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Nissan Tiida 1,6 Acenta Five-Door

Broadcast date : 8th October 2006

Much has been expected from Nissanís new entry into the C-segment of the new car market Ė the one where major volumes are realised for any serious manufacturer in South Africa.

Until now, Nissan has been doing battle with the somewhat ordinary Almera, a car which was looking decidedly dated.

While the Almera was seen as a good fleet vehicle, Nissan are hoping for more fashion-conscious appeal with the Tiida, especially as itís being built at the companyís Rosslyn plant after a substantial tooling-up investment.

Itís an ambitious line-up that Nissan has gone for, with both four and five-door variants being locally-manufactured.

The Tiida is certainly vastly different to the Almera in styling terms, and oneís first impression is that itís a big car Ė especially in this five-door format.

The conservative styling of the Tiida is somewhat puzzling as it goes against Nissanís desire to radically change its image. But in practical terms it has a lot going for it.

The cabin has a straight up-and down uniformity that is almost drastically utilitarian, and it doesnít feature any of the current "must have" items, such as remote audio controls, or a trip computer.

It also lacks a reach-adjustable steering column, but generally the materials used are quite good, and some have a pleasing soft-touch feel.

Space is where the Tiida scores, and scores again. It has a very tall roof-line, and this Acenta-trim model offers the sliding rear seat as standard. By sliding the seat far forward, boot space grows to over 400 litres. In the "go" department, our Tiida used the 1,6 litre engine.

As with the styling, Nissan seems to have been quite conservative with its engine specs on the Tiida. While the engine is ultra-smooth, the torque peak at 4400 rpm is quite high up the rev range.

The rest of the carís dynamics are profiled towards Mr and Mrs Average, like the electrically-assisted power steering.

The ride on the car is good, and the steering is accurate enough at higher speeds, even though we would have liked more weightiness in the system.

In fact, thereís a remoteness to the Tiida thatís surprising from a Nissan product, where Nissan cars in the past have always looked conservative, but been dynamically very pleasing.

The performance figures from the 1,6 litre model are nevertheless impressive. Car Magazine achieved a rather zesty 10,6 second 0-100, which goes to show what it can do when you wind it up at sea level.

Thereís a total of five sedan and three hatchbacks in the range, and the 1,8 litre engines deliver substantially more urge Ė 95 kiloWatts and 175 Newton metres of torque, which will make this large hatch considerably better in the low-rev pulling-power department.

The Tiida doesnít really stand out amongst the C-segment crowd. But the entire range is very well priced, and that roominess in the cabin will win a lot of fans.

Nissan Tiida 1,6 Acenta Five-Door

  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 598 cc
  • Power: 80 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 153 Nm @ 4 400 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h : 10,6 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 188 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 8,6 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R158 700

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