Honda City VS Nissan Sunny Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Nissan Sunny against Honda city in this road test comparison review. Here’s our verdict.

Honda City VS Nissan Sunny Road Test Comparison

New Nissan Sunny 2014 has just been launched and by pricing it right at the doorsteps of Honda City, clear battle lines have drawn between these two Japanese auto majors. Now Equipped with more elegant design and plush interiors, new Nissan Sunny 2014 seems a formidable rival to Honda city which is currently ruling the roost of C-segment of Indian auto industry. Nissan has injected a healthy dose of desirability in Sunny saloon and this enhanced premium quotient complemented by best-in-class cabin space put new Sunny in altogether different league. This facelift Sunny no longer drags the dogma of boring and mundane saloon and in fact now feels cut above the many its rivals. Honda City on the other hand has set the sales chart on fire since the inception of its latest iteration. Flushed with vigor and vitality of oil burner under the brand name of i-DTEC Honda city has literally become unstoppable. After toppling the Hyundai’s Verna from its leadership position, Honda City is now helping its parent brand Honda to even replace Mahindra as third largest auto maker on Indian soil. Now that is pretty impressive and what’s going to be even more hooking is our this road test comparison review that feature the tussle between the segment king Honda City and new refreshed face lift Sunny 2014. Let’s find out who wins and who lose. 
First Impression 
New Nissan Sunny comes with more dynamic and zestful cladding that indeed helps this lengthy saloon to put forward a spirited face. Large chrome splashed multi-slated grille is one of the prominent feature of Sunny design. Flanking this design on either side is boomerang headlamps that are absolute delight to eyes. Sculpted bonnet with subtle bulges and new front bumper with curvy fog lamp housings add the much needed zing in Sunny’s overall design flair. 
In profile Sunny’s lengthier character is instantly recognizable and though the sheet metal work is almost plain-Jain, chrome window line helps to break the monotony of side view. A sharp upward kink towards the rear as window line is another design highlight of Sunny’s new character. Rear of Sunny, like frontage,has got a healthy share of alterations too and feels in synch with the overall design. Still there is no denying from the fact that Sunny looks a bit heavy on the dead-on rear three quarter view.
        Nissan Sunny
Honda City, on the other hand, impresses with its beauty quotient though not as much as we liked this in its previous avatar.  The heavy chrome slat at the grille is not to everyone’s taste though more people will go with it than the opposing folks. Nonetheless new design ethos has converted Honda City into more mature and elegant lady; a theme better suited for C-segment saloon. New frontage has retained the shot-arrow theme of outgoing City and in fact this concept has been more visible in this new Generation City than before. Sharp and wrap around headlamps, sculpted bumpers and lots of cut-creases takes Honda City’s styling concept to benchmark level and had it not been for small puny wheels, City would have easily become segment’s styling benchmark. Still with its small treads City is one of best looking and better proportioned vehicle.
        Honda City Exterior Image
On dimensional front, New Sunny dwarfs Honda City on the parameters of length and height while there is tie when it comes to width and wheelbase.  Honda City comes with high belly as its ground clearance of 165 mm is 4 mm more than 161 mm featured by Nissan Sunny though both these cars are vulnerable to underneath scratches. On boot space, Honda races ahead with 510 litres on offer compared to 490 litres of Sunny. 
Nissan Sunny: *****   Honda City: *****
Living Room 
Cabin of new Sunny comes with sea level of change in contrast to older interiors that were out rightly boring and dull. Despite being functional the over emphasis on grey had made old Sunny anything but desirable. But now new face lift version of this Japanese saloon comes with exciting colour and flawless design layout. Ergonomically too things have improved and central rotary AC theme is one we all love at ECARDLR. Piano black finish in which centre console has been entrenched exudes plenty of premium feel and a welcome deviation from grey used in outgoing model. Steering mounted controls are amazingly solid and joy to use. Steering unit too has been new and with its sophisticated design can even give class above salons a run for their money.
In contrast, Honda City comes with far more sophisticated quality and equipment list on top-end variant is lengthy too. Top variant of City comes with airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors with camera, sun-roof and 5” touch screen display. Further the overall feel and plushness of City’s cabin is one of the best available in the class and few notches higher than Sunny. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that despite of being premium, City cabin lacks the design coherence. Air con vents and centre console never feel to be complementing each other and the overall placement could have been better.
On space front that is of paramount importance, both Sunny and City fare well though the feel of extra head space tip the balance in the favour of new Sunny. On aspects of legroom and knee room, both vehicles are evenly matched as the wheelbase is similar; still the feel of back bench in Sunny is far roomier and spacious in Sunny than in City. Both cars have the low-set bench that makes the ingress-egress quite a task, Further thigh support in both these vehicles are just about average though City score a wee bit higher on supporting front. In case of seat squab, Sunny has some edge over City. In terms of boot space, City once again takes the charge though Sunny is not far behind as the difference in trunk is just about 20 litres. 
Nissan Sunny: *****    Honda City: *****
Power Struggle 
New Sunny comes with time tested Nissan dCi diesel engine having a 4-cylinder in-line block that displaces 1.5-litre of cubic capacity. This oil-burner puts out 85 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. On other hand Honda City churns out 100 PS of power with similar 200 Nm of rotating force. On front of refinement no vehicle in this comparison is going to win any awards though Sunny feels a bit more refined than City at idle. Start off the line and both cars impresses with their linear power delivery. Ambling around in town is quite an effortless job in both these vehicles though alacrity shown by Honda City is wee bit better than Sunny. This eagerness is further accentuated as engines rev to mid-range with Honda feeling more rev-happy unit than Nissan dCi. Further the cruising aspect in City is helped by the additional 6th gear in City though Sunny engine comes mated with only 5-speed transmission.
On aspect of gear shifting Honda is leagues ahead of Sunny as the transmission is far more sure, precise and inspiring than Sunny’s notchy gearbox. Honda teeth clog in sure shot way without any hint of weariness though this is not true for Sunny that requires some directional effort.
Even on clutch operation, Honda feels lighter and driving for whole day won’t result in any left foot pain as this clutch is as light as of some petrol car. On aspect of clutch only, one can’t spot whether this is diesel or petrol variant of City. Sunny’s clutch is light too but not as effortless as City’s though it has more progressive feel attached to it. 
Nissan Sunny: *****   Honda City: *****
Road Sense
Equipped with MacPherson strut up front and torsion beam, new Sunny displays a decent ride quality. Low speed absorption is good and the suspension works in silent manner. Road undulations never intrude into cabin and only potholes filter through with a harsh thud. That said, back seat occupants are sure to love ride comfort of this Japanese 4-wheeler. However Owing to its lengthy dimensions and soft suspension settings, new Sunny feels quite jittery while approaching sharp turns. Even a mild cornering manoeuvre is strong enough to take the steam out of this saloon and it becomes immediately evident right from the first sharp turn we tried on new Sunny.
Honda City also feels quite confident on road and comes with more dynamic prowess than Sunny. Handling of City is far better than that of Sunny as this Japanese feel more sure footed while tackling corners. A bit of firm suspension help City on handling front though its flip side is ride quality that is nowhere as comfortable as of Sunny. Rear seat passengers feel more comfortable in Sunny than in City though driving enthusiasts’ will cast their vote in favour of City.
Nissan Sunny: *****   Honda City: *****
Overall Verdict
New Nissan Sunny comes in price bracket of Rs 6.99 - 9.80 lakh while Honda retails City in range of Rs 8.37- 10.99 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom, Delhi). On value for money (VFM) front, Sunny has considerable advantage both in lowest and highest trim. Nissan has given Sunny a major shot in arm and now this sedan has more desirability than ever before. Cabin has been refreshed, interiors pack in more sophistication and cladding has improved too. So overall Sunny comes as an all-round well packaged car but when compared against the segment king Honda City Sunny starts losing its sheen. In fact Honda City is in a class of its own and on each and every single aspect of consideration (except VFM); City is far ahead of Sunny. Further the brand name of Honda endows the City with extra equity that Sunny severely lacks. Therefore if you are short on money and still want to buy a saloon, then Sunny makes a good choice otherwise from long term perspective we recommend you to bet on Honda City. 
Nissan Sunny: *****    Honda City: *****

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