The Nissan Stanza was produced from 1977 to 1992.
Nissan Stanza Design and Introduction: Nissan Violet
The Nissan Stanza was part of the Nissan A10 series, which first appeared as the Nissan Violet in 1973. In 1977, the Violet was split into two different models, the Nissan Auster and the Nissan Stanza. The Stanza was sold at Nissan Satio Store dealerships in Japan, while the Auster went to the Nissan Prince Store locations. The original 1973 Nissan Violet was sold outside of Japan as the Datsun 140J or 160J in most markets, except the US where it was under the Datsun 710. It was available in many body styles, including a two-door coupe, fastback sedan, four-door notchback sedan, and a five-door estate or van. The body lines of the Violet were smooth and featured a fastback line on most body styles. The coke-bottle style was growing in popularity, which caused a bulging rear end with prominent C-pillars that could create a lack of visibility. The engine choices ranged from a 1.4L to 2.0, all inline-4s. The most powerful option in Japan was the 1.6L found in the 1600 SSS-E with 110PS. The SSS models also had rear independent suspension, compared to the other variants with rear leaf springs. A modified 1.8L LPG engine hit Japan in 1975, but only for taxi use. The North American variants had enlarged bumpers and the 2.0L engine on most, producing 97 horsepower with additional emissions control equipment.
1977 Nissan Stanza and Auster
In 1977, the A10 Series continued forward. But the Nissan Violet name was joined as the Nissan Auster and Stanza took over as the more luxurious variants on the shared platform. The Auster was first sold, aiming to market itself as a more youthful vehicle with superb quality. Then the Stanza was added to the lineup shortly thereafter, taking over as a more luxurious option available only in high trim levels at the Nissan Satio Store dealerships. The Violet was sold at Nissan Cherry Store dealerships, while the Auster could be found at the Nissan Price Stores. Some external changes were made to differentiate the vehicles, included different shape headlights and unique body panels and hoods. The Stanza was sold as the Datsun 510.
Engine Choices and Available Features
The Nissan Stanza was powered by an array of inline-4 engine options, ranging from 1.4L to 2.0L, with most North American models receiving the 2.0L engine and the Stanza getting mostly 1.6L engines. The available engines across the lineup include the smaller A14, the mid-size L16 and Z16, plus the L20B and Z20S engine types. Transmission options included four and five-speed manuals or a three-speed automatic. A five-door liftback wagon Stanza Resort was first released, and then the same body style was carried over to the Auster and Violet variants. These were under the T10 model code, only made for a short period. The Stanza was being assembled in many countries around the world, including Australia, Taiwan, and Mexico. It was sold throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and in South Africa. The Violet 160J achieved significant victories in the World Rally Championship, winning the Safari Rally in Kenya from 1979 to 1982.
T11 and T12 Series Updates
In 1981, the T11 series of the Nissan Stanza was introduced. The Auster and Violet continued alongside. This switched to a front-wheel drive layout, and the Datsun name was phased out in export markets, now mainly being sold as the Nissan Stanza. Engine options remained similar, with 1.6L inline-4 being used in many Japanese domestic market variants and the larger 2.0L inline-4 found in the North American models. A fuel-injected 2.0L engine was introduced in the North American Stanza in 1984. A three-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission was featured. In 1986, the T12 series Stanza was released, bringing a more rigid design with nearly square angles used throughout. While most engine choices were similar, a turbocharged 1.8L was added to the lineup, as well as a 2.0L diesel inline-4 for select markets. It continued in many markets, but was phased out in some due to the popularity of the Nissan Sunny and Pulsar.
Another change came in 1989. The Stanza name was now used to sell what many markets knew as the Nissan Bluebird (U12) in the United States as a rebadged model called the Stanza. It featured a 2.4L inline-4 engine with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. It could produced up to 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.