The Nissan Primera has always been a quintessentially British saloon car. This might surprise you given its Japanese heritage, but it was built for the European market and was sold new in the UK from its release in 1990 until it was put out to pasture in 2006.
The first generation Nissan Primera had quite a few teething problems, none of which actually related to the design or construction of the car. Legal issues meant that a dealer network was not in place, leading to confused buyers and slow sales.
The Nissan Primera for sale was available as a hatchback, saloon or estate in its primary iteration, with three decent petrol engines on offer and a diesel introduced in 1992.
Nissan revised the range in 1993 with the Series II Primera, only to announce Series III a little over a year later.
1996 saw the approved used Nissan Primera enter its second full generation, providing a fun driving experience even if Nissan hadn't really changes the exterior styling enough to convince large numbers of people to buy one.
In 1998 the second-gen Nissan Primera estate arrived, but in 1999 a third generation Primera was released, this time with that much needed aesthetic shake-up which had been absent in prior revisions.
Nissan made some changes to the trim as well as the exterior styling, also adding a 1.8 litre petrol power plant to the mix and offering a 2.0 litre turbodiesel for good measure.
In 2002 the Primera, once again suffering from slow UK sales, was completely redesigned on the outside in another attempt by Nissan to give the Ford Mondeo a run for its money.
The fourth generation Primera is the best looking of the bunch, or at least the most revolutionary. It has a sweeping, bulging design that makes it stand out and Nissan also reworked the interior to make it as family-friendly as possible.
The used Nissan Primera soldiered on until 2006, by which point only the 1.8 litre petrol engine remained, along with three options for trim. Although the Primera has now become a slice of history, it still presents a good proposition for buyers on the used market.
Bang for your buck
First, second and third generation used Nissan Primera cars for sale are all relatively well equipped for their time and come with durable Japanese designs that really stand the test of time in terms of reliability.
For the fourth generation, which is likely to be the more popular and widely available option if you are buying second hand, Nissan outsourced the styling to a team in Munich and let them get away with some relatively kooky things which help it to avoid being seen as bland.
The saloon features a big boot and the estate is even more generous. You get electric windows in the front and rear as well as some pleasing electronic touches even in the base model.
Look higher up the range and you'll find sat nav, voice controlled gadgetry and air con with climate control. It really is good value for money.
What you'll pay
Used Nissan Primera models for sale which were built before the fourth generation arrived in 2002 can be found for just a few hundred pounds, which is unsurprising given the age group into which they now fit.
You can get a well maintained, moderately low mileage 2006 edition from the final crop of Primeras for less than £2500, although if you want the top trim levels you might pay closer to £5000 for a fully loaded model.
What to check
The used Nissan Primera can take 40,000 miles of road usage a year in its stride and keep on rocking as long as it enjoys regular services. As long as it has a full history and you check up on parking damage/interior wear and tear, you can buy without losing sleep.
Brake pads for the newest Primera will cost just £30-£35 a pair, while a replacement clutch sets you back £165.
How it drives
Any of the 2.0 litre petrol powered second hand Nissan Primera cars for sale offer a surprising amount of fun, squeezing 140-150bhp out of this particular engine. You'll be limited to a 1.8 litre engine if you want one of the final Primeras to be manufactured, but with 111bhp this still has a decent amount of poke.