Nissan Almera Tino Estate 2000 - 2005

Nissan Almera Tino Estate 2000 - 2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Decent drive quality
  • Good 134bhp diesel engine
  • Spacious and practical with a large boot space
  • Great visibility and easy to park

Cons:

  • Dodgy petrol engines
  • Excessive body roll in high-speed corners

Overview

When the majority of European and Japanese manufacturers had a compact MPV in their model range, Nissan decided they too needed one. The Tino was based on the platform of the popular family car, the Nissan Almera. Although it took quite a while to develop the car, the result is not perfect. As a used car, the Almera Tino is probably a good buy because for the space and practical value it offers, it’s one of the cheapest MPVs that can be bought.

Exterior and Interior

Most people will have heard about the Renault / Nissan alliance that was formed in 1999. This is why many suppose that the Almera Tino is the first product of the alliance – and you cannot blame them. The Tino looks almost identical to the older and more successful Renault Scenic. The body shape is so similar to the French MPV that it is sometimes necessary to look at the front end or the tailgate of the Nissan to see the badge and make sure it’s actually not a Renault. The Tino is, however, slightly larger than the car that it was copying. A couple of inches here and there and you get a really comfortable car. Although its visual appeal is dubious, the cabin is quite pleasing. It seats 5 adults with superb comfort, there are 20 hidden (and not so hidden) compartments for small items. Kids love the cabin of the Almera Tino as there are endless possibilities of making a mess. Thanks to a larger space and better planning, the Tino has a much better boot space compared to the 1st generation Renault Scenic. In fact it’s twice as big with seats upright at 440 litres. With the rear row of seats removed, a 1950-litre cargo platform opens up. The car is neither beautiful nor executed to a high standards, but it’s definitely spacious and practical, which lets face it, is more important for a family car.

Performance and Economy

If you decide to buy a used Nissan Almera Tino, it’s advisable to choose a diesel engine. The petrol options are not that exciting. The more powerful 2.0-litre engine returns only 30mpg which is not acceptable for a practical family car. The 1.8-litre petrol unit can stretch to 36mpg, but it is slightly underpowered. The more powerful diesel engine is a good all-rounder. It delivers a good power rating and can achieve around 40mpg. Although there is a 2.2-litre Renault engine in existence, the one that is powering the Tino is an original Nissan engine. Unlike its French lookalike, the Nissan engine has a chain instead of a timing belt, hence it has a better reliability and longer lifespan.

Like to Drive

It’s not that bad in the city. The rear parking camera makes it a breeze to park even in the tightest of spaces. Because its centre of gravity is slightly higher than in the Almera hatchback and because not enough has been done to adjust the suspension, there is excessive body roll when taking high-speed corners. Other than that the ride quality is not bad at all.

Faults and Repairs

The Tino is not as reliable as other Nissan’s creations. It’s riddled with problems both big and small. The petrol engines drink motor oil as keenly as they consume the petrol. The only way to avoid a large repair bill is to avoid a Tino with a petrol engine altogether. The diesel on the other hand provides a good level of reliability. Although it took some time to develop the Tino, it seems that they still hadn’t had enough time to put good effort into designing the interior. It starts rattling after just a few thousand miles on the clock and the more you drive the more parts you loose. Because the car’s body lacks stiffness, the door locks are prone to sticking and breaking – especially the tailgate and the rear doors. Additional headaches will probably be caused by the electrical system.