Nissan Motor India Private Limited, the Indian subsidiary of Japanese autogiant Nissan, owns a fleet of vehicles, belonging to almost every segment from hatchback to SUV in the country. In the entry-level saloon segment, it offers the Sunny sedan which is truly a royal wagon to drive. Nissan Sunny hit the Indian shores firstly in 2011 and it was received considerably well by the auto freaks in India. But along the course of time it lost its glory and hence, in an awe to re-create the enigma and panache, the company has launched the second generation of the entry-level saloon in the country being cited as ‘Nissan Sunny’. It is more promising, advanced and striking than its predecessor and looks complete. Sunny sedan has been offered with a total of 8 variants, out of which three – XE, XL and XL CVT belongs to the petrol fuel trim while the remaining five – XE D, XL D, XV D, XV D Premium (leather), and XV D Premium (safety) lie under the diesel guise. In the top-end variant XV, with the diesel guise, the company has presented two special paid optional packs in the form of leather and safety. Nissan has made an array of cosmetic changes both inside and out which pampers an individual adequately. However, the company has refrained from making any mechanical changes or enhancement in the dimensions of the sedan; instead retaining the original one including the transmission also. Check Price of Sunny
EXTERIORS AND LOOK
The facelifted Nissan Sunny can be instantly recognized by its bolder front end. The bulbous headlights are replaced with larger Boomerang shaped units. The wide Nissan front grille now comes as standard across most of the Nissan sedans and it gets a dash of chrome to liven up things at the front end, you will also find the redesigned front bumpers which further add to the glamor quotient of the sedan.
Now walk towards the side profile of the sedan and you will notice that Nissan has replaced the old ORVMs with new sleeker ones while the front apron now boasts of a more sporty and dynamic design. The top end variant gets a new 15 inch 12 spoke alloy wheels which definitely adds to the styling of the sedan furthermore. The rear too gets a chrome trunk highlight on the top end variant while the other variants gets a black Slitter which makes the humongous boot look good. The Nissan Sunny is known for its generous proportions and class-leading cabin space. The new model continues to build on its qualities by creating a more stronger and contemporary look. The numerous aero-upgrades have helped achieve a very low coefficient of drag, this also aid’s fuel economy. Find best offers on Sunny
INTERIORS AND SPACE
Nissan had updated the Micra last year and that facelift had transformed the interiors of the car drastically. Similar changes now flow into the Sunny, which also gets a new centre console with piano black finishing. The AC controls see minor changes while Nissan has made heavy changes to the dashboard of the car. The instrument cluster gets a new fine vision meter which changes the way the console is lit, the multi-information display now getting white lighting. Lower variants still get a basic cluster. The steering wheel too has been ditched for a new and sportier unit. The new 3-spoke steering feels much better to hold and doesn’t come across as too big, the audio control buttons having a slick feel. The beige and grey interior has been replaced by an all black interior which looks so much better, invoking a sporty feel inside the cabin.
The rest of the Nissan Sunny remains identical. You get a cabin which truly has acres and acres of space, more so for rear passengers who can sit and stretch like they are in a lounge with 636 mm of legroom, easily class leading. Good headroom, decent under-thigh support (a bit lacking for tall passengers at the rear), two reading lights at the rear (there are four cabin lights), a chiller of an AC (with rear fan vents which pull AC air from the front), all play a big role in ensuring the Sunny is among the best cars in its class to be chauffeur driven in, the airy cabin further accentuating the backseat appeal. Our only gripe with the cabin is the doors don’t auto lock. Nissan has given the Sunny Bluetooth connectivity and the 2-DIN audio system with a 5.1-inch screen is new as well. The top variants (XV and XV Premium) also get reverse parking sensors and a reverse camera. The XV Premium variant is available in two optional packs – Safety Pack adds side airbags while Luxury Pack consists of genuine leather seats along with a leather wrapped gear knob.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
The Sunny’s 1.5-litre, twin-cam, 16-valve petrol motor (codename: HR15) makes a decent 97bhp and 13.6kgm of torque. Down from 1.6 litres as in other markets, this 1.5 also has only one injector per cylinder, as opposed to two. But because it doesn’t have much mass to move, you will find it performs more than adequately. Its 12.6sec 0-100kph time is no match for a Honda City or a Toyota Etios, but isn’t too far off a VW Vento’s and you can see this in the way it drives. The 1498cc motor’s almost ‘square’ cylinder dimensions work at making part-throttle responses peppy and giving it decent mid-range and top-end power. The best bit about this engine is how well it pulls from low speeds, which makes city driving quite a breeze.
Power delivery is quite linear all the way to the 6500rpm redline, but isn’t as smooth or willing to be revved as, say, a 1.5-litre Honda City motor. It gets quite thrashy past 5000rpm and the Sunny works best when you upshift early and use the engine’s good part-throttle responses and excellent low-rpm performance to get you to speed. It’s easy enough to maintain cruising speeds, and overtaking doesn’t require too much downshifting.
The five-speed manual gearbox has a well-judged set of ratios, but the gearshift feels a bit notchy and there’s a fair bit of transmission whine as well. However, the clutch is light and this takes some effort off the gearshifts.As for fuel efficiency, it sipped a litre to travel 11.5km in the city, and 16.4km on the highway, and that’s better than a Honda City.
RIDE AND HANDLING
This is clearly a car for the laid back rear seats. But the well performing petrol and diesel engines request to be driven at least sometimes. Now you can not push this car along corners, because even though the steering is precise and has a light feel yet adequate feedback, the long body make the car fishtail. The suspension is soft and very well made for our Indian roads. No matter how may the ditch or undulations this car seems to dampen them very well. There is no shock or effect that filters through the seats. The NVH levels are also very low. These are clearly features of something you would find in cars way above 15 lakhs.
BRAKING AND SAFETY
Nissan always has taken care of this aspect cautiously and subsequently it has returned rich dividends to the company. In Sunny sedan, it has incorporated disc as front brakes while the rear braking system is drum. This primary braking system is complimented extremely well by the trio of Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) in each and every variant of this sedan. Also, driver airbag is a standard safety feature across all the variants. The top-end trim XV D features front fog lamps which are quite helpful during inclement weather. It also has the front passenger airbag while the paid optional trim XV D (safety) comes with additional side airbags for the front seat occupants.
There are also several alert systems included in the sedan such as low fuel level warning, door ajar warning, speed sensing auto door lock, headlight on warning lamp etc. to aware the driver of the tricky circumstances ahead. The company has also installed a heap of security features to encounter the thieves and lock-pickers. Nissan Sunny comes with Immobilizer, Central Door Lock, Key Remove Warning Lamp etc. as standard security features across all the variants. Additionally, the mid-level and top-end variants feature Anti-theft Device with Alarm and Seat Belt Warning Lamps as extra security features to keep you car protected from goons as well as bullies.
Even though the Nissan Sunny has its pros and cons, it brings into the segment all that a buyer looks for with unmatchable features like keyless entry, a sporty button start, and steering mounted controls among other features. In a budding segment where space matters the most, Nissan has played its cards to perfection at its first attempt. Although the Rs 7.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) price of the top end petrol variant may seem expensive on paper, with the kind of features and superior comfort that the car offers, it is definitely a good option to consider especially keeping in mind the fact that the Yokohama based company is already expanding its dealer and service network in India. Nissan’s growing brand image aside, the Sunny definitely seems like it’s a leading contender for the throne as far as this segment is concerned and with the advent of its diesel-engined version, the Sunny side up story is just unfolding.