2012 Nissan Lafesta Review

If you spot the 2012 Nissan Lafesta and the Mazda Premacy side by side, you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. Save for the grille and the logo, everything else is same from top to bottom. This is simply because Mazda supplied the Premacy to Nissan under an OEM agreement and Nissan then rebadged it to the Lafesta Highway Star. It competes with the Toyota Wish, Subaru Exiga, Honda Freed and the Mazda Premacy.

Detailed Review

Also known as the Nissan Lafesta Highway Star

The Nissan Lafesta was in production for two generations starting from 2004 to 2018 when its production ended together with that of the Premacy. The first generation known as the B30 was in production from 2004 to 2012. It had a unique boxy design that many people find authentic and appealing. The second generation known as the B35 was in production from 2011 to 2018.

The 2012 Nissan Lafesta is offered with a 2.0 Litre LF-V engine that is linked to either a 5-speed EC-AT transmission for 2WD models or a 4-speed EC-AT transmission for 4WD models. Higher grades come with i-stop, a feature that automatically switches off the engine when the vehicle is in idling mode.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Grades

  1. Nissan Lafesta Highway Star J Package – This is the base grade that comes with 16-Inch steel rims, 2WD, CD/Radio player and Halogen Headlights
  2. Nissan Lafesta Highway Star – This is the mid level grade that comes with 17-Inch alloy rims, 2WD/4WD, DVD/Radio Player, Xenon headlights, and fog lights
  3. Nissan Lafesta Highway Star G – This is the luxury grade that comes with 17-Inch alloy rims, 2WD/4WD, DVD Radio Player, Xenon headlights, fog lights and Auto Lights.

Legroom & Space
The Nissan Lafesta is spacious car with a roomy cabin that offers good head space and legroom. On the first row, the driver and passenger are afforded with good legroom with seats that can adjust far back to accommodate a tall people. On the second row, the legroom is similarly impressive with sufficient legroom for adults. On the third row, the legroom is good for medium sized adults but tall people will find it restrictive.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. At the first row, there are 4 cup-holders, door panel storage and a glovebox. At the second row, there are front seat jacket pockets and 2 cupholders. At the third row, there are 2 cupholders.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Boot Space
In the seven seater configuration, the boot space is comparable to that of a small hatchback and can carry small to medium sized luggage. With the third row seats folded down, the boot is very large and can carry a lot of luggage. With the third row and second row seats folded down, the Nissan Lafesta is transformed into a cargo van.

Other Extras: Navigation, Alloy Rims,

Safety Features: SRS Airbags, ABS, EBD, 3 Point seat belts with ELR, dynamic stability control(DSC), Advanced Impac-energy Distribution and Absorption System.

The exterior design is not as catchy or stylish as some of its competitors but it’s passable. The higher grades that come with fog lights and alloy rims look much better than the basic grades.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Fuel Consumption
2012 Nissan Lafesta 2.0L fuel consumption: 16.0 Km/L

2012 Nissan Lafesta Acceleration
2012 Nissan Lafesta 2.0L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 12.5 sec.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 Litres

2012 Nissan Lafesta Ground Clearance
The 2012 Nissan Lafesta has a ground clearance of 5.3 Inches(135mm). This is below the minimum recommended clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads. It is necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Stability and Handling
The Nissan Lafesta is a balanced car that delivers power in a smooth and consistent way. The engine and gearbox are in perfect harmony which provides for a fluid acceleration. At high speed, the vehicle feels composed and there is not hint of steering distortion.

Service Intervals
Minor Service: At 5,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 10,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Service parts for the Nissan Lafesta are affordable and widely available in Kenya. Body parts, mechanical parts and sensors can be difficult to find and may require long hours of searching if you don’t know where to find them. Luckily some spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops here.

2012 Nissan Lafesta Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The Nissan Lafesta is a generally reliable car and in our interviews with mechanics and owners, we did not come across any report that suggests otherwise. Some owners have reported body rattling and suspension problems but this are mostly related to older models. As with any car, proper service and maintenance is vital as per the owner’s manual.

To download the 2012 Nissan Lafesta Owner’s Manual, click here.

Resale Value: Average

Nissan Lafesta Competitors: Toyota Wish, Subaru Exiga, Mazda Premacy and Honda Freed

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: Starting from Ksh. 750,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 36,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 28,000/- for 4 Tyres
See Latest Nissan Lafesta Prices

What we like about the 2012 Nissan Lafesta
4. Good fuel economy
5. Spacious cabin
6. The double sliding doors make for easy entry and exit

What we don’t
Low ground clearance

Nissan Lafesta is ideal for people with large families looking for an economical and affordable car. It is much more spacious than the Toyota Wish and it returns better fuel economy. The automatic double sliding are very useful for people with small children especially getting them in and out of their car seats. The Nissan Lafesta is also considerably cheaper in the Kenyan market and you can get a good deal on a low mileage unit

Where to Buy the 2012 Nissan Lafesta in Kenya
If you are looking to either import or buy the Nissan Lafesta locally, we can help you with this process. Over the years, we have developed a network of trusted dealers both in Kenya and Japan who supply us with exceptional cars. Simply call us or send us a message through our contacts below and we’ll get you the right car at the right price.


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