The Nissan Sunny has created a niche for itself in the Indian market, offering customers acres of interior space, good ride quality and frugal performance. The Caaaar has been well received in India and is Nissan’s best selling model in the country, recording more than 1000 units consistently on a monthly basis. Now Nissan has given the Sunny a CVT automatic gearbox, which makes it very practical for commute in crowded city conditions. The Japanese automaker first introduced a CVT box in the Micra in 1992 and claims to be the largest producer of CVT transmissions in the world, with more than 10 lakh CVT equipped cars being sold.

An automatic gearbox makes a lot of sense in today’s age with traffic increasing at an alarming rate. Women drivers also prefer automatic transmission cars and Nissan is looking at targeting them with the Sunny CVT, which is only offered in mid-range XL trim. The only exterior difference is the XTRONIC CVT badge on the boot. Called the XTRONIC CVT, this unit is very different from a conventional automatic gearbox, offering better mileage than its manual counterpart. The Sunny CVT returns an ARAI certified mileage of 17.97 km/l, while the manual version returns 16.95 km/l.

This fourth generation XTRONIC CVT gearbox in the Nissan Sunny is the world’s first CVT with sub planetary gear set (resulting in 10% reduction in size, 13% in weight and 30% in friction over conventional CVTs). It also has the world’s highest transmission raio (7.3:1) and gear ratios vary unlike being fixed in non-CVT units. This automatic gearbox uses two pulleys with a steel belt running in between, adjusting the primary (drive) pulley and secondary (driven) pulley in tandem to transfer torque from the engine to the wheels continuously. This results in a smooth and jerk free drive with no shift-shock which is seen in regular auto boxes.

Powering the Nissan Sunny CVT is a 1.5-litre DOHC petrol engine which produces 101 PS of power at 5600 RPM (2 PS more at 400 RPM less) and 134 Nm of torque. Although the CVT equipped car weighs 18 kgs heavier, there is no notable difference in performance. Driving the Sunny CVT in crowded Mumbai traffic, we found the engine to be very silent on part throttle with good amount of linear grunt when needed. Floor the throttle that the CVT gearbox makes itself heard, with the engine getting coarse and feeling strained near the redline.


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