Launched at the Hanover Show 2002, the Primastar is Nissan’s take on its parent company’s small panel van, the Renault Trafic. On sale initially in short-wheelbase guise only, it is now also available in long-wheelbase format and there are high roof versions.
As with the Trafic (and Vauxhall Vivaro) there is a choice of three diesel engines and all are common rail. The old
82hp and 100hp 1.9-litre units have been replaced by 2-litre Euro 4 dCis. The lowered powered offering produces 90hp at 3,500 rpm and develops 240Nm of peak torque at 1,500rpm. The respective figures for the other engine are 115hp at 3,600rpm and 290Nm at1,600rpm
There’s also an uprated Euro 4 version of the previous 2.5-litre rated at 150 bhp and developing 317Nm. All Primastars are now fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. As with Trafic and Vivaro, all of these units are excellent, providing smooth power delivery across the rev range, although low-down torque does seem to be lacking for some reason. Ride and
handling for the front-wheel drive Primastar are well up to standard.
The cab is a lesson in ergonomic design and makes Primastar one of the most car-like panel vans to drive. The gearstick is facia-mounted and there’s an abundance of storage cubbies. All Primastars have remote multi-button central locking as standard. The base E specification also features a radio/CD player with remote steering wheel controls and a trip computer. Move up to SE and you can add ABS, electric windows and power mirrors. There are several special packs which take the specification even higher.
Servicing is required every 18,000 miles, which is good news, and the warranty runs for three years/60,000 miles.
Nissan is really becoming a force to be reckoned with in the UK’s commercial vehicle market.