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Nissan Reviews

The early history of Nissan was irrevocably wrapped in the Datsun name - which made a return in 2013. Japanese carmaker DAT was founded by the team of Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi in 1914, and started making cars in very small numbers. In 1931, one of its smaller cars was christened the Datson; when the Nissan conglomerate took over in 1933, it tweaked the name to Datsun, to honour the sun on the Japanese flag.

Some of Nissan's early cars were copies of Austins – including the Seven – but during the 1950s and ‘60s it started building its own designs. Nissan flourished during the 1960s and '70s, following the success of halo products, such as the Fairlady and 240Z. In 1986, Datsun was dropped from all export markets (it was erased from the UK in 1984 after a couple of crossover Nissan-Datsun years) and all the cars became known as Nissans instead. Nissan became a UK manufacturer in 1986 with the opening of a new factory in Washington - with the 1990 Primera becoming the first fully UK-manufactured car from the company.

Good: Like a British roadster, but without oil leaks and histrionics
Bad: Not as nice to drive as an MGB or Triumph TR
Good: Great-looking, hairy chested sports car that sounds like an Austin Healey 3000, Japanese reliability, old-fashioned steering and handling
Bad: Rust, and that's about it
Good: Swiss watch precision in the drivertain, cool styling, perky acceleration, economy and reliability
Bad: Cramped, flat seats, rust
Good: honest and capable small saloon, nippy and economical, happy on unleaded fuel, snappy gearchange
Bad: Rusty, rare, dreadful steering
Good: More power and seating options than the 240Z
Bad: Less all-round appeal than the original
Good: Japanese reliability, roomy interior, great retro looks, rear wash/wipe on a booted car!
Bad: Rare now, rust was the main killer during the 1980s and '90s
Good: Roomy and reliable, muscular, effortless performance
Bad: Unsporting and corrupted styling
Good: In its day a paragon of reliability and cheap running costs, formed the basis of the Figaro
Bad: Very light build and eventually rusts so, by 2007 it had become very difficult to find one worth buying
Good: Owners loved them, pillarless sides with sliding doors, mechanically reliable with lots of space for very little money
Bad: Structural rotboxes now and were pretty uninspiring to drive, even when new
Good: Fast in turbo form, generally reliable, targa-top a nice option
Bad: Poor dynamics, heavy and large, no longer a sports car in the way the 240Z was
Good: Reliable, a car that proved Britain could build cars as well as the Japanese
Bad: There's no nostalgia for this one yet, the history is far more fascinating than the car
Good: Astounding performance, traction and handling, looks the part, too.
Bad: Technically very complex and an import, so great care needed when buying, don't expect to run it on a shoestring
Good: Brings a smile to your face whenever you see one, plenty of good ones about.
Bad: Parts can take a bit of tracking down, beware of over-priced, overworked examples.
Good: Fast and tail happy
Bad: Rusty and rare
Good: Looks great, seriously quick, very comfortable and handles like a proper rear-drive sports car should, UK cars UK built
Bad: Expensive to maintain, even dearer to repair, beware of imports that conceal rust or lack the twin turbos
Good: Cute retro-looks, an easy-going drive and a certain amount of exclusivity
Bad: Slow and not at all sporty to drive. Pricey, not very roomy and now starting to rust
 

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