Car news

28 January 2014

Nissan Sunny refresh surfaces in Thailand

Nissan's new Thai-spec Sunny is, in all likelihood, the refreshed car we'll be seeing at its stand at the Delhi Auto Expo

Amaan Ahmed
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Not very long ago, Nissan announced its line-up for the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo. The list read something like this: Friend-ME Concept, GT-R GT500, improved Evalia, accesorised Terrano, and the new Nissan Sunny. Now of course, when Nissan says 'new', it means refreshed. And with less than 10 days to go for the Auto Expo, Nissan has launched a freshened-up version of the Sunny in Thailand.

Okay, so it's sold as the 'Almera', and not the 'Sunny', over in Thailand, but hey, barring the name, it's still the exact same car that we get here in our homeland. Which is what leads us to believe that this refreshed version is also the car that Nissan will bring to the Auto Expo next month.

So, to the changes. Up front are new headlamps, a tweaked grille, a more angular front bumper with a redesigned air dam and reshaped foglamp housings, changes that bring the Sunny a lot closer to the bigger Altima in terms of appearance. It gets new 15-inch alloys, with ORVM-mounted turn indicators available as an optional accessory, and at the back, Nissan has placed a spoiler on the bootlid, altered the tail-lamps a bit, and has fitted a new, sportier-looking bumper.

Inside, the Sunny gets a new three-spoke steering wheel, a new instrument cluster, a 6.1-inch touchscreen that houses the satnav and entertainment functions (and is Bluetooth-enabled as well), with the centre console now being finished in 'Piano Black' trim. The top-spec version also gets a rear view camera.

There are absolutely no changes made to the engine or gearbox options whatsoever, and we expect Nissan to continue with the same 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines and five-speed manual/CVT gearboxes for India. What will be interesting to see, though, is whether Nissan provides the new 'idling stop' system that our Thai compatriots get with the new Sunny.

According to Nissan, this system shuts off the engine whenever the car comes to a dead halt in a bid to maximise fuel efficiency. All electrical systems stay operational, but the compressor cuts out the engine. A prod on the accelerator should fire it up again, and Nissan mentions that the system will automatically restart the engine if the car is at a standstill for more than three minutes. We'd quite like to see how this works in our daily traffic grind.

The competition in the segment is hotting up, and we think Nissan will only marginally increase prices for the refreshed Sunny when it is introduced here in less than two weeks' time.

Tags: nissan, sunny, delhi auto expo, almera

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