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Primera now built in Britain


Nissan New Zealand is touting its British-built 2007 Primera as a “big step forward” from the outgoing, Japanese market model.

Nissan is selling the Primera in three models – two hatchbacks and a wagon – with the base model SX hatch selling for $38,995.

The hatch is sold in SX and SE versions; the wagon is an SX. There is no sedan in the new Primera range, Nissan saying the four-door accounted for few sales. Nor is there a manual gearbox option. Nissan says that’s because there was little demand for one.

All Primeras use a constantly variable (CVT) transmission which debuted in the old model, though it now has six “ratio steps” built in, and can be used as an automated manual gearbox.

The stepped transmission wasn’t available on Japanese-sourced Primeras.

The British-built Primera gets a reversing camera, which projects on to a dashboard-mounted screen an image of what is behind the car. It’s fitted on all models.

All Primeras also come with six airbags – front, side and curtain – and active head restraints on the front seats. All seats have three-point seatbelts.

The rear seatbacks on all models fold forward in a 60/40 split to extend the luggage capacity. In the wagon luggage space with the seatbacks folded increases from 460 litres to a whopping 1440 litres.

A centre console with just three main controls combines the operation of the sound system, climate-control air-conditioning and the in-car computer.
The cruise control and main audio functions are operated from steering wheel mounted buttons.
Nissan NZ general manager John Manley says he expects to sell around 50 Primeras a month – not as many as the old model sold initially, but a big advance over the 20 a month it was doing in the last months of the model run.

He expects the still rather radical styling to be better accepted second time around. He feels the styling was maybe two years ahead of its time when the old model was launched.

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