Members Used car review
Nissan Bluebird 1.8
Well, a couple of years ago I was after my first car.
Most of my mates tended to favour the Fiesta or Nova cars, but I wanted to be
different! My father has owned his Nissan Bluebird for over 11
years and there has never been any problem with his so a quick
enquiry for insurance was made. Group 6 - the same group as your average
Fiesta LX or Nova of roughly the same age!!! Bigger engine, better
reliability and.... all those electric toys!! Take note new drivers - do
your research before you buy your new car - be different and you'll will find
yourself a bargain with more than you could have ever wished for! Get
yourself a copy of Parker Price guide which will give some indication for the
insurance groups (probably one of the most important aspects of buying a car
for younger drivers).
Now lets looks at the spec - bearing in mind that this
car was built in 1989 some of this list isn't standard to cars
nowadays...let alone cars of back then!!
4x Electric Windows, heated electric mirrors, Power-steering, 4
speaker stereo, electric sunroof, central locking, the list goes on....
So then, for 1500 pound I found a car that had just
72000 miles on it (not bad for 9 years old), no rust and a
clear full service history! Bargain!
However, those who have ever driven a Bluebird will probably
not rave about its excellent handling capabilities. Sure you can alter
the height and adjustment of the seat and wheel but lets it down is perhaps
the wallowy suspension and slow engine. With a 1.8 engine you would
perhaps expect a bit more from it any you really have to work it hard for
you to get anywhere with it - cabin noise is also quite excessive at
higher revs and your really feel like you are destroying the engine yet the
rev counter only reads around 3-4 thousand!! At speed these cars
can also feel a bit light in the steering - this is because the PAS is not
speed-sensitive. Common problems you may find with Bluebird are that the
wiper-linkage can break, leaving just 1 wiper working (the passenger side
one!), the electric aerial can stop going up and down. That is it
really! The reliability of these cars (and Nissan in general) is renowned
though and would expect this car to reach 200,000 miles
with ease - that is how confident I am in these cars. Is it just
chance that many were used as minicabs - I don't think so!!
Nonetheless, the quality of the plastics on the interior isn't up to
the same standard of the mechanics. Over the past 2 years some of
the fitments around the handles etc... are starting to come away.
This could be debatable considering the age of the car though!!
Fuel consumption ain't bad either, I'd say it
averages around 33-36 through a mixture of town and rural driving. I
would say that the 1.8 (90bhp) engine is adequate for just about
everything - overtaking is a bit of a slog, but everything else is just about
fine. Likewise, I would expect the 1.6 to struggle with it's 82bhp
engine carrying a heavy car (most diesel engines today are more powerful than
this!). I haven't actually driven the 2.0i (115bhp) but I would expect
this to improve the car no end, likewise for the 1.8 Turbo (135bhp).
However, I have heard mixed views on the Turbo concerning performance and
reliability - but with any turbo reliability is a concern anyway.
Diesel? Nissan only shipped these cars with a 2.0 Diesel. I have
a friend who used to work for a Nissan and he recalls having a customer who
bought his taxi 2.0Diesel Bluebird for MOT and service every year, and
every year mechanics would place bets on whether it would fail its MOT -
it had to be scrapped at around 280,000 miles!!! It was described
has having an engine of a truck! When you get cars that are this
reliable you wonder if the compromise of refinement and
reliability really is an issue in these cars!
If you are seriously considering buying one of these
cars then do it - you won't regret it! Either go for the 1.8GS or the
2.0iGSX. With these you get the best engines and best equipment levels.
I wouldn't recommend the Premium or LS because may lack some of the electrical
goodies!! I suppose the car I have is one of the most unique
Bluebirds in the country for having the full body kit - it really does look
stunning when clean and waxed in the summer - almost like brand new!
At the time of reading this I am about to change cars
and will be disappointed to see this car go. Comparing it to its
competitors cars when it were new it were light years ahead (Sierra anyone?),
but now the competition has caught up and Nissan have never really
retained their competitive advantage with the Primera. I remember
reading somewhere that in 1989 the Nissan Bluebird was the 10th most popular
car on UK roads - so bear this in mind if your in the market for a
cheap and reliable motor. There should be plenty out there!
For all Nissan cars specifications and data from:
www.ukcar.com click here.