Euro NCAP allowed Nissan to re-submit the Primera for side-impact testing after a short-term production problem with the restraint system. The latest results are printed here. The frontal tests showed that the Primera’s screen pillar was damaged but the body maintained its strength. Also, the driver’s head ‘bottomed out’ on the airbag and hit the steering wheel. However, it gave above-average protection to pedestrians.
The body withstood the impact reasonably and was judged by testers to be stable despite the joint between the screen pillar and the beam supporting the fascia panel starting to come apart. The passenger’s airbag was criticised for an unstable contact. Hard points behind the fascia and in front of the driver’s knees were unlikely to injure him, but the steering lock posed a risk. Meanwhile, the passenger could suffer knee injuries from hard points found behind the fascia. The car’s centre rear seat belt was a three-point type, which gives far superior protection to that provided by a lap-only belt.
The Primera did well, and only slightly higher impact loads acting on the driver’s abdomen (caused by the armrest) were observed. The car has thoracic and head curtain airbags as standard. The thoracic airbag protected the driver but the head curtain airbag failed to deploy fully, possibly putting smaller occupants at risk. A curtain airbag protects rear passengers.
Both restraints were specific to the Primera. ISOFIX anchorages were used to mount the restraints in the car. Additionally, the older child’s restraint used a top tether. The 3-year-old’s was forward-facing and the 18-month old’s rearwards-facing. The older child was well protected in the front and side impacts. Protection for the younger was less good in the frontal impact. However their heads were kept safe within the seat shell for both impacts, which was good.
The Primera’s bonnet gave some protection in places but its leading edge did not. Overall, its performance proved better than some other vehicles tested for this round and just fell short of earning it a two-star rating.