Motoring | Test Drives

Long-term review: Nissan Sunny - Week 1

Food and cars go hand in hand... well, they do if your name is Imran Malik. He takes the Nissan Sunny for some toast, eggs and coffee...

  • By Imran Malik, Sub Editor, wheels
  • Published: 10:52 September 2, 2012
  • Wheels

Nissan Sunny
  • Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • The back seat is like an abyss. You can get lost there. Tell a friend where you are before jumping in...

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I won’t argue with that, not since discovering a fabulous café near Jumeirah that makes the tastiest eggs ever. This place manages to get the consistency just right; not too hard, not too soft — perfect. It’s become my favourite haunt on a lazy Friday morning and I was really looking forward to treating the old taste buds to lots of fried, boiled and scrambled eggs, toast and copious cups of coffee last week.

Then the penny dropped. I didn’t have any wheels. The Lexus GX 460 had gone and my Pontiac was (surprise, surprise) at the garage getting new tie rods fitted. I called Amit. “I badly need a car, err, I have family waiting to be collected from the airport!” Back came his reply. “Take the Sunny”. Umm...

Now, I have nothing against cheap and cheerful vehicles but when they don’t pretend to be anything more than mere transportation devices, I have to draw the line. Cars ought to make you feel alive. Happy. Excited. The Nissan Sunny does none of those things for me. But the clock was ticking. Breakfast would be over and lunch cooking. So (for the sake of my tummy) I put those negative feelings about the Dh45,500 saloon to one side and hopped in.

The first thing to strike me as a little odd was just how comfortable the driver’s seat was. “Not bad”, I mused and then I turned the key, sparking the 1.5-litre four-pot to life. It was so smooth that I could barely hear it chatter. Next, I switched on the AC and that’s when the Sunny really began to impress. Within seconds, the boiling cabin had completely cooled and it wasn’t long before I was fidgeting with the knob to turn it down a couple of notches because I was in real danger of getting the sniffles.

I can honestly say that the AC system in this car is one of the best out there. Off I went and though it felt rather lightweight on the road and was being blown around a little too easily, I couldn’t fault its smooth ride while the anchors dug in hard, bringing things to an immediate stop... Not that I picked up any kind of dizzying speeds worthy of note because with just 99bhp and 135Nm of torque on tap, I wasn’t going to go anywhere particularly quickly.

However, with a nicely weighted steering and smooth shifting four-speed automatic, I was content to cruise along and the drive to my new eatery was exceptionally pleasant. Perhaps part of it was down to there not being many cars on the road (7am on a Friday is a great time to drive), or perhaps it was because the Sunny was really rather good.

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I won’t be making any definite conclusions just yet as we’ve got this thing for a few weeks, but if all you are looking for in a car is comfort, an AC that blows an ice storm and more legroom at the back than you know what to do with, then you can’t go wrong with this Nissan.

I made it in time for breakfast and I have to say, the food was sublime. But this easy-going Sunny had long left me with a rather good taste in my mouth. I’ll be coming back for seconds...


Driven: by Imran

Start mileage: 3,816km

Recent cost: Fuel

Average fuel: economy: 8.0 litres-per-100km

Highs: Incredible AC, comfortable cabin, exceptional value for money

Lows: Weak engine

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