The Nissan Presea was a compact four-door hardtop sedan produced from 1990 to 2000.
Nissan Presea Name Origination and Market Availability
The Presea name comes from the Spanish term for jewel, award, or importance. This signifies Nissan's desire for the Presea to compete with entry-level luxury sedans of the era, including the Toyota Corolla Ceres and the Honda Integra. Although many Nissan models were often available globally, usually sold under different names depending on the specific market, the Nissan Presea was exclusively available in the Asian markets. For North America specifically, that is likely due to the smaller size of this model in comparison to larger luxury sedans sold in North America. In the Japanese domestic market, it was only available the Nissan Motor Store dealership locations.
Design and Introduction
Sharing the same platform as the B13 Nissan Sunny, the Presea was a replacement to the Nissan Laurel Spririt. The entry-level luxury sedan market was heating up in the 1990s, offering a balance between luxury features and a somewhat reasonable price that made it attractive during the financial challenges that swept the country during the era. The overall design took many features from the larger Nissan President, a car that was well-known for its luxury status. By bringing those features onto a smaller platform, Nissan was able to accommodate the luxury appointments without going overboard on production costs or selling price. It was a usually sedan shape, but had many rounded features down to the bumper placement, which were often color-matched to the rest of the vehicle.
Craftsmanship and Available Features
While many parts were shared with the Sunny, the Presea received enhanced quality of overall construction. Everything from the body panels to the interior was manufactured to higher specifications. Many more advanced features hit the Presea as well. These included things like automatic climate control, adjustable seatbelt shoulder height, and electronic folding side mirrors. Other advanced features included automatic headlights, frames windows, and an integrated sound system. Overall, the vehicle was incredibly well equipped with little left to be desired in the top trim levels and on those models were the best options were included.
Engine and Other Options
The engine selection was comprised of inline-4 gasoline engines, ranging from the entry-level 1.5L GA15DE, all the way through a 2.0L SR20DE choice. Power ratings varied between 110 and 125 horsepower, providing adequate acceleration and speed without going overboard. They were paired to a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. Although the Nissan Presea was a luxury vehicle in many regards, but keeping the engine displacement to 2.0L and under allowed it to receive favorable tax consequences from the Japanese government. This reduced the overall road tax burden for the customers, allowing them to splurge on options and amenities instead.
Stylistic Touches and Unique Aspects
Overall visibility was incredible on the Nissan Presea, thanks to thinly designed A and B-pillars, along with a wrap-around rear window shape and flowing C-pillar. The frameless window design also helped with visibility, as well as provided enhanced styling more reminiscent of higher-priced vehicles. It was a fairly long sedan for the compact four-door segment, reaching about 15 cm longer than the Sentra. The roof was also lower than other models, which gave it the enhanced look and design, but resulted in a somewhat low interior roof that added slight difficulty when entering and exiting the vehicle. Although the Nissan Presea was able to meet the market demands early in its production run, things changed fairly rapidly for this small but might sedan. Production ended in 2000, just ten years after its introduction, which was a short run for the Nissan brand. At the same time, a ten year run without a significant redesign and new generation introduction speaks to the longevity and timeless look the Presea incorporated.