2014 Nissan Sunny: First Impression
Nissan launched the Sunny in 2011 and impressed many with a sedan of this size. It was meant to take on erstwhile segment leaders like the Honda City and Hyundai Verna.
It was successful too because consumers considered the Sunny as a cost efficient alternative for an expensive premium sedan. Spacious rear legroom, efficient engine and then the optional CVT transmission really went well for it except for a minor setback and that being of poor after sales experience.
Nissan with its revised vision for India has completely revamped its distribution technique. They have established multiple part distribution centres across the country and expanding further. After taking charge from Hoover, Nissan has also worked on tweaking its existing dealers for a better customer experience. Going by the fresh perspective, the new Sunny too gets premium additions on exteriors as well as interiors. More on it in our first impression report.
Before seeing the new Sunny in real, I had seen multiple images of it on the internet and all of those did not look convincing especially the large headlights which seemed odd but then they don’t look as weird and instead look pretty decent. Typical of a facelift, a car is made to look bold and aggressive but Nissan chose a different route. They have made the new Sunny look more premium.
It features a new relaxed chrome radiator grille. The grille is sufficiently large and at the same time flows from the bumper to the hood line. The new boomerang headlamps bid farewell to the earlier tear drop shaped headlights. The new peeled back design gels really well with the longish stance of the car. Even the front bumper has been tweaked with a chrome lip and new fog lamp housing.
It also gets a revised alloy wheel design with a 12 spoke Y shaped alloy wheels. The external rear view mirrors have been changed and now embedded with turn indicators. There is an additional external antenna on the rear which has been introduced for the first time.
There have been subtle changes on the rear as well with the chrome bar on the rear boot lid which also carried the brand logo. The cuts and creases of the rear bumper have been changed and it has a matte cladding on the lower lip.
If there is something that speaks ‘volumes’ about the Sunny, it has to be its interiors. The amount of space it offers is simply impressive. The equipment list on the new version has been bumped up and one can see similar changes as seen on the new Micra with the piano finished console.
First thing that is strikingly different is the steering wheel. The steering wheel which has been carried from the flagship luxury sedan Teana feels feature rich. It might look like a small addition but then if feels nice and premium. The instrumental cluster remains same as it displays the essentials of real time driving condition.
The central console has been revised. The AC vents have become smarter than earlier with new design. Smooth piano finished console has substituted the otherwise drab looking design and it looks refined now. It also gets a new shade on the dashboard plastic and a USB plug in option situated in the intermittent recess above the glove box. We only wish that Nissan had offered beige coloured trims which would have contrasted the ebony central console in a very stylish manner.
Apart from the revised console, there are no drastic changes in the Sunny. The leather clad seats appear decent. Very few cars in the segment feel as comfortable as the Sunny and the room offered inside the cabin is simply mind blowing. Even though it is perceived as an entry level sedan but then the space does not only make it feel roomier than its rival models but also feels better than upper segment cars which is truly amazing.
Mechanically, the 2014 Sunny retains all its technical aspects from the earlier model. However Nissan has worked on the ECU of the diesel engine by remapping it to deliver improved fuel efficiency. Even the in cabin noise insulation has been tweaked. The 1461cc diesel engine produces 86PS of power at 3750 rpm and a torque of 200Nm at 2000 rpm. It comes in a 5 speed manual transmission only.
For our review drive, we chose the naturally aspirated 1498cc petrol engine. It produces 101 PS of power at 5600 rpm and a torque of 134Nm at 4000 rpm. The CVT transmission equipped variant produces more power than its manual counterpart.
Nissan has always had the knack of choosing different locations compared to other auto manufacturers. This time they were brave enough to choose the island of Andaman. We say ‘Brave’ because it is not an easy task to ferry media cars to such a location and coordinate everything.
We drove the XL CVT variant. Being a petrol car, the engine is hardly audible unless the rev needle goes really high. With a gentle foot on the accelerator, the car is quick to catch some momentum. The CVT is for the ones who seek a convenient car without the hassles of changing gear and the Sunny CVT is simply perfect for them. The CVT unit is smooth and is far superior to a conventional box.
Andaman has good roads but then route we chose had lots of rough sections and busy intersections. In fact some of the locations that we chose to click images made us drive through dense jungle areas. The ground clearance is such that we did not scrape anywhere and the suspensions took all the battering with great ease. Even when being driven at higher speeds on such roads, the cabin felt surprisingly comfortable. The cabin is properly insulated to let any after effects of undulations penetrate inside.
It is not an enthusiast’s car and clearly Nissan doesn’t claim the same. The shortcomings of the CVT are felt if you get on the pedal hard. The engine gets really loud before catching up speed but the same is not felt if you let the engine gradually generate its power ratings. Apart from this if Nissan can improve the steering response of the Sunny; it can really do wonders as the one present feels a bit vague without any level of precision. It gets highlighted while driving at higher speeds and especially around corners.
|Variant||CVT - Automatic|
|Gears||CVT - Automatic|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2600|
|Turning circle radius||5.3m|
|Fuel Tank capacity||41 L|
|Tyre Rating||185/70 R14|
|Features||XE||XL||XV Premium Pack|
|Electrically Adjustable ORVMs||no||yes||yes|
|Fuel Consumption Indicator||yes||yes||yes|
|Distance to Empty Display||yes||yes||yes|
|Steering Tilt Adjustment||yes||yes||yes|
|Remote Keyless Entry||no||yes||Yes|
|Rear Parking Sensor||no||yes||Yes|
|Rear Comfort fan||no||no||Yes|
|Follow Me home headlights||yes||yes||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||CVT - Automatic||VX AT||1.6 CRDI SX AT|
|Power (PS/RPM)||101/5600||117 @ 6600||126 @ 4000|
|Torque (NM/RPM)||134/4000||145 @ 4600||260 @ 1900|
|Gears||CVT - Automatic||5||4|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2600||2600||2570|
|Turning circle radius||5.3m||5.3||5.2|
|Fuel Tank capacity||41 L||40||43|
|Tyre Rating||185/70 R14||175 / 65 R14||195 / 55 R16|
The new changes make the Sunny feel premium. It is expected to be priced very close to the existing versions as the number of changes is not much. All the features collectively make it feel good. Also, the spacious cabin with a super generous legroom makes it a deal for the chauffer driven.
Nissan products have not suffered because of poor workmanship but the sad after sales experience made the company loose many prospective clients to competition. The company has resorted to strict measures to change this scenario. After taking reigns from Hoover Auto, the distribution network has been completely revamped. The company has plans of increasing its hold in the country with an aggressive dealership expansion plan. This will help Nissan India regain lost confidence.