Nissan will be soon launching the Sunny, the company's first C-segment car. We drove the car in Chennai and are mighty impressed. The car is the second vehicle based on the Nissan V-platform after the Micra. The car is not a Micra with a boot instead gets completely new styling with no body panels shared with the hatchback.
The front end comprises of a large front grille and swept back headlamps. As you move to the side, you notice the sloping roofline that runs all the way to the boot. The taillamp unit blends well with the shoulder line and seems to be inspired by the Teana.
Step inside and one is greeted by interiors similar to the Micra, the dashboard unit being the same but with a new upper centre console and instrument cluster. The climate control air conditioner controls, door handles and door pads have been borrowed from the hatchback. The Sunny scores a lot of brownie points when it comes to rear passenger space, one of the highest when compared to other C-segment cars. The Sunny offers very high leg and knee room - this will definitely be one of the car's biggest USPs. Rear passengers also get a separate blower with a dedicated fan speed knob.
The car features MacPherson suspension in the front and a torsion beam at the rear. The suspension has been tuned well to offer good ride quality but because of the soft setup the car tends to roll quite a bit at higher speeds. The car's electric power steering is light to operate but feels disconnected as the speeds increase. The Sunny features an all new 1.5-litre petrol powerplant with the HR15DE engine producing a maximum power of 100PS at 6000rpm and a peak torque of 134Nm at 4000rpm. The rev-happy engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox. The car is peppy to drive and is quick in hitting the ton mark. The ARAI figure is an impressive 16.95kmpl. The car is light too and tips the scale just below the 1 ton mark at 998 kilos.
The car will be offered in three variants, XE, XL and XV. The XE variant offers body coloured bumpers, steel wheels, trip computer, power steering, ABS with EBD and a driver airbag. The XL in addition to the XE package offers chrome exterior package, rear defroster, wheel caps, rear armrest, automatic climate control, beige interiors, steering mounted audio controls, central locking, rear aircon vents, keyless entry, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, stereo system with AUX support (no USB) and airbags for driver and passenger. The top end XV model comes equipped with more features such as 15-inch alloy wheels, electrically foldable mirrors and keyless entry and ignition.
The Sunny definitely has the potential to give its competition a tough fight. What we don't know however, at this time, is the price. We expect the car to be priced between Rs 7-8.5 lakh.
For the full first drive report pick up the October issue of OVERDRIVE.