Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nostalgic Subcompact: Nissan Stanza Wagon

Nissan Stanza Wagon - Subcompact Culture

We ran across this rarity today in Hood River, Oregon. Although not something that’s incredibly eye catching, sexy, or anything like that, a mid-to-late 1980s Stanza 4x4 Wagon in this good of shape is notable.

The boxy Stanza Wagon was only available from 1986–1988 and offered in 2WD and 4WD. Both versions came with a 2.0-liter engine mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Power output was 97 hp. and 114 ft./lbs. of torque; fuel economy ranged from 17 city/20 highway for the 4WD with the auto to 21 city/26 highway for the 2WD with the manual.

It wasn’t the powerplant, performance, or the super-awesome '80s tall-wagon box-centric styling that was important—it was the car’s versatility that was put on a pedestal. One of the most unusual features: There were no door pillars between the two front doors and two sliding doors. That’s right: No door pillars. Open the two front and two sliding doors and you’ve got a giant, gaping hole in which to insert people or cargo. And that’s before opening the rear hatch. By the way, you could get seating for either five or seven.

I don't know anything about the 4WD system and I couldn't find anything about it online. I assume it was a traditional 4WD system with a high-range only (someone correct me here). I am sure, however, it was probably awesome in the snow.

The Stanza faced a host of great competitors including the Toyota Tercel wagon, Dodge Colt Vista, and the Honda Civic Wagon. All were somewhat less awkward looking than the tall Stanza, in my opinion. Regardless, the car above and below was in outstanding shape and is an interesting cross section of the 1980s tall wagon genre.

Nissan Stanza 4x4 Wagon - Subcompact Culture

2 comments:

nlpnt said...

Rmemeber, too that the firstgen Chrysler minivans weren't much bigger than this.
In many ways the Stanza was a better product - it had two sliding doors with true wind-down windows while the Mopar T115s had only one and fixed or pop-out windows aft of the front doors, and the Chryslers didn't get an AWD option until the early '90s - but they were the 500-pound gorilla sales-wise as soon as they appeared.

Michael Pinegar said...

As a paraplegic, I love my 88. Still driving it.