The Nissan Sunny was recently blessed with a diesel engine which makes it a very interesting car in the Indian scenario. Nissan launched the diesel version of the Sunny within two months of the petrol variant’s launch with a price difference of Rs. 1.1 lakh between the petrol and diesel engine versions.
The newly launched Sunny will face stiff competition from the SX4, Verna and the Vento. Other cars include the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat Linea but they don’t sell in large numbers and hence do not pose a serious threat to the Sunny.
Here, we compare the Maruti Suzuki SX4 diesel with the newly launched Nissan Sunny dieselto ascertain which of these cars offers more value for money.
Driving and handling
The Sunny diesel can be expected to perform slightly better than the SX4. The engine specifications of both the cars are more or less the same. The SX4 churns out more power (89 bhp) as against the Sunny engine (85 bhp) however torque output is the same (200 Nm) in both the cars.
In terms of acceleration, the Sunny diesel is expected to be better than the Sx4 as it is significantly lighter. To be precise, the Sunny XL diesel weighs 1092 kg which is 133 kg less than the SX4 VDI (1225 kg) and the Sunny XV diesel weighs 1097 kg which is 148 kg lesser than SX4 ZDI (1245 kg). The power to weight ratio of Sunny diesel is 77.8 bhp/ton while that of SX4 diesel is 72.6 bhp/ton.
Expect the Sunny diesel to have a light steering that facilitates maneuverability in both city traffic and at highway speeds. The additional weight of 70 kg (when compared to the Sunny petrol) will give the Sunny diesel better ride quality. Body roll will most likely be minimal, thanks to its long wheelbase and low body height. Overall, the Sunny’s drivability will best suit sedate drivers.
The SX4’s acceleration with its strong mid range power will tackle most highway overtaking maneuvers with ease. The steering wheel is precise and the sporty suspension of the SX4 will allow you to push it around corners. The phenomenal ground clearance of 170 mm (VDI) and 180 mm (ZDI) in the SX4 saves its underbody from scratches even when driven on bad roads.
Winner: There is no outright winner though the SX4 is slightly better in terms of handling.
Space and comfort
Nissan has carved out maximum user space completely capitalizing on the long wheelbase of the Sunny. The Sunny’ rear seat legroom (at 636 mm) is best-in-class and is much better than that in the SX4. It has more space than even some cars a segment higher such as the Toyota Altis or the Honda Civic, and can accommodate tall passengers easily. The SX4 has slightly more luggage space at 505 litres as against the Sunny which gets a 490 litre boot.
The SX4’s taller stance has an advantage as it is easy to get in and out of the car due to the taller seating arrangement and wide opening doors. On the other hand, in the Sunny, you have to bend and sink into the car as its seats are lower than those in the SX4.
Winner: So while the Sunny clearly offers plenty more space, older buyers may prefer the SX4 just for ease of ingress and egress.
The SX4 is taller, slightly longer and even wider than the Sunny. The SX4 also rides on bigger wheels which give it a tough appearance. The Sunny resembles the Nissan Teana premium sedan, especially the front grille, tail lamp cluster and the boot lip. It has a sober and plain appearance from the front, compared to the SX4 which has aggressive looks.
From the sides, the SX4 has a more rounded design and ends in a rather high boot hen compared to the Sunny which has a more aerodynamic and cute appeal. At the rear, the SX4 with its tall boot looks rather huge while the Sunny’s rear is unconventional and doesn’t gel with the car’s overall design.
Winner: Overall, the SX4 has a sportier look, while the Sunny has a more conservative looks.
The Sunny diesel comes in two variants; the XL and the XV. The SX4 diesel also comes in two variants; the VDI and the ZDI. The Sunny XL packs in goodies such as driver airbag, automatic climate control, rear fan, and electric mirrors which are not offered in the SX4 VDI variant. If your compare the top trim variants of both the cars, you notice that the Sunny XV gets electric folding mirrors and an intelligent key with push button ignition which is not offered in the SX4 ZDI.
Winner: Features wise, the Sunny diesel has an advantage over the SX4 diesel.
Price mileage and overall VFM
The Sunny XL priced at Rs. 7.98 lakh costs Rs. 10,000 more than the SX4 VDI priced at Rs. 7.88 lakh. Comparing the top-end variants of both the cars, the Sunny XV priced at Rs. 8.78 lakh is only Rs. 2,000 more than the SX4 ZDI priced at Rs. 8.76 lakh.
With regard to fuel efficiency, both the cars have similar ARAI-certified mileage (21.5 kmpl for SX4 and 21.6 kmpl for Sunny) and hence the real world fuel economy will likely be similar.
Overall, the Sunny diesel with its roomy interiors, better features and good fuel economy is slightly better value for money than the SX4 diesel. The Sx4 however benefits from Maruti Suzuki’s extensive service network and brand image.
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If you are an enthusiast who prefer dominant looks and sporty handling, the SX4 is for you. However, if space, comfort and features are your top priorities, the Sunny diesel will appeal to you. The Sunny offers maximum features for its price, has loads of space with best in segment rear legroom and rivaling fuel economy.
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*All prices are ex-showroom Delhi