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      Nissan Sunny Diesel Review

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Aditya Chatterjee


      Ever since Nissan launched the Micra platform based Sunny during a period of rising petrol prices, enquiries for the sedans diesel variant never ceased. This was due to the fact that diesel, with its subsidies, is presently the fuel of the hour.

      During the launch of the Sunny petrol, we had asked Mr.Kazuhiro Doi (Chief Product Specialist V-Platform) on his views about the diesel version, to which he had assured that the diesel variant launch won’t be too far away and rightly so. Nissan got the diesel Sunny 3 months after the petrol variant, way ahead of its scheduled launch

      Nissan does not wish to fall behind their competitors in the diesel variant space. Honda, who were initially against bringing diesel variants into India. They have however; analyzed trends have decided to get them into India soon.

      Nissan Sunny has C segment contenders like the Toyota Etios, Tata Manza and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire. To find out how the Nissan Sunny diesel fairs in comparison, we review the Nissan Sunny diesel XV variant.



      Appearance Exterior

      The Nissan Sunny Diesel made me feel very nostalgic, as I had attended the Nissan SUNDRIVE in Mahabalipuram on September 2011, where we had driven the Sunny petrol then. The first look of the diesel and the memories got refreshed.

      Nissan has retained the looks of the Sunny on the diesel variant as well. The front profile has the bulging look with the pearl drop designed headlights. The radiator grille has a chrome outline to it with the chunky Nissan logo in between.

      The bonnet line sits at a considerable height with a visually subtle rib section on it. This gives a profile to the otherwise simple design.

      On the side profile, a very high positioned shoulder line follows the pearl drop lights. There are subtle crease lines given on the side profile. They originate around the front bumper get hidden mid way and then continue to the rear towards the tail light. This is complimented by the chrome door handles.

      A long wheelbase of 2600mm gives it a big carish feel. The long travel of the roof line before sloping down to the rear along with the overall design of it looks like a scaled down version of the Nissan Teana. The styling cues look heavily inspired from the larger sibling, as similar to the Teana, there is an overhang at both front and rear sections of the car, though in a very balanced way.

      Coming to the rear profile, a tall placed boot with the stretched tail lamps resemble the previous generation Swift DZire (now known as the Swift DZire Tour). The rear bumper design has been kept simple too and has similar creases as seen on the side profile.

      Overall, The Nissan Sunny is not a gorgeous looking car. However, it is a very practical looking car. The design is very balanced. It is a C segment car but its flowing design and big car looks help it to close in with the ones in the C+ bracket. 

      Appearance Interior

      Nissan promotes this CAAAR, with the interior spacing provided. I describe the Nissan Sunny design as an aspirational C+ segment car.The Nissan Sunny is not aimed at the sophisticated type, which the Fiat Linea, Honda City and others cater to. Instead, the selling proposition of this car is its utility factor and the features offered at that price point.

      The twin pod Instrument cluster comes with a chrome outline and the numbers illustrated on it have been kept very simple. It displays the necessary information such as trip reading, Fuel left to empty tamp along with a digital watch as well.

      A 3 spoke steering wheel has audio controls affixed on it. This comes on both the diesel variants XV and XL, which is impressive. The quality of plastics is decent and won’t let you complain about it as it does its job well.

      The central panel is very reminiscent of the one used in the Micra. It comes with an integrated music system, with 4 speakers and an Aux-in port. The circular placed AC control panel is the one seen in Micra and the Pulse as well.

      Since the car has a big carish 2600mm wheelbase, it has class rivaling amounts of space inside the cabin. The front seats, which are equipped with thigh as well as lumbar support, prove to be of great comfort on long journeys. But I enjoyed the rear legroom more, which is simply astonishing as someone like me (healthier side of life) snugged in very comfortably without harassing the driver to adjust his seat for me to stretch my legs. The CAAAR promotional campaign of Nissan holds true to this. In fact, after the Indigo XL, this can be a very good and economical chauffeur driven car.

      A small negative that I found was that the sloping roof limits the headroom for the rear passenger. This would be little uncomfortable for taller passengers especially on rough roads.

      The rear passengers have a 2 speed blower for cooling, which is placed between the front seats. It is a good offering but its comfort value is not as much in harsh temperatures.

      Storage options come in the form of a glove box, which swallowed in a small CD case and the emergency lamps. There is an intermediate recess above the glove box, which houses the first-aid kit, but still leaves plenty of spaces to stow away other items.

      The door pockets couldn’t take in a 1L bottle, but they can take in a 500ml version for sure. Enough space in the pockets to hold necessary documents. The rear boot space is very large at 490 litres.

      Overall the quality of the interiors in the Nissan Sunny has been kept very basic as stronger preference has been accorded to utility. This is a deliberate decision from Nissan. A company like Nissan, known to produce 370Z and GT-R sports cars should not find it difficult to conceptualize a sophisticated Rs.11 lakh sedan. However, they have chosen to enter the space below. 

      Performance Drive

      The Nissan Sunny Diesel is powered by the K9K 4 cylinder 1461cc, 8 valves SOHC diesel engine. This diesel unit is a tested mill as it features in Micra – Pulse twins as well as the D-segment sedan Fluence. However, this packs in more power than the hatchback twins. It produces 86 PS at 3750 rpm and makes a torque delivery of 200 Nm at 2000 rpm. It’s meted with a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox.

      As we had driven the petrol earlier, I was excited to drive the diesel and this excitement was rewarded well. This is a diesel car but the normal rattling of a diesel car is not felt at all, instead it feels balanced.

      About the utility aspect of the features, the stock music system offered by Nissan in the Sunny is superb. The audio output quality is amazing and I miss the amazing sound quality of the Sunny in the present car, which I am reviewing. One disappointment about the entertainment system was no USB option, as it would have proved to be a complete package (Swift DZire ZDi offers it). One small mention about the music system, which I loved is, it doesn’t take time to switch on and start playing as soon as the vehicle is started. So the time lag between the playing of the track and the switching ON of the vehicle is very less.

      Air-Conditioning is decent and the front cabin gets cooled very fast, however the rear half of the cabin takes very long to cool and the supposed blowers aren’t of any relief in hot climates.

      The impressive torque delivery in low rpms is evident when you start driving this. The engine is very reactive and must say this mill impressed me more than the petrol version. The gear shifts get notchy, if fiddled with very frequently. In city driving conditions one doesn’t feel any sort of lag in it and so coping with bumper to bumper traffic is not a punishment at all.

      Active response of the engine is felt in lower and mid-range rpms, however as the rpms go on increasing the engine response is not as much active. The Sunny diesel is not a very driver centric car so the engine and the performance levels have been kept very balanced and not aggressive. It’s more of an economically comfortable sedan with lots of legroom.

      The long wheelbase doesn’t come up as a hurdle while handling the car through tight turns and curves. On the contrary, with the low end torque delivery and a swift electric power steering, maneuvering the car is actually fun and makes the Sunny very flickable.

      Breaking is not a very strong factor of the Sunny as it is laid back in response. If one is travelling at superb speeds, the brakes would take a good amount of time to bring the vehicle to a complete halt.

      The ARAI claimed mileage figure for Nissan Sunny diesel is 21.64 kmpl; however we managed to get the best fuel efficiency of 15kmpl and the worst of 12kmpl, which is again impressive.

      Though this is embarrassing, but still I have to accept it, I fumbled many times while starting the car using the Start/Stop button, especially in traffic signals. The scheme of activities i.e. pushing the button, pressing the clutch and the vehicle starts took time for me to get used to. 

      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
      Make Nissan
      Model Sunny Diesel
      Variant XV
      Engine Capacity (L) 1461
      Power (PS)/rpm 86/3750
      Torque (Nm)/rpm 200/2000
      Gears 5/M
      Length (mm) 4425
      Width (mm) 1695
      Height (mm) 1505
      Wheel Base (mm) 2600
      Minimum turning radius 5.3M
      Steering Electric power steering
      Suspension Front Mcpherson Strut
      Suspension Rear Torsion bar
      Brakes Front Ventillated Disc
      Brakes Rear Drum
      Tyre rating XL 185/70 R14
      Tyre rating XV 185/65 R15
      Fuel Tank capacity L 41
      Claimed fuel efficiency 21.64 kmpl


      Features XL XV
      Power Steering Yes Yes
      Steering tilt adjustment Yes Yes
      Manual AC with filter No No
      Auto AC with filter Yes Yes
      Steering mounted audio control Yes Yes
      Rear Comfort Fan Yes Yes
      Power windows Yes Yes
      Remote keyles sentry Yes No
      Intelligent Key with push button ignition No Yes
      Central locking Yes Yes
      Immobiliser Yes Yes
      Driver airbag Yes Yes
      Co driver airbag Yes Yes
      Anti theft device with alarm Yes Yes
      Alloy Wheels No Yes
      FrontFog Lamps No Yes
      ABS +EBD+BA Yes Yes
      Speed sensing Auto door lock Yes Yes
      Body coloured outside mirrors &handles Yes Yes
      Rear Defroster Yes Yes
      Electrically adjustable ORVM Yes Yes
      Electrically foldable ORVM No Yes
      Integrated Audio system with 4 Speakers Yes Yes
      Rear set center arm rest Yes Yes
      Black interiors No No
      Beige interiors Yes Yes
      Ex Showroom price  (Rs.) 811888 893218

      Competition All Specs

      Maruti Suzuki
      Swift Dzire
      Indigo Manza
      Variant XV ZDi Quadrajet90 Elan D4-4D VXD
      Engine capacity 1461 1248 1248 1364
      Power in PS/RPM 85/3750 75/4000 90/4000 68/3800
      Torque in Nm 200/2000 190/2000 200/1700-3000 170/1800-2400
      Fuel efficiency (kmpl) 21 21 19 21
      Ground clearence 165 170 165 170
      Dimensions (in MM)
      Length 4425 3995 4413 4265
      Width 1695 1695 1703 1695
      Height 1505 1555 1550 1510
      Wheel base 2600 2430 2520 2550
      Boot space in L 490 316 460 595
      Fuel Tank Capacity L 41 42 45 45
      Turning circle radius in M 5.3 4.7 5.1 4.9
      Driverside Airbag Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Co driver side airbag Yes Yes Yes Yes
      ABS+EBD Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Ex Show room price Mumbai Rs. 893218 761357 821314 804284


      Nissan Sunny is already a favorite among the masses as the recent April sales figures of Nissan are a testimony of it. Out of the total 3467 units sold, The Sunny contributed a good 2,012 units. Nissan has sold 16,173 units of Sunny from the date of its launch.

      The price debate, Nissan Sunny Diesel XV comes at Rs. 7,86,471/- (Ex-Showroom Delhi), while the Swift DZire ZDi comes at Rs. 7,34,618 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) and the Toyota Etios D-4D VXD is priced at Rs. 8,15,078 (Ex-Showroom Delhi). Does this make the Sunny an overpriced proposition?

      The Nissan Sunny, compared to others, is longer at 4425mm and has a longer wheelbase of 2600 mm. This makes the Nissan Sunny a “roomier” car compared to its rivals. As mentioned before, it is an aspirational C+ segment car and its dimensions and statistics prove the same. The Nissan Sunny can be pitched in between the C and the C+ segment. The company is also adding more number of dealers to its existing network. So would I buy a Nissan Sunny Diesel? Yes indeed, as it is very practical, the fuel efficiency is impressive and I get a big CAAAR at not a very big price. 

      Nissan Sunny ₹ N/A Onwards
      Nissan | Nissan Sunny | sunny