Photos: Shrey Sunil
We were in Chennai to drive the Nissan Sunny which is slated to be launched on the 20th of September. The new sedan from Nissan shares its platform with the Micra hatchback and is one of the most successful nameplates in Nissan’s product portfolio worldwide. Although it shares the V-platform with the Micra, the new car doesn’t resemble or reminisce of the Micra in any aspect. Nissan have done an impressive job of overhauling key parameters such as wheelbase, engine and chassis to make sure that the Sunny is a fully grown up car.
We drove the car for a good 180km, and managed to get a fair idea of what the new car stands for. Here’s a quick look at various aspects of the car. A detailed review will soon follow
Visuals / Exterior
• Big looking car comparable with the Linea / City / Vento (won’t look small even in front of the Corolla)
• Chunky styling with meaty fender area and a thick C-pillar and high shoulder line makes the car look really substantial
• Quality of paint, fit & finish and overall turnout is superb, making the car look like a premium product
• Visually looks more premium, bigger and more sophisticated than the likes of the Etios and Dzire.
• Looks peculiarly similar to the Dzire from the rear
• Good area covered by the glasshouse, creating an ‘airy and spacious’ aura
• Looks best when viewed head on, with the angular chrome grille giving the car a really premium look
• Styling grows on you. The car looks much better in the metal than in pictures
• Grey + Beige two tone finish
• Good quality of materials. Fit & finish is praise worthy
• Audio system with Radio + CD + Aux in. No USB slot
• Best in class back seat knee room. Beats even the Corolla hands down.
• Comfortable back bench with a big window augments the feeling of airiness.
• A/C vent-like fan for the back seat as standard. Helps circulate cool air faster.
• Ample width to seat three in comfort at the back seat.
• Head room comes slightly at a premium though.
• 4 Bottle holders at front good only for smaller bottles. 1-liter bottles will not fit.
• Push button start and proximity sensor key dongle.
• Steering wheels, center console, and many other bits on the dashboard shared with the Micra.
• Instrument cluster is all-new with a multi function display. Look great with the chrome rings around the speedo-tacho binnacle
• Cabin is silent at low engine speeds. Transmission whine increases as speeds go up
• Tyre noise is more than ideal at higher speeds
• No wind noise
Engine and transmission
• All new 1.5-liter, DOHC 16 Valve , 4 cylinder HR15DE engine
• Peak power rated at 99PS @ 6000 rpm
• Peak torque rated at 134 Nm @ 4000 rpm.
• ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 16.95 kmpl
• 5 speed manual transmission
• CVT auto transmission in the works
• Impressive low and mid range torque, pulls neatly from low speeds
• Rev-happy engine goes all the way up to 7000 rpm – doesn’t feel strained
• Gearbox is quite rough and notchy, disappointing
• Slight transmission vibes can be felt on the gear knob as well as the clutch pedal
• Engine very well suited for both City driving and highway cruising – not exactly a petrol head’s dream though
• Real world fuel efficiency is good
Driving dynamics, handling and comfort
• Slightly stiff suspension, doesn’t compromise comfort but enables appreciable body behavior around corners
• The car feels planted at speeds in a straight line – wide track, fat rubber and a long wheelbase helps stability
• Steering is not very communicative – lacks feedback and connection with the road
• Steering need corrections on sharp maneuvers
• Brake pedal lacks feel, difficult to modulate. Feels soggy at first, and bites too much when pushed hard
• Not very sure footed around corners, constant corrections required.
• Suspension is sufficiently absorbent – no jarring feeling at the front or back seat.
• Tyre noise over bumps intrudes the cabin
Not announced yet, but expected to be priced between 6-7 lakh rupees ex-showroom for the base XE variant. XE and XL to ride on 14inch steel wheels. Top of the line XV to get 15 inch alloys with lower profile tyres