Review and Test Drive of New Sunny dCi features specifications

Review and Test Drive of New Sunny dCi features specifications

new Nissan sunny Dci front view
New Sunny is a car which has put Nissan back to the Indian car buyer�s.  This midsize saloon have massive interiors, an upmarket feel, a user friendly 1.5 petrol motor & keen pricing which evoked a surprisingly nice response in the market that is essentially shifted to the diesel power.  And now its popularity is set to take another leap forward with a diesel version which was launched at the Auto Expo this year in Delhi. The company wants to cash in on the premium in which diesel cars command's in indian market, which explains why the top end XV diesel is substantial Rs 1.10 lakh lesser than the similarly specced petrol sibling. Is that very much for a price gap? Or it is the Sunny diesel well worth the extra money Nissan is asking about it?

new Nissan sunny Dci engine
This answer lies under a swollen hood, where a more powerful version of the Renault sourced K9K 1.5 litre motor which powers the Micra is pressed into the duty. In the new Sunny, power is up by 21bhp upto 84bhp & there is an additional 4kgm of torque also. These gains are thanks to some additional hardware like an intercooler & beefier fixed geometry turbocharger.

Start the motor & you will be impressed with its refinement. There is very little vibration & apart from a distinct clatter at idle & a gruffness at high revs, it is fairly quiet too. Sitting in the back seat you would be hard pressed to tell which fuel is powering the Sunny.

And, unlike the other diesel cars which deliver a sudden burst of torque as the turbo comes on a boost, this engine delivers power in a very linear way. It also responds eagerly from low revs & pulls well till around 3500rpm. Push past this & the engine starts feeling a bit strained & power tails off. So, the engine feels best when you shift up early & make the best of its 20.4kgm of torque.

new Nissan sunny Dci side view
Based on Nissan�s lightweight '�V�' platform, the new Sunny is 1097kg bantam weight, which plays a key role in delivering an nice performance. This is the fastest sub 100bhp diesel car which has a clear performance edge over its lesser rivals like the Etios & Manza diesel cars. It is not too far behind the Skoda Rapid & the pricier Verna either.

new Nissan sunny Dci interior view
While the gearbox is slick & very easy to operate, the clutch which has been beefed up to take an extra torque,  feels more heavier than in the petrol Sunny & as a result a constant gear shifting can take a toll on your left leg. The light steering also makes parking in tight spaces a cinch & not many cars are easy to manoeuvre in town than the new Sunny.

The Sunny diesel�s front suspension has been tweaked to take a heavier motor. The damping is bit firmer & this flattens the ride quite nicely. It is only at low speeds & over sharp edges that the lightweight Sunny feels  jittery. Up the pace & the ride smoothens out & in fact it is more comfortable, specially on the highway where the Sunny�s consistent poise gives the driver a good level of confidence. With a full load too, the suspension copes well & the saloon feels planted over most road surfaces.

new Nissan sunny Dci rear left lights
The handling though is more comfort oriented than sporty  fair enough given the kind of car it is. There is considerable body lean in bends & while the light steering weights up the faster you go, it do not have enough feedback to keep you completely in touch with the road. That is unlikely to bother most owners who will end up driving the Nissan car in a relaxed manner  &  for that, the it's dynamics are perfectly acceptable.

While the Sunny�s light weight helps its performance & economy, the flipside is that the Sunny lacks that th solid feel you get from even cars like the Tata Manza. It is quite obvious that in its quest for weight saving, Nissan has also skimped on some essentials like sound deadening. There is quite a bit of road & tyre noise entering the cabin.

But this lightness does translate into good fuel efficiency figures. Thanks to the linear power delivery on the 1.5 litre motor, you can get around town on small throttle applications. This helps the Sunny deliver a mileage of 13.6kpl in the city. On the highway it ran for 18.7km on 1 litre of diesel.

new Nissan sunny Dci back seating
There are no surprises with the rest of the car. The cabin remains unchanged except for the addition of a new gear knob  &  also new silver inserts on the steering wheel. The Sunny has big windows  &  skinny pillars, so visibility is pretty good all round. Most of the switchgear is easy to use too, but a couple of controls, like the one for the power mirrors, are tucked away out of sight. Getting comfy could be an issue too � the steering wheel only adjusts for height,  &  there�s no seat height adjustment. Cabin quality, though better than the Etios  &  the Manza, doesn�t feel as rich or solid as, say, a Rapid or a Vento.

Front  &  rear legroom  &  headroom is better than most cars in its segment � sitting under the roof�s highest point, the tallest of seat occupants won�t fall short on headroom. But the cost cutting shows through in the thin cushioning on the seats; we wish Nissan could rectify this  &  also give the rear seats more under thigh support. The light beige colour adds to the feeling of roominess as well, but it has a tendency to soil easily.

As for equipment, you get two airbags, ABS, automatic climate control, MP3 player, powered mirrors  &  alloy wheels as standard on the top end XV version.


new Nissan sunny Dci rear view
This addition of a diesel motor makes the Sunny a complete saloon that is more in tune with Indian needs. In this latest guise, it is refined, has adequate power, is fuel efficient  &  easy to drive thanks to a responsive  &  tractable engine. The huge cabin  &  boot add up to make it a near perfect midsize family saloon. What lets it down is its price � at Rs 8.78 lakh for the top end XV model, it is on the expensive side, which puts it closer to plusher  &  better equipped midsizers. But if you�re still willing to sign that cheque then you will find a car that may not enthuse you but one that you can happily live with day in  &  day out without burning a hole in your pocket.

Tech Specs

Nissan Sunny dCi review, test drive

Fact File

What it costs
Ex-showroom (Delhi)Rs 8.78 lakh
InstallationFront, transverse
Type4-cyls in-line, 1461cc
Compression ratio17.9:1
Valve gear2 valves per cyl, SOHC
Power84bhp at 3750rpm
Torque20.39kgm at 2000rpm
Power to weight76.57bhp per tonne
Torque to weight18.58kgm per tonne
TypeFront wheel drive
Gearbox5-speed manual
Chassis & Body
ConstructionFour door saloon, monocoque
SpareFull size
FrontIndependent, MacPherson strut, anti roll bar
RearNon independent, torsion beam, anti roll bar
TypeRack & pinion
Type of power assistElectric
Turning circle10.6m
FrontVentilated discs
Anti lockYes
Range at a glance : Engines
Petrol1.5-litre 97bhp Rs 5.78-7.68 lakh
Diesel1.5-litre 84bhp Rs 7.98 to Rs 8.78 lakh

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