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Nissan Prairie (1982 - 1988)

Last updated 11 May 2013

Owners loved them, pillarless sides with sliding doors, mechanically reliable with lots of space for very little money
Structural rotboxes now and were pretty uninspiring to drive, even when new


The Nissan Prairie emerged from one of its maker's particularly fertile periods. Nissan underwent a modernistic and Europe-inspired transformation during the early 1980s in which it produced some of its most groundbreaking - if not memorable - cars. Take the 1982 Prairie - although it looks boxy and unimpressive today, and has been saddled by an awful reputation for structural rot, when launched its Italdesign Megagamma-inspired styling and lack of B-post for an airy interior (hence the Prairie name) were seriously innovative.

The Japanese midi-MPV also beat the Renault Espace to the market by two years, although it failed to capture the public’s imagination in anywhere near the same way. 1.5- and 1.8-litre petrols were reliable and smooth, and the mechanical reliability was unimpeachable. But years of minicab hacking and apathy mean few remain today – and values are low as there's an almost total lack of classic appeal.

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