Back in January, Renault introduced the Scala with an automatic transmission in the Indian market.
So it goes without saying that alliance partner Nissan was not going to let their baby - Sunny - stay in the market without this vital 21st century need.
Sources tell IndianAutosBlog that Nissan is ready to introduce an automatic avatar of Sunny in the coming weeks. While the exact date of the launch is unknown, it is safe to assume that the Sunny AT will be launched before the end of May.
Now, we don’t want to get your “affordable automatic diesel sedan” hopes too high because the Sunny automatic will only be available in a petrol avatar.
[The selector module and badges would be carried over from the Scala AT]
To be specific, the Sunny’s 1.5 liter HR15DE petrol engine (101PS/134Nm) will be mated to a X-TRONIC CVT gearbox (exactly like the Renault Scala). The gearbox is Nissan's innovation and logically should have gone to the Sunny first. In fact Nissan has been making AT versions for the Sunny and Micra in Chennai since 2010 for the export markets.
As the case with the Scala, the Sunny’s automatic avatar will be more fuel efficient than the manual one. Nissan claims that the Sunny automatic can deliver an FE of 17.97kmpl; 1.02kmpl more than manual version’s 16.95kmpl.
Unlike the Scala which was launched in two petrol variants - RXL and RXZ, Nissan Sunny AT will only be launched in the XL trim. Other variants will receive the update depending on the market response.
Looking at the Renault-Nissan pricing philosophy, we can be rest assured that the Sunny AT will be priced below the Scala AT.
The Nissan Sunny AT will compete against its own sister and some other petrol automatics such as Honda City, Ford Fiesta, Skoda Rapid, VW Vento, SX4 and Hyundai Verna.