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Old 17th April 2013, 16:21   #1
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Default Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

The Nissan Sunny CVT has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 8.49 Lakh (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• CVT's zero shift-shock nature delivers a smooth driving experience
• Light steering & automatic transmission are a boon for city driving
• Spectacular rear legroom and comfortable rear bench
• Compliant ride quality matched by predictable handling
• The CVT gets true keyless entry & fog lamps (which the equivalent MT variant doesn't)
• Safety kit: ABS + EBD + BA, driver & passenger airbags etc.

What you won’t:

• 100 BHP on paper, not felt on the road
• CVT's rubber-band effect makes it lazy at highway speeds. Noisy engine at high rpm too
• Rear head-room & under-thigh support are in short supply
• Not available in the top XV trim level. Only middle variant on offer
• No Diesel automatic option to address the unfulfilled need of the market

The 2014 Facelift:

Link to Report (2014 Nissan Sunny Facelift : A Close Look)


Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2014 at 14:37. Reason: Adding link to facelift report
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Old 17th April 2013, 16:22   #2
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

The Nissan Sunny and Renault Scala are identical in almost every aspect, barring a few design elements. The Sunny has already been driven by Team-BHP, hence this report will only focus on changes compared to the manual variant.

For comprehensive reviews, please visit the links below:

Nissan Sunny (Nissan Sunny : Test Drive & Review)

Renault Scala CVT (Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review)

Last edited by GTO : 21st April 2013 at 11:38.
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Old 17th April 2013, 16:24   #3
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Selling 1,304 units in March '13, the Nissan Sunny isn't quite a hot seller when it comes to segment standards. This is a strange truth, considering it does offer a diesel heart and has more space than its competitors, out-gunning most D1 segment cars when it comes to rear passenger leg room. The petrol-only Honda City sells double the units of the Sunny! Of course, do keep in mind that the Sunny's sales potential is also split with its badge-engineered twin, the Scala.

The Renault-Nissan relationship has shown that the Renault range of cars is always positioned above the Nissan siblings. In this case, the 50,000 Rupee premium on the equivalent Renault Scala variant gets you 15" alloy wheels (vs steel wheels), an arguably better exterior package and a nicer dual-barrel instrument cluster with chrome surrounds. However, the Scala RXL CVT is devoid of the extremely useful keyless entry, push button start and front fog lamps.

As per ARAI figures, the CVT on the Sunny is more fuel efficient than its manual avatar. The CVT delivers 17.97 kpl as compared to the 16.95 kpl of the MT. These figures are from simulated testing conditions and might not match up to the real-world efficiency of these vehicles. We'll let our Team-BHP ownership reports shed more light on actual FE.

Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven-untitled.png

Some pictures from the drive:


The Sunny's long wheelbase:


There are no exterior differences on the CVT except for...


... the Xtronic CVT nomenclature:


The XL (mid-variant) is the only one with an AT:


CVT XL variant gets front fog lamps (manual XL variant doesn't):


No alloy wheels, unlike the Scala RXL CVT:


Chrome door handles with keyless entry request sensor:


Mr. Chikuya Takada (Head of Product Planning) & Mr. Nitish Tipnis (Director, Sales and Marketing) flag off the drive:

Last edited by GTO : 21st April 2013 at 11:39.
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Old 17th April 2013, 16:26   #4
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Dashboard maintains the same design & colour theme. AT lever is identical to that of the Renault Scala:


The very basic instrument cluster of the Sunny's XE and XL variants is identical to the Nissan Micra's:


Small driver information screen has data on the odometer, DTE, trip-meter, real time FE, average FE, current gear and time. Under direct sunlight, there is a significant amount of glare noticed:


The push-start ignition button with true keyless entry is very useful. Another add-on is the chrome of the inside door handles:


Electrically adjustable ORVMs (no power-fold though):


Dead pedal is raised slightly off the floorboard and is arguably functional:

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd April 2013 at 15:37.
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Old 17th April 2013, 16:27   #5
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven



Note: The text below has been adapted from Noopster's Scala CVT review, as the driving experiences of the two cars line up exactly.

The Nissan Sunny Xtronic CVT is powered by a 1.5L DOHC 16 valve 4 cylinder petrol engine with Variable Time Control (VTC). It puts out 100 BHP (@ 5,600 rpm) and 134 Nm of torque (@ 4,000 rpm).

In the city, the Sunny CVT is a seamless shifter. Light pressure maintained on the accelerator makes it a boon to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. The steering is feather light and the engine has sufficient power for urban confines. CVTs usually deliver power in a linear manner & the Sunny is no different. The Sunny is easy to point in and out of traffic gaps, but due to its sheer length of 4425 mm, you need to be picky when looking for parking spots.

On the open road, if your regular driving style is cruising @ 80 – 90 kph without too much downshifting and upshifting, the Sunny CVT is adequate for your needs. It's no road burner, yet it does the job of point A -> point B motoring. The petrol engine is refined when it isn’t pushed, and the CVT's shifts are absolutely jerk-free. In conventional ATs like the City & Vento, you still feel the gearshifts, however smooth they are. Not so in a CVT. When you consider the amazing space this sedan offers, I would highly recommend the Sunny CVT to the self-driven middle-aged gentleman whose car runs mainly in the city.

CVT's respond best to soft accelerator input. Prod the Sunny harder and you take the car out of its comfort zone. The Sunny CVT feels like a timid kitten when you mash the throttle to the floor. It's here that the weak points of the engine (lack of outright performance and engine noise over 3,000 rpm) come starkly to the forefront. Only this time, the negatives are further accentuated by the CVT gearbox.

The response of the CVT in highway overtaking manouveurs (or simply accelerating hard) is very poor. The tachometer, which is happy to laze around the 1,500 rpm level with a light foot, suddenly and inexplicably rises to 5,500 rpm. Then, it simply stays there, until you lift your foot off the accelerator. This “rubber-band” effect, as is the case with most CVT's, becomes very prominent when you floor the throttle. The rpm rises, but there is no resultant increase in speed!! The Sunny takes its own sweet time to gain momentum. Overtaking fast moving traffic requires careful planning. This isn’t an engine that likes the redline either. It sounds awfully noisy at high rpm and feels stressed. The Sunny CVT suits those with a sedate driving style. If you are looking for fun & play with an auto tranny, consider the Honda City 5-Speed AT or the Ford Fiesta dual-clutch automatic instead.

Driving Modes:

The Sunny CVT doesn’t have a manual shift mode (neither tiptronic nor paddle shifters).

Right below the large “gear unlock” button is a smaller button to engage Sport mode. Sport mode basically maintains a higher rpm for the same driving conditions. There’s nothing really sporty about it, and you only end up with a louder engine note & higher fuel consumption. However, Sport mode can be useful for preparing the car just before an overtaking manouveur (bringing the engine closer to its power band). It also gives you additional engine braking, as sport mode prevents the car from free-wheeling. In regular (non-sports) mode, the Sunny starts free-wheeling as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator.

Shift the gear lever to "L" mode for inclines & declines. The CVT maintains a lower ratio for powering up inclines, and engine braking when going down.

The engine bay is familiar territory:


The Sport Mode Indicator:


Go beyond 3,000 rpm and engine noise gets very audible inside the cabin. All overtaking maneuvers are a noisy affair:


Videos explaining the Nissan Xtronic CVT:






Last edited by GTO : 21st April 2013 at 11:40.
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Old 17th April 2013, 16:29   #6
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Other Points:

• A top-spec variant is sorely missed. AT customers are usually willing to spend a premium for a fully-loaded car.

• Nissan's warranty is for 2 years / 50,000 kms. The extended warranty option covers the car for a total of 4 years / 80,000 kms.

• A CVT mated to the frugal 1.5L DCi Diesel would have been something else!

• Driver armrest missing in an automatic car? Surely a departure from segment standards.

• Nissan will roll out a compact SUV (i.e. rebadged Duster), the Micra CVT and the Datsun range of cars in FY 2013-2014. The company claims that it will have a 10-car lineup by FY 2016.

Last edited by GTO : 21st April 2013 at 11:40.
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Old 17th April 2013, 23:52   #7
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Automatic options in the segment are really opening up. Looks like all manufacturers are looking at automatics to revive the sales of the dying petrol models.

So now we have

1. Sunny CVT
2. Scala CVT
3. Fiesta DCT
4. Amaze
5. Rapid
6. Vento
7. City
8. Verna

That's quite a lot of options to choose from now albeit Petrol.

My choice would be the Fiesta DCT followed by the Sunny or Scala CVT. Sunny now being cheaper than Scala makes a strong case as a family car which even the wife can drive occasionally. Also good option is chauffeur driven.

Automatics are the only choice imo if you drive in the city.
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Old 18th April 2013, 09:17   #8
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Automatic options in the segment are really opening up. Looks like all manufacturers are looking at automatics to revive the sales of the dying petrol models.

So now we have

1. Sunny CVT
2. Scala CVT
3. Fiesta DCT
4. Amaze
5. Rapid
6. Vento
7. City
8. Verna

That's quite a lot of options to choose from now albeit Petrol.

My choice would be the Fiesta DCT followed by the Sunny or Scala CVT. Sunny now being cheaper than Scala makes a strong case as a family car which even the wife can drive occasionally. Also good option is chauffeur driven.

Automatics are the only choice imo if you drive in the city.
You forgot the SX4, Dzire and Cruze AT (>10 L price tag but a very robust diesel engine) mate.

From the hatchback territory, the contenders will be

A*
Ritz
i10
i20
Brio
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Old 18th April 2013, 10:15   #9
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

IMHO I feel Vento and City are equallly amazing and good options to be considered for Petrol AT.

AT market still has a long way to go. As the only option for Diesel AT available in Entry level sedans is Verna. Car Manufacturers need to consider the likes of Indian customers which is changing with times.
We need more options for Diesel AT. As apart from Verna CRDI AT there is no other option available in the same segment.
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Old 21st April 2013, 01:29   #10
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel lover View Post
You forgot the SX4, Dzire and Cruze AT (>10 L price tag but a very robust diesel engine) mate.
The Cruze AT is priced at 20lakhs so I'm not sure how it compares to the Sunny?

The SX4, I left out on purpose because let's face it, no one even looks at it when looking at an AT.

The Dzire, I left it out cause it's not really a proper sedan in my opinion. I was talking of full size sedans.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 22:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

The Cruze AT is priced at 20lakhs so I'm not sure how it compares to the Sunny?

The SX4, I left out on purpose because let's face it, no one even looks at it when looking at an AT.

The Dzire, I left it out cause it's not really a proper sedan in my opinion. I was talking of full size sedans.
I was not comparing, just adding a few cars that were not there in the list. Also cruze AT is priced at 16 lacs x-showroom Delhi, well above what it should be.
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Old 24th April 2013, 11:27   #12
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Here is an amusing review of the Nissan Versa (Sunny's name in the US), which appeared in the New York Times: The Mouse That Roars. The review trashes the meek Engine and the unpredictable CVT. Here is a gem: "...The 4-cylinder engine musters a mere 109 horsepower, which is low enough that I can actually picture the horses; after a strenuous uphill climb I was tempted to thank each of them by name....". Here is another description of the CVT: "...The culprit in this case was the Versa’s Next Generation Xtronic continuously variable transmission, or C.V.T. In theory, a C.V.T. should do a better job of choosing the most efficient engine speed for a car’s given velocity than a conventional automatic (or a gearshift-mangling teenager) would. But the Versa’s C.V.T. offers gear selection so arbitrary that one imagines not so much a pair of conical pulleys as a roulette wheel..."
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Old 24th April 2013, 13:57   #13
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

Parry firstly a nice round up of the latest offering from Nissan. The Sunny CVT seems to be yet another alternative in the auto space, however a not so precise auto tranny will mar the otherwise comfortable package. Wonder how many of these units will have takers in the first place and what would be the real world mileage figures.

Why cannot companies such as Nissan who are struggling for some decent numbers launch a USP such as a diesel automatic which is really the need of the hour. Wondering if there is such a big issue with mating the auto with a oil burner heart

Last edited by girishglg : 24th April 2013 at 13:59.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:20   #14
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Two pages worth of discussion on such a competent car? I TD-ed this yesterday and found it a competent, well priced offering in its segment. Entirely VFM.
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Old 30th May 2013, 20:31   #15
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Default Re: Nissan Sunny CVT (Automatic) : Driven

How much does Nissan charge for the 4 year warranty?
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