3rd July, 2014: The Nissan Sunny facelift was produced as a compact luxury car by Nissan in Japan between 1966 and 2004. Its name has also been used on other Nissan models particularly the export variants of Pulsar line-up. It was imported into a number of countries and then manufactured under several names and body styles at Nissan’s plants in those regions. Sunny has therefore been marketed as economy, luxury and performance car under its diverse configurations.
In 2011 Nissan brought the Sunny to India and it was positioned in the mid-sized sedan segment where it competes with Volkswagen Vento, Toyota Etios and Hyundai Verna. Spacious cabin and a powerful diesel engine were the USP of this car. However, it was only moderately successful and was soon overshadowed by better looking, well performing rivals. Nissan has now given the Sunny a mid-life nip and tuck for model year 2014 and this brings quite a few cosmetic upgrades. There are no mechanical changes and so the new Sunny continues to be powered by:
? 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine with 97.6 bhp and 13.6 kgm torque
? 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine with 84 bhp and 20.5 kgm torque
There is a choice between 5 Speed MT and XTRONIC CVT for the petrol car. The diesel version has 5 Speed manual gearbox as standard.
The quirky design of the 2011 model was not liked by many but in its facelifted form, Sunny certainly looks better. In sync with Indian tastes, there are dollops of chrome (on the upper end XL and XV versions) – these are seen on the front bumper lip, around the fog lamps, the radiator grille frame and the Nissan crest that sits on it. The large headlamps have a new design, closer to that of the more luxurious Teana.
Splash of chrome continues as you view the Sunny in profile. Here, it is in form of lower window lining and the door handles. The sedan still measures 4425 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2600 mm. The door wing mirrors of the XV trim incorporate turn indicators that bring the facelifted Sunny up to mark for the new trend in its segment. The mid-variants however have the conventionally-placed blinkers on the fender.
Tyre size for XE and XL trims is 185/70 R14 with steel wheels and plastic covers. The top end XV gets redesigned 15 inch alloy wheels that wear 185/65 R15 tyres. Nissan has repositioned the radio antenna to the rear part of the roof.
At the rear again there is thick chrome garnish for the number plate on boot lid. Top end version has reversing camera along with parking sensors above the number plate. The bumper now has cuts on sides that make it more stylish and the black plastic splitter like element in its lower portion reduces the overall bulkiness – this has also given a more streamlined look to the 490 litre boot of Sunny. Tail lamps have not changed but now they complement the new headlamps in a better way.
The colour range for this sedan includes Nightshade, Pearl White, Deep Gray, Onyx Black, Bronze Grey and Brain Silver.
There are changes in the cabin too. While the pre-facelift Sunny was largely dominated by greenish grey colour theme and did not look very exciting, the tweaked car gets black interiors. Redesigned centre console looks better with its piano-black finish and silver accents. The new leather wrapped steering wheel also looks superior to the unit in the older model and has classy looking audio controls in chrome.
In the top end variant (XV Premium) the gear lever stub and seats are upholstered in leather. The door handles are plated in that lavish element of this facelift- chrome. For the updated 2 DIN audio system in both XL & XE variants, there is a new 5.1 inch touchscreen with Bluetooth enabled head unit. Whenever the reverse gear is engaged, the screen displays images projected by the reversing camera. The top end variant gets keyless start and go.
There is a fan blower for the rear part of cabin although these are not connected to the car’s air conditioner. What’s good is that their projection does not impede the legroom for the person sitting in the middle. Rear passengers also get individual reading lamps.
ABS, EBD, brake assist and driver’s airbag are common safety features for all trims. The XV Premium Safety variant like its predecessor comes with side air bags besides the units for both driver and co-driver.
Nissan Sunny had received the Economic Times Zigwheels Award as the Best Entry Sedan of 2011.
The facelift has not brought any mechanical modifications that would have been welcome for this saloon. But considering the pleasing style changes, added equipment and the fact that it costs just Rs 30,000 to 40,000 more than the outgoing model, it is a practical upgrade.