Nissan Bluebird 1993 Review
The new Bluebird shares the swoopy shape of other modern cars and slots in size and price between Pulsar and Maxima. Although the Nissan Design Institute conceived the shape, Australian cars are fully imported from Japan.
My test car was the sporty SSS model which comes with power steering, four-wheel disc brakes, air-conditioning, central locking, CD player and alloy wheels. The SSS also gets more supportive seats, fog lights and a head-up display. All models have a space-saver spare tyre, and none have anti-lock brakes or a driver's airbag.
Bluebird's curvy roofline provides good headroom in the front, but in the rear my head was jammed against the roof. The 16-valve twin-cam 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine outguns all its four-cylinder competitors - Mazda 626/Ford Telstar, Mitsubishi Magna, Toyota Camry, Mitsubishi Galant and Subaru Liberty. It also has enough grunt to leave behind the Galant V6, and is just behind the 2.5-litre V6 in the Mazda/Ford.
The independent strut suspension is mounted on separate sub-frames to insulate it from the body, and includes anti-lift and anti-dive geometry which give impressive stability under hard acceleration and braking.
Nissan's Super Toe Control, a passive rear-wheel steering system, generates a toe-in alignment on the outside wheel and a toe-out alignment on the inside wheel to produce better control when cornering aggressively and during lane changes.
A first for Nissan in Australia - and a feature the neighbors will queue to see - is the head-up display which is only on the Bluebird SSS. The technology involves projecting a special vacuum fluorescent display on to a special patch on the windscreen.
Speed, indicators, handbrake, door warning and a master warning are all shown by the display on the bottom right-hand corner of the windscreen. The dash also has conventional dials.
But, while it scores full points for "gee-whiz" technology, I would rather spend the money for head-up on something like anti-lock brakes or a driver's airbag - items that definitely contribute to safety.
ENGINE: 16-valve, double overhead camshaft, electronically fuel-injected 2.4-litre four-cylinder, front-drive. Smooth and punchy engine with a fuel-injection system that sprays two jets of fuel into two inlet port tracts.
POWER: 112kW at 5600rpm, torque 210Nm at 4400rpm. Outguns the rival fours and can mix with small V6s.
SUSPENSION: Independent all-around by MacPherson struts, coil springs and anti-roll bars. Toe alignment control for rear wheels. Strut suspension gains its sophistication from clever insulation and geometry.
BRAKES: Discs, ventilated at front, tandem booster at rear. Surprisingly, no anti-lock brakes.
WHEELS AND TYRES: 15-inch alloy wheels with Dunlop D62M 205/60 radial tyres. Big wheels, and tyres chosen for good ride and low road noise.
PRICE: $34,675 Cost of HUD would be better spent on anti-lock brakes.
Range and Specs
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data