Nissan Presage: Still Alive and Kicking
The Nissan Presage was first introduced in 1998 and was a mainstay in Nissan’s eclectic auto range until 2009 when production of the car’s second-generation model final ceased. Like many of its Japanese-designed brethren, the Presage was created in the searing heat of inter-company competition. Rivals Honda were having success with the Odyssey, as were Toyota with the Estima.
As mentioned, the Nissan Presage has existed in two generations, the first of which was the U30. Its initial production run was from 1998 to 2003, and featured a 5-door (all swing doors) people carrier with hints of earlier Nissan designs present, particularly the Nissan Cedric, R’nessa and Bassara models. It carried either a 3.0L petrol or 2.5L turbodiesel, making them a relatively powerful model for the category. The Presage was also noted for its exceptional braking technology, such as the Electronic Braking Force Distribution System, which did wonders to help ensure greater brake effectiveness with less force.
The second-generation Presage, the U31, came with a significant aesthetic upgrade. Most notable were the more striking, aerodynamic lines, redesigned vertical rear lights, sliding rear doors and enlarged headlights. The U31 had a production run lasting six years from 2003 to 2009, during which time drivers were enamoured with the car’s new appeal, especially on the interior. Nissan adapted the inside of the new Presage to be not only more comfortable, but more flexible for users of different needs. They even added a sporty top trim called the Highway Star.
Nissan Presage – Embodiment of the Nissan Philosophy
The Presage strongly reflected Nissan’s ethos of combining the traits of various vehicles for a more positive and pleasing final product. By adopting elements of the Cedric, R’nessa and Bassara, the company built a foundation for the Presage; a canvas on which to paint the flourishes of a new people carrier that would be faster, more stable, safer and better to drive.
Even after tying these things together in the first generation, Nissan persevered to improve further when it released the 2003-model Presage. Both interior and exterior received significant changes. On the inside, the Presage now feature a more elegant interior trim, which creates a more comfortable atmosphere. The seating was also made more flexible. Where drivers of the U30 were basically stuck with what they had, U31 drivers could adapt.
The third seating row of the U31 could fold right down into the floor, leaving an immaculate and even-more spacious boot for those extra-big family cargo days when you have school bags, sports gear, projects, shopping and all other things to cram in there. The Presage has made life easier for so many people. The second row of seating was now able to slide horizontally, making it either separate seats or a bench seat — handy when you need to separate the kids or leave a bit of a space in the middle.
Drivers have also frequently remarked the fun and dynamic ride that you get in the Presage which is one of the highlights of these Japanese MPV’s. The powerful engine ensures strong acceleration even when fully loaded up, and the car’s stability technology keeps the ride smooth even when travelling at higher speeds north of 70mph. A family car needs that sense of stability and safety, and the Presage delivers it to their drivers in spades.
Stability wasn’t the only string to the Presage bow, either. The car’s damping was effective enough to block out a great deal of exterior noise leaving you with a quiet and peaceful interior. Once again, when it comes to family cars, the peace aspect is critical since it allows your (sometimes fussy) passengers to nod off and rest, leaving you to focus on the road. Speaking of which, the new Presage was fitted with a sat-nav system with central display screen, as well as a reverse parking camera which takes the stress out of parking. Just more ways Nissan tried to enhance our driving lives.
On the outside, the facelift given to the later Presage models was instantly recognizable as a huge step up. Sliding doors at the rear made for easier access and a generally sleeker look overall. There were other fine touches as well like the chrome-finish grille, redesigned with a more refined and stately appearance. Five new exterior colours were also thrown into the mix to make drivers more able to personalise their ride and really make it their own.
Nissan Presage – A Veteran Not Forgotten
It may have been over a decade since the last Nissan Presage rolled off a production line, but its legacy lives on. For those still driving it, it represents 10 or more years of happy, comfortable and safe family driving, and for those who have moved on it is the memory of a well-crafted family vehicle that served them incredibly well. Presage — a Nissan through and through.