Nissan Axxess

The Nissan Axxess was launched in Japan in 1981 and Europe in 1982. It was the first production multi-purpose vehicle, given that the Fiat Multipla of the 1950s is not counted. This model has also been known as the Multi in Canada, the Prairie, and the Stanza Wagon in the United States. The Axxess was one of the first crossover models, as it resembled a tall station wagon with sliding doors. It did seat seven, although it was most commonly ordered with only five seats. In today's terms, it was the size of a compact SUV. The concept for the model was stimulated by the Lancia Megagamma show car from Giorgetto Giugiaro and ItalDesign. This concept car was shown in 1979 and was soon inspiring designers around the world. For example, Italian design also inspired the Nissan March. The Axxess was originally fitted with a 1.5 L I4 engine however a 1.8 L engine followed later in the car's life. Also down the line, the model grew up and a four-wheel drive version was also made available. The first generation Prairies though, while unique, had very poor handling, which was due to the removal of the B-pillar. The Axxess, which was sold in the US and some additional markets, was not the export success that Nissan had expected. People were not particularly fond of its design, and the fact that it drove pretty poorly surely affected sales. In fact, sales were so bad that Nissan did not market another Minivan until the Nissan Quest in 1993, and the Nissan Serena in Europe. Even at that time, the first generation of the Quest was produced by Ford Motor Company in the United States. In the end, multi purpose vehicles are just not the popular even today. They look sort of funny and seem to lack all the benefits of the models they are trying to merge.