Nissan Figaro (1991 – 1991) Review

Nissan Figaro (1991 – 1991) At A Glance


+Cute retro-looks, an easy-going drive and a certain amount of exclusivity

-Slow and not at all sporty to drive. Pricey, not very roomy and now starting to rust

The Nissan Figaro was built to cash in on the classic car boom in Japan during the 1990s. The Be-1 and S-Cargo had been the first to emerge from the Pike Factory, and were interesting, but it’s the Figaro that is the best known in the UK.

'Back to the Future', exclaimed Nissan at the launch of the Figaro concept at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show. The Nissan Micra K10-based car was styled with a deliberate nod to the company's classic cars, such as the Fairlady, and was available in four colours were: Topaz Mist, Emerald Green, Pale Aqua and Lapis Grey. It proved so popular that it went into production two years later.

The Figaro was luxuriously equipped, with leather seats, air conditioning, CD player and an opening fabric roof. 12,000 were eventually built, and prospective buyers had to enter a lottery to be able to buy one of these cars. It’s been particularly popular with city dwellers, who appreciate its ease of driving. Most are fitted with automatic transmission. If you’re looking for a classic without the tears, a Figaro could be what you need. A popular classic car today, with hundreds now grey imported to the UK.

Nissan Figaro Green Side

Ask Honest John

How do I sell my car?

"I want to sell my Nissan Figaro but don’t know where to start, please advise."
If you are planning on selling your car you have three options: selling privately, trading it in with a dealer against another car, or using an online car-buying service. Selling privately will most likely get you the best price, but you will need to advertise the car yourself on a used car website or through social media selling groups. Trading it in against another car will get you a lower figure, but means swapping between your Figaro and a new car is more straightforward. Online car-buying websites offer the most convenience, but typically offer lower values than selling privately. You can read more in our guide to selling your car here:
Answered by David Ross

I'm looking for a classic car to run around the city - what's a good buy?

"I'm looking for a classic car to run around the city - reliable, easy to park, won't rust away at the roadside and able to stand up to lots of stopping and starting. Probably automatic. What do you suggest?"
You've got plenty of choices here - but there are a few factors to take into consideration. How much have you got to spend? What kind of era are you looking for? And how worried are you about it getting dinged and scratched? For cheap and cheerful you could do a Renault 5, late-model Minis were available with a three-speed auto, or if you're feeling flush a Fiat 500. Fancy standing out a bit? Then a Datsun Cherry could be worth a look. If you're not too tall, then consider something like a Nissan Figaro (for modern cons and a sunshine lid) or a Suzuki Whizzkid.
Answered by Keith Moody

I'm having trouble selling my Nissan Figaro - any suggestions on how?

"I own a Nissan Figaro but can't seem to sell it. It has 60,000 miles on the clock and has been garaged so is in reasonably good condition. Any suggestions on how I can get a sale? "
It's never easy to sell a car so close to Christmas. You don't mention what steps you've taken, so we'll cover the basics first. Make sure your advert contains as much information as possible and there are lots of pictures (showing the whole of the car and close-ups). Next, make sure your advertising the car in the right places. Honest John Classics has its own classified section, but there are lots of other sites such as Car and Classic and Classic Cars for Sale. You can also use traditional print media such as Classic Car Weekly or Classic Car Buyer. You could use eBay to reach a lot of people, but sharing the car on social media will also get it seen. Get in contact with the Nissan Figaro Owners Club ( as they may also have a classified section. Finally, make sure the price is right - have a look around for a model in similar condition to yours and price accordingly. While not as popular as, say, an MGB, Nissan Figaros do attract keen owners - so it's a case of making sure you're reaching as many potential Figaro owners as possible.
Answered by Keith Moody

Should I buy a classic Nissan Figaro or a Fiat 500?

"I have a company car that my 22-year-old daughter can drive, but not after April 2013 as the insurance changes. I am looking to get a fun car (budget around £7000) for she and I to drive that is cheap to run. My heart is drawn to a 1991 Nissan Figaro as I fancy a 'classic' to keep long term. My wife said that a Fiat 500 would be a better bet and more reliable, although I think that there would be less depreciation and more 'fun' factor with the Nissan. Nearing retirement, whatever I buy will end up as my local runaround car. "
A Figaro is basically a 20-year-old Mk 1 Micra tin box with a pretty but rust-prone body styled after a 1950s Goggomobile. Buying one is courting disaster. And they are not 'fun' to drive. Your wife is right. If my experience of FIAT 500s is typical, nothing goes wrong with them for at least four years and eight months (so far). They also do well in their entry in What few faults are listed are for more than 100,000 FIAT 500s on UK roads. A lot better than any Mini or for any Volkswagen model.
Answered by Honest John
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