The Nissan Sunny when launched in India was projected as a comfortable living room on wheels, where even the actors for it’s commercial stretched the word ‘CAAAAAR’ from Mumbai till Andaman, exactly the distance we covered to review the new 2014 Nissan Sunny. The Sunny has been lacking ‘FAAAAAARR behind in the sales game, although another Sunny in the meanwhile, which is not a car, has tasted tremendous success. The Nissan Sunny in India, after initially being successful, has been overshadowed by better and smarter vehicles.
Nissan has now managed to clear the skies and give us a new ‘Sunny’, adorned in shiny new bits of parts, that improve aesthetics and visual image of the car to suit Indian tastes. Nissan in order to keep the faith will handle Dealership and Distribution by itself, taking it back from the independent company who used to handle it.
To begin with, the front grille has undergone microscopic changes and manages to look a tad sharper now. The chin sports a chrome strip running across. The fog-lamps now sit at the point of two lines meeting in the letter ‘L’, while the headlamps are slightly reminiscent of the 370z’s when looked from the sides and now go deep into the bumper. Tail lights are new, although only marginally different. The rear bumper now sports a black ‘Diffuser’ like element at the bottom, while the boot holder is now finished in chrome. little changes which make the rear look tighter, smarter and better.
On the inside is where a lot of changes have been made though, The audio control buttons on the steering no longer appears like those on earlier Nintendo consoles, while the wheel itself is now wrapped in leather, higher versions get leather seats which extends over to the gear knob. The center console is finished in piano black featuring a new 2-DIN audio system, capable of Bluetooth and boasts of a display screen for the reversing camera.
The magic though and the selling point of this car is the backseat, there is room everywhere, including in the front, to stretch any part of your body. Being in the backseat you might have to yell or call the driver on his cellphone to ask him to slow down. The cabin feels roomy, comfortable and airy. Sitting at the back you might feel your home suddenly grew wheels, while you were on the couch looking through the window, the ride quality is that good. The Sunny takes imperfections on the road in its stride and rides like a matured car, without bobbing about its occupants too much. While the NVH characteristics of the car seems to have been improved to make it even quieter.
Mechanically, the Sunny’s core remains the same, as it retains its 1.5-litre 98bhp motor which is responsive and eager until you ask for some more, only to be disappointed. The CVT makes it’s shortcomings visible as it’s rubber-band effect clouds the Sunny’s performance. The 1.5-liter diesel powered motor though, has built on its strengths of pulling well from slow speeds, with minimal or non-existent turbo lag. Top end performance however is not the Sunny’s strength.
To sum it up, this car is not for those who would like to harness the Sun’s power, so they could somehow make their cars go faster. This is more suited for a man, who loves his couch, runs a vacuum cleaner through it every Sunday, feels the best ideas come to his mind, while he’s parked himself on the couch trying to read a book (For which Nissan has provided two reading lamps) and would like to carry it with himself, everywhere he travels.