2011 Nissan Sunny Review : In the Nissan Sunny under the SUN
We were invited by Nissan for their “NISSAN SUNDRIVE” in Chennai. The location chosen for this event was Radisson Blu, Mahabalipuram. The reason for this event was that Nissan wanted to give us a dekho and samjho of their all new mid size sedan, the 2011 Nissan Sunny.
Personally, I am not a big fan of how Nissan cars look in India. The X-trail, the Teana or the retro styled Micra hatch never get my attention. Specially, the Micra hatch with those weirdly designed big headlights clubbed with the weird rear which some think is cute. Now when we got the invites for driving a sedan based on Micra`s platform, one can understand my excitement. I mean a sedan based on a hatch??
We all know how different Swift DZire looks from Swift, Volkswagen Vento looks from Polo or the recent Toyota Etios looks from Liva. So I had developed a pre conceived feel on the look and the design of Nissan Sunny. I was just praying not to get an orange colored (the one Micra has) Sunny to drive.
Finally, the shiny brick red Nissan Sunny was there for us to have a look and feel of what we would be driving the next day. My first reaction?, Hey, that doesn`t look like the Micra from any angle. It didn’t look as if a boot was slapped to a rear of a hatch, it looked a different car. The bold lines and the long wheelbase made a strong impression. This is the tenth generation Nissan Sunny which was first launched in 1966 and the name “Sunny” was chosen in a competition held by Nissan long back.
It was launched in India on 3rd August 2011 in Mumbai. Nissan had got its top rank officials for the SUNDRIVE event. Mr.Kazuhiro Doi (Chief Product Specialist V-Platform) was among them. You know the specialty of such type of events…? .It’s the liberty we auto guys get to throw our questions to the normally-not-so-easily accessible guys and we too maintained the tradition.
We asked Kazuhiro Doi whether he is skeptical about the launch of a petrol sedan in the current high priced petrol scenario and also the very much in trend diesel options. He commented that Nissan is very positive about Sunny. Its fuel economy and spacious interiors can compete against its diesel rivals. Although, he had hinted of a diesel launch soon which has now come as an official statement too from Nissan guys, who have preponed their Nissan Sunny diesel plans. So does the Nissan Sunny have it all to rival its German, American and Japanese counterparts?
The design of Nissan Sunny looks very balanced. You won’t find anything irrelevant on it. The chrome treatment done to the radiator grille looks little flashy but not too loud. The Nissan logo sits firm on it. The headlights have a pearl drop shape and have the indicators incorporated in it too but the entire package didn’t look too attractive.
However, what I loved was the bold line that starts from the front bumper gets camouflaged in the middle section and then again continues at the rear, giving a nice edgy side look. The rear half of the Sunny looks way better then the front half, when seen in the side profile. The 15 inch wheels look just right if not too small or too big. The problem that we did notice was the nimble suspensions.
The vehicle when was fully loaded, one could observe that the rear fender of the vehicle would get bruised on a normal speed breaker. The 2600mm wheel base makes it look like a long car. The rear bumpers are soberly designed without too much of scoops and spacings. The chrome coated door handles add a good touch to the side profile. The rear somehow reminds me of Jaguar XJ specially the tail light look or the syllables XV on it.
Boot design looks smart and has a solid profile. 490 litres of trunk space should be sufficient space for your weekend rides. The Nissan Sunny comes in 6 shades, though my favorite remains the Onyx Black followed by Sapphire Blue.
It is very remarkable on how Nissan used the same Micra platform for a spacious sedan. As soon as you step in the car, the first thing that you would notice is the interior room space. It’s a roomy car. I didn’t enjoy the driver seating as much as I enjoyed the rear passenger seating. The rear passenger seating follows lots of cues from its hatched sibling. The rear passenger has all the comfort of spreading his legs even after the driver`s seat is pulled behind completely meaning fantastic legroom.
The seating design on this one works as an advantage in long rides The headroom also contributes in the same cause of creating a spacious sedan. The instrument cluster though doesn’t earn as many accolades as its spaciousness. The instrumental panel offers trip meter, fuel consumption, tachometer and the fuel capacity. The Fine-Vision instrument design looks very dull compared to its rivals.
The placement of A-pillars doesn’t hamper the vision and gives a nice and clear view to the driver. The interior of even the high-end XV variant lacks the high end feel. The quality of plastics doesn’t welcome you in the car. This is something where Honda City scores more.
Centre dash looks very closely inspired from Micra, which I wondered why? Nissan Sunny even though is based on the Micra platform; it is not a sequel to Micra. It’s supposed to be a proper midsized sedan competing against Citys, Ventos and Vernas. The design of air-conditioner vents was very average and not something really different, which also continues to the quality of switches used.
Steering mounted audio control is a good touch. The large centre arm rest and the cup holders can also help you ease up the during the ride. The NVH levels are also on the higher side. I would like to make a special mention for the rear cooling of the vehicle. Nissan engineers did a smart job of putting a cooling system in the rear in form a 2 speed adjustable fan with nicely finished vents, which is really effective and also first in its class.
If you are one of those who never forget to carry a stopwatch during their drives, you can leave it at home for this one. The Push engine start key does its job in this one as well. The 2011 Nissan Sunny is not the one that can be termed as the driver`s delight. The Sunny is powered by a 1498 cc, 4 Cylinder, 16 Valves DOHC engine. The power figures are decent 99 PS @ 6000 rpm and a torque of 134Nm @ 4000 rpm.
These figures are not performance oriented, especially if power to weight ratio is considered. For every single bhp it pulls 10.32kgs which makes the car obviously sluggish. The mid range power delivery is not as impressive as its American rival. The gear shifts are not something which would go unnoticed. It`s on the harder side. We did some performance driving but were struggling to reach the top whack.
What earns my thumbs up is the low range revving of the motor. At lower revs and at higher gears, The Sunny won’t struggle or knock. It maintains its own calm. The Mcpherson suspensions were not totally tested by us, but still we got a nimble response from it.
|Engine Capacity (L)||1.5L|
|Groud clearance (mm)||161|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2600|
|Turning circle radius (m)||5.3|
|Ex Showroom price Mumbai (Rs.)||619000||583000|
|Tyre Rating||14*5.5J Steel||14*5.5J Steel|
|Integrated CD/MP3 Player||No||No|
|Steering mounted audio controls||Yes||No|
|Remote keyless entry||Yes||No|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||Yes||No|
|Driver seat height adjustment||Yes||No|
|Rear arm rest||Yes||No|
|Dual tone dashboard||Yes||No|
|Leather wrap steering wheel and gear knob||No||No|
|Fire prevention system||No||No|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||1.5 XV||1.6 SX VTVT||1.5 V MT||Dynamic FIRE Petrol|
|Engine Capacity (L)||1498/4||1591||1497||1368|
|Audio control on steering||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABS With EBD||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Average fuel efficiency||17||17||16||14|
|Ex Showroom price Mumbai||860054||901051||944943||832457|
Nissan`s target audience is the 30+ aged professional who likes going for long rides and loves taking his family for weekend drives. The fuel efficiency of 16.95 kmpl (ARAI claimed) won’t be the best in its class but not that bad to be written against.
The styling , the performance and the overall appeal of this sedan has been tried and kept at the most balanced levels. The prices of 2011 Nissan Sunny was recently unveiled at the Delhi event. So a sedan pitched against Hondas, Volkswagens, Fords and Hyundai`s at a starting price tag of five and half lakhs won’t be a decision that would raise eye brows.