Rare Rides: The Versatile 1993 Nissan Axxess Sport Wagon, and It's a Manual

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the versatile 1993 nissan axxess sport wagon and its a manual

Today’s Rare Ride is the more streamlined successor to the dorky Stanza Wagon, or Multi if you’re Canadian. I mentioned Axxess as a Rare Ride back in 2017 with the Stanza article, and today’s the day we present it properly.

Come along for some versatile Sport Wagon goodness.

The first Stanza Wagon/Prairie wrapped up its production in 1988, and the Axxess filled the void immediately in markets except for North America. There, the Axxess did not arrive until 1990. With its new model, Nissan changed the platform it used. The Stanza Wagon was based on the Sunny, but its lack of B-pillar and short wheelbase caused some safety concerns. To remedy this, the Axxess was based on the larger Bluebird, which you’d know as the Stanza. As a result, the Axxess had a wheelbase of 102.8 inches and an overall length of 171.9 inches. The Stanza Wagon used a 99-inch wheelbase and had an overall length of 170.3 inches in two-wheel drive guise.

Axxess used engines of inline-four arrangement in either 2.0- or 2.4-liters displacement. Transmissions were four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual, and once again four-wheel drive was available in certain markets. All markets outside of North America saw the Axxess branded as Prairie.

Axxess was on sale for exactly one year in the US – 1990. It proved unpopular as sub-mini vans and MPVs so often did domestically, and was axed immediately. Nissan USA made do with the fire-prone, slow-selling Van until the 1993 introduction of the Quest, a minivan much more suited to the tastes of U.S. customers. However, the MPV-loving Canadians bought their Axxesses (Axxii?) in much greater numbers, and it remained on sale there through 1995.

Interesting trivia aside from the naming scheme difference in North America: American market cars had automatic seatbelts, Canadian ones used manual. And while the Prairie offered the 2.0 or 2.4 in Canada, all examples for US customers had the 2.4. All-wheel drive was optional in both markets.

Elsewhere, the Prairie continued on through 1998 in its second generation. Replaced in North America by the aforementioned Quest and in Europe by the smaller Serena van, Japanese customers still received a third-gen Prairie. Called the Liberty, it shared its platform with the new Avenir wagon, a car that looked a lot like contemporary the Subaru Legacy. Liberty remained in production through 2004 and sported many of the same features as Prairie I and II. It changed names (but not formats) again when it became the Lafesta and was built on a Renault Megane platform. Prairie ended its heritage after a 2011 to 2017 run (a second Lafesta) as a rebadged Mazda 5.

Today’s Rare Ride is a front-drive Sport Wagon trim of the Axxess, with a five-speed manual transmission. Available in Ontario in pretty good condition, it asks $4,495 CAD.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?