The Nissan Expert is a line of station wagons produced from 1999 to 2006.
Nissan Expert Background and History
The background of the Nissan Expert can be traced back to 1990, when the Nissan Avenir was released. The Avenir was the replacement to the popular Bluebird, and both vehicles are a large station wagon that also serves as a multi-purposes delivery vehicle. The Avenir had a budget-oriented variant that focused on the delivery van purpose, known as the Avenir Cargo. And the Avenir Cargo had big shoes to fill. Not only had the Avenir replaced the Bluebird model, it also was to serve the demand for the discontinued Cedric and Gloria Nissan models, other multi-purpose vehicles that often served as delivery van platforms. In 1999, the Avenir Cargo was remanded the Nissan Expert. While technically this was the first use of the Expert name on a Nissan model, it was actually the second generation of the Avenir, known as the W11 model type. This was still sold as the Avenir in some markets, and was also known as the Primera model in European markets.
Engine and Transmission Options
The engine choices for the Nissan Expert included many smaller displacement engines that were aimed at finding an ideal balance between fuel efficiency and enough power to haul around cargo. While they were nothing outrageously powerful, they did a great job at serving commercial-oriented vans that wanted to keep costs low while conducting business. There were four main options for engines. These included a 1.8L QG18DE, 2.0L SR20DE, 2.0L SR20DET, and a 2.0L CD20ET turbo-diesel. The transmissions varied between 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual, and a CVT with 6-speed Tiptronic function. The Expert was available in front-wheel drive, and those who needed the additional capability to drive in slick or snowy conditions could opt for a four-wheel drive variant. The front-wheel drive many came with the smaller 1.8L engine and a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. While the four-wheel drive usually featured one of the larger 2.0L engines and was only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Later Updates and Changes
In 2000, some design changes came to the Expert, both inside and out. While most of the changes were fairly minimal, the engine output was improved and the four-wheel drive models could be fitted with the CVT transmission option. While the Expert usually had minimal options, other Expert/Avenir variants featured increased ground clearance and larger wheels. In 2002, the 2.0L SR20DE and SR20DET engines were upgraded to the newer QR20DE engine. This improved performance and reliability, and also showed that Nissan was doing what it could to bring improvements to the longstanding multi-purpose vehicle.
The End of the Line for the Nissan Expert
Unfortunately, the demand for the Avenir passenger wagon and Expert delivery van began to decrease as the 21st century moved on. The Avenir was cancelled in 2005, while the Expert van lasted a little bit longer, but production stopped in 2006. Nissan did an excellent job at utilizing the same platform to serve varying market demands and segments with this model. That also helped keep the price of the Expert to a minimum, something that many businesses could appreciate. While the Bluebird model was able to last many years, the Expert was a relatively fast timeline from start to finish. It’s hard to call it a failure, but it seems that Nissan wasn’t able to quite hit the mark with this delivery van option.