Buyers guide for Nissan


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Nissan Motors is one of the leading manufacturers of cars in the world. In 2005, Nissan entered in two-prong partnership with French automaker Renault SA. The latter owns 43 percent of Nissan’s shares while the former holds 15 percent of Renault’s shares. A combined market share of the Asian trio of Nissan, Toyota and Honda in American automobiles market is the largest among the Asian firms which have slowly but gradually encroached upon the traditional backyard of the famed Detroit-3 namely Chrysler, Ford and GM. The VQ engines by Nissan of the V6 configuration has been among the Ward’s top 10 best engines for consecutive 14 years.

Nissan Micra

With the small car market heating up with almost monthly launches of new products, it would not be far-fetched to say that India has become one of the most important markets for global auto majors. Hence this development makes it imperative on the part of the auto manufacturer to make an offering in this particular segment, and therefore it was unavoidable that Micra would sail to our shores. The car has been rechristened as Micra from its global name, March. The third “P” of marketing has been taken well care off with the Micra with astute packaging. Its look is idiosyncratic in a good way and makes the car stand out. The car is spacious, and under the hood the car sports a parsimonious and sprightly engine. Talking of the ride quality of Micra would a bit on a too soft-side. The car is built keeping in mind the new age nucleus family and believe me if this was the original intent of the car makers, then it would not be exaggeration to say that the car is worth its salt. To enhance the savings part, which is inherent with small cars, the Micra now comes with a diesel option. The engine which does duty on the Logan is employed in the diesel version, need I say more. With the Japanese car makers upping the ante in the Indian market, the timing of the Micra couldn’t have been more ideal.

Engine Options:
1198cc, I-3/ 1461cc, I-4

Power train:
5-speed manual/5-speed manual

Power:
75bhp @6000 rpm/ 63bhp @4000 rpm

Torque:
10.4kgm@4000rpm/16.3kgm@2000rpm

Thumbs Up:
loaded, drivability, cheerful exteriors, space

Thumbs Down:
interior plastic quality, handling a bit unsorted

Head on Competitors:
Figo, Polo, Swift, Hyundai I20

The Catch:
Rs 4.04 to 6.14 Lakhs

Nissan Teana

The Teana from Nissan was once only a look-out for luxury hotels and fleet services. But Nissan would not let its premium sedan go down the Logan way and be stereotyped as a commercial car. This seriousness with its product has resulted into quite a few individually owned Teanas these days on the roads. No wonder it’s a big car with an undeniable presence on the roads, albeit the styling is more like a love-it or hate-it types. It does not sport a universal awe-inspiring design. The car has very plush interiors with the frontal seats recreating a airline business class experience. In addition to it the drive quality can only be described as excellent. The material quality of the car puts it into the league of German luxury car makers like Mercedes-Benz and the Audi. The Ward’s best 10 engine awards winner V6 engine is highly refined. So if you are looking for some thing left-of-field, the Teana deserves your attention.

Engine Options:
2496cc, v6

Power train:
6-speed automatic

Power:
180bhp@6000 rpm

Torque:
23.2kgm@4000rpm

Thumbs Up:
features, comfort, over all feel good factor

Thumbs Down:
after-sales service, high price

Head on Competitors:
Toyota Camry, base Audi-A4

The Catch:
Rs 21.7 to 26.2 Lakhs

Nissan X-Trail

The latest X-Trail has its roots stemmed in the Qashqai soft-roader, not sold in Indian markets. In its refreshed edition, the car sports a larger grille and headlamps, with the visual aesthetics of the tail-lamps drummed down. In the inside of the car the instruments move about from centre console to behind the navigation wheel. Also to suit Indian conditions the engine is downgraded to a 2-liter unit, but with a power generation capability of 150bhp. In spite of all this drumming down in its features, the X-Trail continuous to be an above-par all-round performing vehicle. The Nissan X-Trail has a capacity to seat 5 people in absolute comfort. The handling is reminiscent to a sporty sedan and the ride quality is one of the best in its class. The capabilities of the new X-Trail are such that it can be treated to a few kilometers of rough patch or a bit of off-roading. The car is available in both the auto as well as manual gearbox. Regardless of whichever transmission you choose I bet the X-Trail is one of the best you can get in the same price range.



Engine Options:

1995cc,I-4 TD

Power train:
6-speed automatic/6-speed manual

Power:
148.5bhp@4000 rpm

Torque:
32.4kgm@2000rpm

Thumbs Up:
diesel performance, all-round ability

Thumbs Down:
looks do not corroborate well with the price tag

Head on Competitors:
Freelander 2, Honda CR-V as a petrol option

The Catch:
Rs 21.95 to 26.25 Lakhs

Nissan 370Z

For all those sports car lovers who want a sports car with Japanese reliability coupled with German-level performance, Nissan 370Z has what it takes. The car looks fabulous in red color. The car like all sports cars is great looking and will is guaranteed to be an envy of every car owner. It is so towering in its personality that it makes the SLK look meek in comparison. The car sports a winner in the form of a 3.7 liter award winning V6 engine, which has a capability to pump out 332bhp. The car has both the manual as well as the automatic transmission option, the latter comes with a Synchrorev, which by itself jinxes the throttle just before up shifting, almost similar to double de-clutching in the days of yore. It has a sublime handling and surprisingly the ride quality is also not bad. In a lighter vein, the car looks fast when it is standing still. What more can you demand from a sports car?

Engine Options:
3696cc,V6 petrol

Power train:
7-speed automatic/6-speed manual

Power:
332bhp@7000 rpm

Torque:
37.3kgm@5200rpm

Thumbs Up:
fantastic performance, surprisingly efficient, neat handler

Thumbs Down:
ground clearance, not a Cayman

Head on Competitors:
BMW Z4, Audi TT,M-B SLK, Evo-X

The Catch:
Rs 55.03 to 55.06 Lakhs

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