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HY51 Fuga Hybrid

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Well, I had a thread before I bought asking if anyone on here had a Fuga Hybrid, looks like not.  It's not really what I would have gone for but was the best compromise under the new import rules I could find from nissan to replace my highway cruisy Cima which has given me 300,000 happy wafting klm.

I took the plunge anyway and bought this car in September for $1.54M yen, auction rating 4.5B. It took about 3 months to find one in white, with a sunroof, in good condition. Had 55,000klm (matches last dereg certificate) and was brokered by Geoff at Prestige Motorsport who did a great job.

Final cost on road in Aus was just under $33k which is a lot considering the Cima was about $10k when I got it, but obviously awesome value compared to what you can get locally for $33k (Mazda CX-30 anyone?)

2021-02-20 15.57.53.jpg

2013 Fuga 21.jpg


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First impressions?

Well, it does good skids for an auto. Runs a VQ35HR engine + 50kw electric motor for about 280kw all up (compared to 240kw that my 5.6l v8 titan does....but still pretty slow compared to the Stagea :))

Ride is much firmer than the Cima, but it is still excellent, better controlled but still comfortable. It is quiet inside, seats firmer than the cima but still good. Driving position is a bit wierd at first as the steering wheel comes out of the dash quite high and vertical, particularly when you have the seat low for tall drivers not to hit the roof, but it is fine after a while.

Has all of the interior tricks you'd expect from Nissan's top car like the 2 way electric steering wheel, easy exit (wheel and seat move back), power everything, auto headlights/wipers etc.


Cruise control tops out at 107 (indicated 114) on the factory tyres. Cima had the same issue and it annoys me. I'll put 5% larger tyres on to fix this

Lane departure warning is mega annoying (this may apply to all of them, I don't know, have never used it in another car). While weaving over the highway reading my facebook news, it grabs the opposite side brakes and pulls you back into the lane. I prefer meandering

Sonar cruise control is also annoying. Even on the closest setting it leaves about 100m when it starts slowing. If you pull out from behind a car that far back, some tradie in a ranger raptor is sure to fly up the inside and around you. Hopefully I can turn the sonar bit off. To be fair, it works right down to 0 in town which combined with the hybrid makes driving in traffic a different experience

The boot is small (compared to the cima which was a 2 body boot) as the hybrid batteries are under the rear parcel shelf

The av menus are mega complex and it is hard to use google translate from your phone on them while driving. This time I'll get the english translation I think, considering the value of the car.

Despite having option footwell lighting, the interior lights are poor. LEDs on the way which will fix that.

Good things;

The hybrid system works well in town, and the transition to engine is seamless (well, you can hear the engine, but the changeover is smooth). Responsive throttle (in sports mode) and plenty of power for a factory car.

Well suspended for a big cruiser, it is not afraid of corners like the Cima was....very impressive suspension tune

Of course, interior is excellent and rattle free. Very quiet with lots of insulation and thick glass, and it has active exterior noise cancelling

Air con system is...well wierd....it includes "forest" mode that varies the vents and speed of fans to give that "walking through a forest feeling". Also includes automatic "aroma" dispenser (mine is happily well empty), ion generator, humidity control and external exhaust gas sensor to switch from external air to recirc automatically.

Heated and cooled seats. No big deal these days but unusual in 2013 and work well. Heated seats seem so unnecessary until you have to get into a car at below 0 and wait for the heater to work...

Speaking of heater, there are no engine ancillaries (probably all hybrids have to work this way). Power steer, aircon, alternator etc are all electric so they work seamlessly switching between engine and motor. Happily it still has a harmonic balancer with belt drive ready for the upcoming supercharger.

As well as a reversing camera, it has a camera in the passenger mirror facing forward that you can pull up when parking. Useful,  but a rear facing, same function, would be even better

It has auto lighting when you approach the car at night (with key in pocket). Nice in a paddock on a cloudy, moonless night

There is a factory option drive recorder installed, which records to SD and plays through the nav system. I guess I can find out how those dock workers treated the car....

Finally, for the driver too lazy to do everything, the seatbelt auto retracts. Love to know how long that will work, and what happens when it doesn't.


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Reading back, that post seems a bit negative. Actually, the car is excellent, it's just that when you have a million cutting edge features (for it's age), some aren't perfect. Overall I am very happy with it.

So far it is doing about the same in fuel usage as the 4.5l cima, 9.1l/100. Hybrid doesn't seem to help much (or at all) on the freeway where I do most of my driving. If I had my choice I would have the 4wd v8 but that is US only (steering wheel on wrong side)

Only a few mods coming up at first, mostly for day to day convenience since I use the car heaps for business trips:

  • LED interior and exterior lighting 
  • Deep cycle battery to minimise those annoying "I haven't driven the car for a fortnight and now it won't start" morning
  • Phone holder/charger etc
  • 4g booster and wifi
  • Big light bar to see skippy
  • Larger diameter tyres with a little more grip (came with sucky eco tyres)
  • Power for fridge in the boot


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You are answering all the questions I have had with the Fuga!!! Same thing, I love my Crown Majesta, but I miss a Nissan and want something that will be as quick, use less fuel taking the kids to school and handle better...

Did you consider a Q70 Hybrid at all? And yes so sad that they did not make the V8 available on the RHD Fuga/Q70...

This post is increasing the likelihood of a Nissan replacing the Toyota in the garage... 🙂

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Sorry, I get thoroughly confused by which Inifiniti is which nissan.... I looked briefly at the locally delivered V37 but prices were about twice my budget for less car...

I understand why Inifiniti Australia keeps going out of business, nothing wrong with the underlying cars, but going to a lot of trouble to call them something else when there plenty of Nissan FM platform supporters and then charging way more than we can obtain them as imports just does not make sense to me. 

I haven't driven the Crown but am sure it is also an excellent car. Head to head reviews in the US called the Fuga as being a fair bit quicker but the crown more comfortable.

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I think these have the same driveline as my Q50 Hybrid, they are a performance focused setup, not economy, so you won't get awesome city economy like some other hybrids.

Engine runs on mine most of the time on the highway especially in 110 zones, sometimes switching to EV on slight declines, makes an awesome overtaking experience when you mash the throttle though.

I am quite happy with performance in low 5s 0-100.

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also V37 = Q50.

Fuga  = Q70.


Edited by sonicii
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There's a guy still selling his M35h in N.S.W. (same car as yours it seems) for $40k haha. I wanted to get a Q50 (V37) hybrid (assume hybrid bits are the same) but was just out of my price range. Should've taken the plunge, oh well.

Would be interesting to see how well it does fuel usage wise around town.

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11 hours ago, sonicii said:

also V37 = Q50 = V37

Fuga  = Q70 = Y51


Hopefully my addition was correct :)


Re price, my all up was $33k for a 2013 55,000klm (pretty line ball with that one), so $40k for an Aussie delivered one you can pick up tomorrow sounds fair to me.


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Seems well up there considering I paid $22.5k for my 2015 Q50S Premium AWD Hybrid late last year.

I know it is smaller than the Q70/Fuga/M35, but sounds like the features are similar.

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It seems to me pretty common across the industry to define different models at different price points, even if they have the same engine and motor, but it sounds like you got good value there too....

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Loving the car D. I love your write up on the features too. I'm always asking myself if its worth getting something newer with newer tech but then I read stuff like this and while cool, I just don't think i'd use most of it.

I have the auto air recirc in my E90 (and E70 but different system) and its the stupidest thing in the car. Get this; if you leave the a/c to recirc and turn the car back on, it will default to off. If you leave the auto recirc it defaults to on. But the auto recirc is so bad at detecting exhaust gas that it's as bad as leaving it off. I just want recirc all the time. Dumb. As I said the E70 is different (and heaps better) but its 7 years newer.


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Yeah I think a real risk is that because all these electronic systems are complex, there are lots of parts to let you down over time which makes an older car risky. Pretty sure that is a deliberate sales technique from BMW considering how quickly the error lights start appearing after warranty runs out.

I spent some more quality time in the Fuga last 2 days and some of the features are growing on me. Between the radar cruise control and the autonomous braking, the 30min traffic jam on the M5 was much less painful that it is on the stagea. Shame it only works 95% of the time, still have to keep alert and foot hovering over the brake pedal so I don't end up in the back of a semi like a Telsa driver.

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Speaking of BMW, 2015 B48 equipped FWD 2 series (rebodied MINI), threw a code saying I have low oil. It's done 59,000km. Time for a service and looking at a replacement haha.

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Made some progress on minor improvements to make the car easier to deal with day to day;

  • LED interior and exterior lighting  - interior all done (except passenger reading light due to ordering error) and exterior rear (reverse, indicators, rego plate). Exterior front I need to take the front bar off to check globe sizes
  • Deep cycle battery to minimise those annoying "I haven't driven the car for a fortnight and now it won't start" morning - done...switched the odyssey in from the cima.
  • Phone holder/charger etc - pending
  • 4g booster and wifi - done, all tucked up under with parcel tray in the boot, very short antenna on the roof (will see if it makes any difference, coverage is patchy on Syd-Cbr freeway let alone once I start driving home off the freeway)
  • Big light bar to see skippy - ordered a big dual row one....hope it fits / stay tuned....
  • Larger diameter tyres with a little more grip (came with sucky eco tyres)
  • Power for fridge in the boot

fuga interior leds.pngfuga boot.jpg

I've spent a bit more time in the car last 2 weeks and some of the automation features are growing on me. The distance control assist (DCA) is good in the city but does not always activate so you can't trust it alone, very good is stop/ start or slow flowing traffic. The Lane Control Assist (LCA) is a pain because it activates a little soon, and the warning only (not autonomous) setting is OK but also a pain on rural roads where the centre of the road (where there is open view) is the safest place to be.

While poking around in the boot I noticed everything is electric not mechanical. I'd figured the power steer and aircon was electric, but even the water pump and oil pump are (I guess the engine is turning and needs lubrication when it is not running).

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32 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I'd figured the power steer and aircon was electric, but even the water pump and oil pump are (I guess the engine is turning and needs lubrication when it is not running).

That's weird, the Q50 Hybrid has direct adaptive steering, so it is all electric, same with the AC compressor (doesn't have any drive belts at the front), but has a normal timing chain driven water pump and crank driven oil pump.

However it does have a completely independant coolant system for the inverter and motor which uses an electric pump, and the auto transmission does have an electric fluid pump so the transmission can still function when the engine isn't running, but it does have a conventional TX fluid pump which takes over once the engine is running.

When it is running in EV, the engine isn't turning, so doesn't need oil pressure and coolant flow.

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Good call, I poked around the US M35h manuals tonight and the Fuga also seems to be as you described above....coolant pump is for the battery active cooling and oil pump is for the auto trans

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In other news, I installed the english conversion from our russian friends this evening. Reasonably straightforward with the manual to show where to start and where the hidden clips are. 

Simply unclip some panels (hopefully finding the few screws rather than breaking the trim), the unplug a couple of plus, then as they say, assembly is the reverse of disassembly


Here is the rear of the japanese (left) and english units....15 (yes 15!) on the japanese unit and a mere 9 on the australian one)fuga-englsh.jpg

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13 hours ago, Duncan said:

coolant pump is for the battery active cooling

battery is in the boot isn't it?  it will have active air cooling, the separate water cooling under the bonnet is for the electric motor and the inverter.

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On 09/03/2021 at 9:06 AM, sonicii said:

battery is in the boot isn't it?  it will have active air cooling, the separate water cooling under the bonnet is for the electric motor and the inverter.

Yep confirmed, the battery has a cabin air feed and a separate fan. No cooling for the capacitor so I guess Nissan figured that didn't need it.

Sorted out a couple more things on the car.

Replaced rear ashtray with rear USB, 12v and auxiliary power (including some mangling of the top right screw where I cross threaded it and had to cut it off, dammit) 


Also completed the LED light bar install. There is a mile of room behind the bumper, probably for front end safety zone, but I think having a big light adds more safety in my usage, especially as "winter is coming"...

I took a High Beam signal from this pink wire on the rear of the headlight in the passenger wheel well


Added a relay (second from bottom on left, with integral fuse) triggered by that wire, in the fusebox just above in the engine bay (and took the power feed from the large supply stud there)


Pulled the bumper and reo off


Added a pair of simple L brackets on the rear of the front bumper reo and mounted a very larga Narva light bar (40 LED, 200W, 18000 Lumen). Once reassembled it is unobtrusive


Unless they are on...


Hopefully that will give me every chance to see the wombats before it's too late. I've got the same bar on the Titan and it does an excellent job.

Very few things still to sort out for me; changing the front lights to LEDs except for the main beams which are D2S HIDs already, fitting larger tyres (236/60/18 instead of 245/50/18) so the cruise control doesn't top out at 107, finalising the 4g booster and wifi install, and potentially fitting larger brakes I took off the Cima for slightly better braking, but more importantly easier replacement of parts (more research needed here on front and rear fuga pad and disc compatibility).

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