Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The ‘CAAAAR’MA : Nissan Sunny

Nissan made Sunny to be the dream car for Indians, bigger and cheaper. My first glimpse of the ‘New Sunny’ was the rear end and I said, ‘Hey, Baby Teana !!!’. The nice curvaceous back end with swept up tail lamps look good. The car is long and has a rich feel to it given by the subtle strokes of chrome. The front look can be said to be docile as against the ‘Aggressive’ looking cars of the segment. The body has a distinctive and a broad shoulder line. The stance was nice and not low, very efficient on Indian roads.

Keyless entry, grace XV variant, I entered into the Sunny world. Space was overflowing. If you thought Tatas did a hell of a job with the Manza, the Sunny is going to make yours jaws drop. The interior is bright and sleek. The plastic quality could have been better but the fit and finish matches the Japanese élan. The dash is huge but sleek. The circular theme of the overall design is evident. The climate control, integrated music system and other functional buttons are strategically placed and are discreetly spaced for un-inhibited use without taking your eyes off the road. The instrument console is stylish with the chrome rings and has a nice mix of digital and analog meters.

The diesel engine came to life with the gentle push of a button and settled immediately to idle. The sheer length of the car came into perspective when I had to reverse her out of the tight parking space. It sure seems like a MUV from inside. On the open road, the car has a nice presence, good riding height, elbow space, seating comfort, thigh support, smooth clutch, nimble brakes and more than a 100 horses under the hood. The steering is just near perfect with the weight responses on corners and ease on the straights. It tends to roll over tight turns and high-speed lane changes, given the size of the car. The engine performs enthusiastically from over the 1500 rpm to 3500 rpm mark, below which it feels a
bit sluggish (typical diesel) and above which the cabin noise starts moving up.

The suspension setup is just in place for typical Indian ride. After the slow speed stiffness, the car feels absolutely at home. The Sunny is planted right up to 140 kmph. The wind noise, though, creeps in after 80-100 kmph. The car has good bump absorption with almost no pitch or yaw, courtesy the long wheel base that matches a Civic. The Sunny takes a big leap towards the cliché ‘Affordable luxury’.

That takes me to the USP of this car, leg-room. Pull the front seats as far as u can and still you’ve got space good enough for a 6’2” guy to sit comfortably. As experts say, it has got leg-room more than a Merc E-class! With the retractable armrest, the car is cozy for 5 hefty adults. The sloping roofline means a more slant backrest that may be uncomfortable over long tours. The smart and efficient system of routing cool air to the rear seats gives the passenger that extra bit of indulgence. The door knobs are one of their kind and nicely blended into their design. You may take some time to get used to these.

With the Nissan diesel, economy is never an issue and so is the build quality. Also, Nissan ramping up the dealer network over the country, customers eyeing an budget up to 8-9 lacs, have got a
CAAAAR to buy!!!!

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