There were three series of the Nissan Stagea - series 1  1996-1998, series 2 1998-2001  series 3 2001 -2006 . 

Series 1 & 2 were similar with the same basic design The later series 3 were completely redesigned with a new chassis and v6 power train. The jury is still out however as to whether this was an improvement or not.

 All the series had lots of variants but we have concentrated on the models that are most common in the UK. mainly the AWD turbo cars

Identifying the exact model is fairly easy as they model codes were carried through the range. 

 The main codes were  .RS or 25t = turbo and Four = AWD ,           There were 3 trim/equipment levels the most basic was G then X and V 

There were also special editions like the dayz option which had a nice bodykit and a choice of special equiment. In fact there was a huge number of extras available as options including twin sunroofs , remote start  and even a fan to cool the rear storage area.

Series  Differences 

Series 1     

Most Series one Stageas in the UK are RS Fours and use the RB25DET single turbo engine with an automatic gearbox.

All series 1 stageas were automatic out the factory. Most were powered by the single turbo RB 25DET . This is the same engine as in the Skyline GTST and produced around 240bhp. 


There was also an Autech version called the 260RS which in now quite rare and is quickly becoming a cult car in Japan   .  It had  280bhp from the RB26DETT  twin turbo engine ,with gearbox and drivetrain also from the R33  GTR skyline . It also had a full in your face bodykit.

Series 2 

The series 2 had the same basic bodyshape but different front wings and grille .It was fitted with the later Neo RB25 single turbo engine . There was a choice of gearboxes but most were either automatic or had the tipronic gearbox .                                                                          

There was a manual version called the RS Four S This had the same power plant but came with the 33GTR 5 speed manual gearbox           The S also had a large number of sigificant upgrades including a completely different rear subframe with HICAS , LSD , improved supension , and a  better interior and was really more like 34GTT estate

They handle much better than  the auto series 2 cars and are a lot rarer so expect to pay  a significant premium if you are looking to buy one. There was a model uprade towards the end of production in but the changes were just details and not significant.

Series 3

The series 3 stageas were designed as a completely different car

Although roughly the same size and shape they have a brand new chassis with every panel  changed. Still available in RWD or AWD the power plant was the v6 engine used in the skylines of the same year . Most  most models were non turbo and rather underpowered compared the previous series 1 turbo Stageas.

There were two AWD turbo models known as the ARX and the RS four which were far faster and much better cars.

Both were made in smaller numbers but can be easily sourced from Japan although expect to pay a premium for either of the two models 

The ARX was more of an "off roader style" with the RS Four more "sporty" in looks . There was also a quite rare model which had the HICAS steering system from the skyline range. These were probably the best handling series 3 car apart from the Autech variants .

                      ARX                        RS FOUR WITH HICAS

The series 3 autech range only had one manual version with a 6 speed box and looked a lot more sporty than the rest of the series 3 stageas

Series 3

The series 3 cars were  completely different .        The majority had a v6 2.5 engine from the V25 skyline.  Some models were RWD but the AWD system was available .                                                           The normal auto NA cars were nothing special but two models stood out . The ARX and the RS Four both had the much better NM turbo engine.                        They were however completely differnt in looks. The ARX  had a off road type style with plastic wheel arches and looked a bit like the Volvo off roader.   The RS Four  was  lower and more like the series 1 & 2 cars.                                                                     There was an option which came with the r34 HICAS system which improved the handling . Nissan also made  a  version called the axis and axsis S  The latter had a 6 speed manual gearbox