a keyboard. It gets too distracting occasionally, and you need to stop to figure everything out. 

Storage and Space

Trunk volume is 450 liters – not the biggest you can find but not bad either. Due to unusual body shape, a trunk lid is very short, and it doesn’t lift high. 


Nissan Primera

Nissan Primera P12 can impress both drivers and passengers with excellent ergonomics. Despite some flaws concerning the quality of materials and logic of controls, this car has got quite comfortable back seats and above-average noise isolation. 

Seat comfort

The front seats are pretty good, especially velour upholstery in the Elegance trim. One thing you may not like is too soft pillows paired with too elastic backs that seem to push you out. A regular adjustment of lumbar support makes things better, especially on long trips. The Primera is spacious inside so three people feel comfortable in the backseat. 

Ride comfort

Nissan Primera is not on a list of dynamic cars: the controllability is far from perfect, don’t expect a smooth ride. It is rather a classic means of transportation – quite reliable and modern but without any highlight or screaming discomfort. The sound insulation is okay, but you’ll face trouble with listening to music on rough roads.


This is one of the first Nissan cars made with extensive use of galvanized steel. The cars are painted very well and protected from corrosion. Even the early models from classifieds still come with the original paintwork, undamaged doors, a trunk lid, and thresholds.

The plastic used for the interior details, however, isn’t that good: prepare to hear creaks inside. Electrical equipment is not perfect either, but it is extremely cold temperatures that usually cause problems, not heat. The xenon headlights tend to burn out. A block with ignition unit is installed under them and influenced by condensate, the electronics periodically fails. In this case, you need to completely change the headlight, as finding spare parts is difficult if not impossible.

Safety & Reliability

There are three levels of safety equipment: Comfort, Elegance, and Tecna. Comfort, the basic version, has two airbags, and some power accessories (heated mirrors, electric windows, etc.). Elegance added side airbags, cruise control, and rain sensor. Tecna, the flagship version, originally has xenon headlights and tire pressure control sensor.

In independent crash tests run according to EuroNCAP standards, Primera gained 29 points earning a solid 4-star rating. Extra points were awarded for a seat belt warning device: if a driver or front passenger doesn’t fasten the belt, a sound buzzer won’t calm down. Child seats can be mounted on the back seat.

Should I Buy the Nissan Primera?

Nissan Primera P12 doesn’t demonstrate outstanding driving qualities, powerful charisma, or super-reliability. And still, this vehicle is not an outsider in its class. It is an inexpensive and decent average car, the happy middle ground. P12’s main highlight is the extraordinary design that makes it look original and modern in a decade after release. It is a perfect option for those, who want to stand out in the crowd but aren’t ready to pay much for such opportunity.

How Much Does the Nissan Primera Cost?

The average price of Nissan Primera is N1,500,000. Depending on the condition of a vehicle, you can find options for as cheap as N400,000 or price tags that show N4,000,000.