No matter how much one loves driving, at some point in time many of us have wished to have an automatic as there is no denying the fact that they make our lives a lot easier. Automatic cars are hugely popular in the US and also in many parts of the world and in India they are finally taking off big time. A look at the automatic cars available in our market shows that many new options have been introduced recently which means that customers are willing to pay extra to get the convenience of resting their left foot.
Earlier in the upper mid-size segment the Honda City ruled the roost in the automatic sedan space but soon many new competent rivals had shown up. Skoda came up with the Rapid automatic and then Ford had the Fiesta auto and recently Renault launched the Scala automatic which had us impressed when we tested it. Now after the Scala auto launch we knew that the Sunny auto launch was not so far away and now the Nissan Sunny automatic is about to make its debut in the Indian market.
Just like its Renault sibling the Sunny automatic (in petrol only) gets the X-Tronic transmission. The X-tronic CVT (continuous variable transmission) brings about improvement in fuel economy and also is pretty responsive. The X-tronic CVT has the widest range of transmission ratio coverage (3.46:1) using a sub planetary gear, allowing smaller pulleys to reach higher transmission ratio. It also achieves reduced oil stirring friction by increasing the distance between surface of transmission oil and pulleys. With this arrangement, the X-tronic CVT transmission produces around 30% less friction and is 10% smaller as well as 13% lighter than conventional CVT models. Thus X-tronic CVT transmission allows for infinite gear change ratios.
So the reason for all this tech unfolds when you fill up the Sunny automatic as it is more fuel efficient than the manual version. The ARAI efficiency figure is 17.97 kmpl which is more when compared to the 16.95 kmpl figure of the manual version.
This automatic gearbox blends well with the character of the car and the 97 bhp from the 1.5-litre petrol feels ample. Overtaking is easy and performance just like in the Scala automatic is quite strong. Design wise nothing has changed but going by the success of the Sunny nothing needs to. The Sunny is a huge car and does have a good road presence. Dimension wise, at 4425mm in length, the Sunny is longer than the City, Dzire, Vento, Verna and even the Manza. The Sunny also has one of the longest wheelbases of 2600mm. The Sunny might not have sharp design lines or look sexy, what it has in abundance is class, elegance and style.
The real deal lies on the inside with an airy cabin and abundance of legroom at the back making it a great car to be driven around in. In the interior the design cues have been picked up from the Micra including the climate control console, air vents, inside door handles etc. The Sunny is also well equipped and quite practical.
The Nissan Sunny CVT will be first introduced in the XL trim only to get a competitive price. We expect it to start from Rs 8.21 lakhs which will make it cheaper than its rivals and also even cheaper than the Scala automatic. In future the automatic will be available in more trim levels. Overall we think its worth spending the extra on the Sunny CVT as the benefits are greater and really, no-nonsense motoring does not get better than this.