Nissan Prairie (1982 – 1988) Review

Nissan Prairie (1982 – 1988) At A Glance


+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.