The Sunny in petrol guise has already made quite a mark. People like its size-for-price ratio, its humongous rear legroom and its decent performance. Now, with this new Sunny diesel, Nissan has added the final missing link in the chain. Powered by the same 1.5-litre K9K common-rail diesel that’s in the Micra, it now makes 85bhp and 20.4kgm of torque (23bhp and 4kgm more than the Micra).
This power up and the Sunny’s light kerb weight mean it is a good performer. In town, there’s little lag, the engine pulls really well from a low 1000rpm (even in third gear!!) and it pulls in an extremely linear manner. That spike in power which usually comes with turbo-diesels is just not there. However, this motor does its best work below 3000rpm, so there’s really no point in stretching it to its 4500rpm rev-limit where it starts to strain. In fact, even when overtaking, there’s little need to downshift because power comes in satisfyingly well whatever rpm you are at. That the engine is smooth and quiet under most throttle applications and situations only makes it all the better.
Nissan has also tweaked the suspension to handle the heavier diesel motor, and this has made a significant difference in the way the Sunny drives. It feels less skittish, the ride is more sorted and the suspension clunks less over broken roads. The rear feels a tad too soft, but that’s good as the backseat ride is really nice. The steering has a bit more weight to it too, and this really adds to your confidence at highway speeds.
The rest is the same. It’s still got massive legroom at the rear; you still get that well-finished but dull interior, the short-on-thigh-support rear seats and all the equipment that the petrol offers. Nissan is offering the diesel only in the mid-level XL and the top-end XV spec. Priced at Rs 7.98 lakh for the XL diesel and Rs 8.78 lakh for the XV diesel (XL petrol is priced at Rs 6.88 lakh while XV petrol costs Rs 7.68 lakh).