Nissan Sunny Road Test Review


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Nissan Sunny Front.jpg

Nissan has been silently observing the Indian market from sometime after initial launch of its two not-so-successful products. That is, X-Trial and Teana. Until now, the company was known much for its premium brand image but with the debut of Micra hatchback, Nissan proved it to the public that they do not wish to remain as a spectator but plan to move into the volume segments instead. Quite surprisingly, Micra has done a good job for them. Now, Nissan wants move a level above and target the customers of C-Segment with latest entry of “Sunny” in their portfolio. We’re sure, that like us, you would be also wondering whether Nissan has done their homework well in this era of cut throat competition. Well, we find out exactly that. So read on.
 
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Nissan Sunny Looks and Design

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Nissan has introduced the Sunny in India only in Petrol avatar at a competitive starting price with the following variants: XE, XL and XV. We preferred to pick top of the line XV to know best of Sunny. To start off talking about it, unlike Micra which is not so widely admired for its looks, on the contrary, in spite of being based on the same platform, Sunny has different design which looks appealing enough. The looks emerge out from typical Nissan family design with the wide chrome bordered radiator grille between slightly Micra look-alike headlamps, which do the job well of illuminating the road during night times. The basic circular fog lamps are equipped only on the top-end XV trim.

Sculpt on the bonnet increases some visual appeal of the car and as you move on to the side, you will discover a plain yet classy design. The overall length of Nissan Sunny measures up to 4425mm and ground clearance is also okay considering a few bad pot holes that we had to tackle during this test. However, wheels are undersized which play as a spoil sport in the entire game. Nissan offers 185/65 Bridgestone B250 section tyres in the XV variant, where as the XE and XL variants receive 185/70 R14 steel wheels with wheel covers on XL only. The electrically adjustable and folding outside rear view mirrors, which are taken straight from Micra, provide a sufficient view. And for those who find them bland, turn indicator equipped ORVMs are available as an official accessory from Nissan. While blackened B-Pillars look upmarket, Nissan has reserved it for top-end variant only. On the other hand, stylish pull type door handles are standard feature from the middle XL trim.

The bulky side fenders are free from any badges or stickers. In fact, this bulkiness eventually increases as you reach to the rear and this is where the design looks somewhat disproportionate. That nice aerodynamic line flowing fine from the front merges with the sweptback tail lights that remind us of Swift Dzire with maybe a slight tinge of Jaguar XJ as well? Thankfully, from a straight rear-end view, the looks are rather digestible. Nissan has also kept this area free from unnecessary chromes and patterns. All that you will observe is a small “Nissan” logo in the middle with “Sunny” and variant name placed on each side. Overall, the build quality of the car is typical Japanese ala light weight with light body panels.


Nissan Sunny Rear.jpg
 
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Nissan Sunny Interiors and Comfort

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Nissan Sunny comes with the true keyless entry feature which we also saw in the Micra. Its key fob consists of several buttons like lock, unlock and boot open. Just keep this key fob in the pocket and you are all set to enter inside. This car will welcome you with doors wide open that shut with a soft and soothing thud sound. After getting inside, there are important things which you will instantly notice. No.1) Nissan Micra interiors. No.2) Space, space and more space. Although cabin may not feel extremely rich for this segment, but the interiors resemble to Micra from almost everywhere with decent quality materials put in to use. Top-end XV and XL version receive “Greige” interiors (Combination of Beige and Grey) as Nissan prefers calling it, where as base XE has all black shade on the inside.

The front seats are wide enough and are very comfortable with good thigh support. Front legroom and headroom is also generous where even six footers will feel at home. You get the steering tilt adjustment as a standard across all the variants. The view outside the large windscreen is very good and with all the adjustments offered. Thus, finding a relaxed and comfortable seating position is a cakewalk. However, that sloping bonnet will be a problem for some short drivers. Also, there is no space near the clutch lever to rest your left foot and then no dead pedal either, which could result in pain to your legs while struggling in bumper to bumper traffic.

Thanks to the wise choice of interior colours from Nissan, dashboard reflection is kept under check even when the sun is on top. The steering wheel looks similar to the one we see in Micra and feels nice to hold, but you have to put some effort to honk the horn as the horn pad is placed only at the centre of the steering wheel. You get the steering mounted audio controls in the XL and XV variants where there are buttons provided to control the volume and change the track. In Nissan’s language, they are known as fine vision meters which are offered in the top-end XV variant alone where the instrument cluster gives an illuminated feeling even during daytime. Needless to mention it look nice as well.

Nissan Sunny Dashboard.jpg

The chrome inserts along the speedometer and tachometer which is a standard across all variants that gives a neat looks to the dials. Temperature and fuel gauges are digital in Sunny. The instrument cluster consists of the drive computer as standard across variants. It shows details such as Instantaneous Fuel consumption, Distance to empty, Average fuel consumption, outside temperature etc. Sunny’s centre console falls well within the reach of driver and looks to be built to last. This car however lacks the storage spaces. You get bottle holders only in the front doors which can hold only a small bottle. Glove box is well enough only to store the documents and manual book. Vanity mirror is provided on both the sides in the XL and XV variant but not illuminated. Cabin illumination is pretty decent with a lamp provided at the front and back.

Additionally, you get a single 12V charger socket only at the front as standard. The driver side door gets controls for all the windows and the central lock button (not available in the XE variant) but electrical adjustment buttons for the ORVM’S are placed beneath the steering wheel instead. Though they are not inconvenient to use, but still it requires some stretching to do before you can access those buttons. The driver side door gets one touch auto up and down along with anti-pinch as a safety feature in the XL and XV variant which is certainly a useful touch. Now talking about the in-car entertainment, Sunny comes with an Aux-in port and 4 door speakers. USB port is absent even in the top-end XV variant. Music quality is decent but as in most of the cases, audiophiles will demand an upgrade. Nissan Sunny comes with an Automatic climate control in the XL and XV variants and it performs the job reasonable well.

Jump to the rear bench and you will be left amazed to see the amount of space on offer. Sunny has plenty of rear leg which can easily make bigger sedans run for a cover. With the front seat pushed back fully the Sunny still has space to accommodate another 6 footer at the back, that too comfortably. For the sake of comfort, Nissan has also installed a couple of vents for rear passengers, which though may look like A/C vents but are simple fans only. By extending them slightly towards front with proper cushioning, it could have also served as front centre armrest but for present, their surface is slightly behind and hard to rest the elbow. Nissan Sunny can accommodate 3 well built adults at the back with ease and gladly that central hump for the middle passenger is also lesser in size. Overall seat comfort and cushioning is fantastic and suspension supports this comfort if the car drives over uneven terrain. Also, the rear seats get a centre armrest with cup holder in the XL and XV variant and with large trunk space of 490 litres; you’re assured that Sunny can easily house those weekend shopping bags.


Nissan Sunny Legroom.jpg
 
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Nissan Sunny Engine and Gearbox

Nissan Sunny Engine.jpg

Under the hood is sitting the 1500cc DOHC 16 valves 4 cylinder gasoline engine that puts out 99PS of peak power at 6600 RPM and maximum torque of 134NM at 4000RPM. The engine is well complimented by a notchy 5-speed manual transmission which is easy and nice to use. The XV variant gets the push button start as seen in the Micra. Engage the clutch and press the push start button, the engine quietly comes to life. It is extremely refined and hard to notice the engine running at idle. The gearbox is also fine to use and makes easy to slot in the gears, and the soft clutch feels good to press. However, if you are waiting for Sunny in Diesel - we have been told that it will arrive to India by Mid-2012.
 
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Nissan Sunny Performance and Safety

Nissan Sunny Engine Start Stop.jpg

Nissan Sunny is quite peppy to drive inside the city and the EPS steering wheel is also very light which aids to manoeuvre around tight spots easily. But take it to an open road and this is where the Sunny disappoints. The initial peppiness of the engine dies once you cross the 3rd gear, after this the engine sweats and its hard work for the motor. It takes its own sweet time to reach the 100kmph mark, 18 seconds to be precise. The tachometer hovers around 3000RPM mark once it reaches 100kmph which itself indicates that there is not much juice left in the engine.

The Sunny reaches a true top speed of 150kmph but it simply runs out of breath after that. Since it’s not a sprinter, you have to plan overtakes carefully at high speeds. And also, since the car is long there is a fair amount of body roll which can be felt while cornering. Surprisingly the car is well planted at 3 digit speeds and steering control is also pretty good which gives some confidence to the driver. Engine now becomes quite audible inside the cabin once you cross the 100kmph mark along with the wind noise and also tyre noise creeping in. But braking in the car is top notch which brings the car to a halt without making any fuss. All credit to the front discs along with ABS+EBD+BA which is standard across the variants.

As far as safety features are concerned, it is pleasant to note that Nissan has given reasonable priority to it in India which is also an edge over its competitors. The car comes equipped with ABS, EBD, Brake assist, driver airbag, engine immobilizer as standard across all variants. In addition to this, you get the passenger airbag, Anti-theft device along with alarm and speed sensing auto-door lock in the advanced XL and XV variants.
 
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Nissan Sunny Fuel Efficiency and Verdict

Nissan Sunny Fuel Lid.jpg

You can expect the Sunny to return a mileage of approx. 10 Kmpl in the city and anything between 13 – 15 Kmpl on the highways. The fuel tank capacity is 41 litres which means you can go at least a drive up to 450 Kms with tank full.

The Sunny is a first attempt from Nissan to enter in the mid-size segment in India and it is visible that the company has studied the market quite well. Some of the major advantages of Sunny include huge space, large boot capacity, standard safety features and easy drivability in cities with peppy engine and of course, the Japanese reliability is just a bonus. On the other hand, thin dealership as well as after sales network and expensive top-end variant price are the drawbacks. However, considering overall, the mid-variant (XL) makes for a nice deal without spending too much. If you’re a family oriented person with schedule of 9 to 6 on weekdays and family trips on weekends, then definitely Nissan Sunny makes worth the consideration.


Nissan Sunny Instrument Cluster.jpg
 
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Nissan Sunny Likes, Dislikes and Ratings

Nissan Sunny Road.jpg

What we like in Nissan Sunny?
[thumbsup]

  • Space and Comfort

  • Peppy engine for city drives

  • Availability of standard safety features

  • Automatic Folding rear view mirrors

  • True Key less Entry and Start / Stop button

What we dislike in Nissan Sunny? [thumbsdown]

  • Love it or hate it design

  • Weak after sales support

  • Expensive top-end variant

  • Uninspiring highway performance

The Automotive India Star Ratings:


  • Design and Quality:

  • Comfort Levels:

  • Performance:

  • Ride Quality:

  • Handling:

  • Fuel Efficiency:

  • Safety:

  • After sales and service:

  • Value for Money:

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Nissan Sunny Price and Specifications

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Price (Ex. Showroom, New Delhi):


  • Nissan Sunny XE: Rs.5,78,000/-
  • Nissan Sunny XL: Rs.6,88,000/-
  • Nissan Sunny XV: Rs.7,68,000/-

Engine:

  • Displacement: 1498cc
  • Max.Power: 99PS @ 6000 RPM
  • Max.Torque: 134NM @ 4000RPM

Transmission:

  • 5 Speed Manual

Suspension:

  • Front: McPherson Struts
  • Rear: Torison Bar
Brakes:

  • Front: Ventilated Discs
  • Rear: Drums

Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 2600mm
  • Length: 4425mm
  • Width: 1695 mm
  • Height: 1505mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 41Liters
  • Kerb Weight: 1027 kgs

Colors:

  • Bronze Grey
  • Blade Silver
  • Storm White
  • Sapphire Blue
  • Onyx Black
  • Brick Red
Nissan Sunny Rear Nature.jpg
 
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Nissan Sunny Detailed Photographs

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Road Test Credits:


  • Road Test and Photography: cooldhaya
  • Edit and Formatting: 350Z

(C) The Automotive India. All rights reserved. The content such as reviews, images etc. cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission of our authority.
 

350Z

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Nissan will launch Sunny Diesel during Mid-2012 (As mentioned in the review). But it will be interesting to watch how successful they will be to price it competitively.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Excellent review.
How is the GC ? What about tire size ?
How is the ride compare to Etios/Dezire/Manza/Fiesta ?
 
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@ Shailinder Thank you bro.


@ Drivetech4 As said by 350Z you can expect the diesel version only by mid 2012. Even i don't understand why they couldn't launch it now because they even have the engine to do the job. Maybe they are following the Etios way.

@ Surfer GC is pretty decent , i never scraped the bottom even in the worst roads. Tire size is 185/65 R15 in top-end XV variant and 185/70 R14 in the other variants. I haven't driven the Etios till now. Ride quality certainly better than Manza and Dzire but not quite matching to the Fiesta.
 
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