The History Of Nissan Stanza

The Nissan Stanza was a compact car introduced by Nissan in 1977 and was essentially the same car as the Nissan Auster and Nissan Violet. All three bore the A10 codename, and were built in Japan at Hiratsuka and Oppama. A new front-wheel drive model was launched in 1981. Later versions of the car would also be badged as Nissan Bluebirds.

Before the Stanza, there was the Violet, which sold outside Japan under Nissan's Datsun marque as the Datsun 140J/ 160J — except in the United States where it was the Datsun 710. This model was built as a 2-door saloon, 2-door coupé, 4-door fastback, 4-door notchback, estate, and van.

The sporty SSS model has rear independent suspension, others have leaf spring.

This car was assembled in Mexico from 1973–78, and in the relevant markets was known as the Datsun Sedan and Datsun Guayin. It was offered with an optional 3-speed automatic gearbox. It is sometimes referred to as the "bolillo" (white bread) because of its rounded design.

The Stanza, as it was known in only some markets, was first introduced in the 1977 model year as a rebadged Japanese-market Nissan Violet A10. In Australia, it was called the Datsun Stanza, and in the United States the Datsun 510, a name which was recalled a previous Datsun 510. It was powered (in 1978 models) by the 2.0L I4 L20B and in later years by the 2.0L I4 Z20 series of engines.

Five body styles were on offer: 2- and 4-door saloons, a 3-door hatchback coupé, a 5-door hatchback (introduced later in the car's production run) and a 5-door estate. Transmissions offered were a 4-speed manual (in all except the 3-door hatchback), a 5 speed manual (in the 3-door hatchback only), and a 3-speed automatic.


The Stanza was assembled in Australia from 1978–82, in 4-door 1.6L saloon form, primarily to fill a gap between the Sunny and 200B. Trims available were "GL", "GX" and sporty "SSS".

While popular with buyers, the Australian Stanza was heavily criticized by the motoring journalists of the day (particularly Wheels Magazine), who regarded the car as being "unadventurous", particularly with regard to its styling and conventional drivetrain.

In 1979, 120 2-door coupé models were assembled in Australia, apparently due to a mix-up with Nissan Australia's kit ordering system. These cars were sold primarily in Melbourne, and were not widely advertised by Nissan, because they were not intended to be a regular production model.[citation needed]

New Zealand

New Zealand saw limited CBU imports of the Datsun 160J 3-door hatchback. The car was not widely available, as its place in the New Zealand market was generally filled by the Datsun 120Y and the Datsun Bluebird-based 160B.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, this generation was marketed as the Datsun Violet, and was sold in 1.4L "GL" and 1.6L "GL" engine/ trim combinations. No estate models were offered.


The Violet 160J was Nissan's most successful car in the World Rally Championship. It won the Safari Rally in Kenya from 1979 to 1982 consecutively, all with Shekhar Mehta behind the wheel. The 1979 and 1980 winners were powered by an SOHC engine; the 1981 and 1982 winners were Violet GT models with a DOHC engine. These Safari records are only matched by the Toyota Celica GT-Four which won the 1992–95 events. The Violet also won the 1980 New Zealand Rally, and the 1981 Ivory Coast Rally.

For the Nissan Stanza Wagon, see Nissan Prairie.

A front-wheel drive Stanza was introduced in 1981 — the first compact Datsun to be of that configuration.

After 1982, Nissan tried to standardize the Stanza name in its export markets — in addition to phasing out the Datsun marque in favour of Nissan. In the United States, the T11 Stanza with the same Z20E engine, replaced the 510 for the 1982 model year. The Nissan Prairie was also sold as part of the range, renamed the Stanza Wagon. In 1984, Nissan changed the engine in the Stanza from the Z20E to the 2.0L, straight-4 CA20E.

3-door hatchback, 4-door saloon, and 5-door liftback models were produced. Japanese and some other export models were called "Stanza FX", and were offered with 1.6 and 1.8L engines.

This version was sold in the United Kingdom and Europe as the Nissan Stanza; the range was "L" 1.6L, "GL" 1.6L, "SGL" 1.6L and "SGL" 1.8L.

In Indonesia, the T11 Stanza 1.6L was a popular car taxi in the mid-1980s.

The facelifted Japanese models have flat nose similar to the Bluebird U11 series.

Nissan renewed the Auster and Stanza lines in 1986 (T12 series), introducing squared-off styling. Japan and the US received this model. The US Stanza used the same CA20E engine found in the previous generation. The car was unusually heavy for its class, and as a result of its small engine, underpowered. In part to offset this, some export markets offered turbocharged models, badged "Supremo"; and a cousin, the "Auster XTT".

Europe received a version of the Nissan Auster as a Datsun/ Nissan Bluebird replacement. These were built in Sunderland, in the United Kingdom, and badged as the Nissan Bluebird. The estate was the only "real" Bluebird in this range, imported from Japan.

For more details on this topic, see Nissan Bluebird.

The Stanza line was not seen in most other export markets after the 1986 model year. The growth of the Sunny and Pulsar models from below meant there was little room for it.

In the 1990 model year the American version of the Stanza was replaced by a version of the Nissan Bluebird (U12 series), wearing Stanza badges.

The JDM Bluebird has rear license plate higher between the tail lights, whereas the Stanza's is mounted on the bumper.

The fourth generation Stanza was offered in two trim levels: "XE" and "GXE". The sporty SE model was added for 1992.

The 4th Gen Stanza used the 2.4L inline-4 Nissan KA24E engine, an upgrade from previous generations in displacement (from 1974cc to 2398cc), power (from 94hp to 138 hp), and torque (from 114ft·lbf to 148ft·lbf).

The fourth generation Stanza has EPA estimated fuel economy of 18mpg-US (13L/ 100km; 22mpg-imp) city and 25mpg-US (9.4L/ 100km; 30mpg-imp) highway for the 4-speed automatic transmission. For the 5-speed manual transmission the Stanza has EPA estimated fuel economy of 18mpg-US (13L/ 100km; 22mpg-imp) city and 26mpg-US (9.0L/ 100km; 31mpg-imp) highway.

The Stanza was discontinued after the 1992 model year and replaced by the American-built Altima, also Bluebird-based. The last American Stanza rolled off the assembly line on 27 March 1992, though its name would live on in the first generation Altima, technically known as the "Nissan Stanza Altima".

In Japan and elsewhere, the Auster and Stanza ranges were effectively replaced by the Nissan Primera for the 1990 model year.

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