SEDAN REAL GOOD SPORT
Nissan shake-up for SSS delivers broader appeal, CHRIS RILEY writes
MOST people associate the letters SSS with the Nissan hoonmobile and its big wing from 1990s.
This time has added a sedan to mix, but it is more sedate package none of boy racer bits. Don’t go dismissing the SSS out of hand however, because it’s got real spring its step and actually good value for money — with all performance you need, plenty room in the back a big boot to match.
The new SSS sedan replaces the Ti as top-of-the-line model, fitted out to same spec but turbo engine, sports bodykit and rear parking sensors added.
With a full five-star safety rating, the sedan is priced from $26,990 for
manual or $29,290 the auto — $1000 more than hatch.
Standard kit includes leather, dualclimate air, push-button start, xenon headlights and automatic operation for the lights but not wipers or rear-view mirror.
There’s also six-speaker audio with a 5.8-inch touchscreen that is home for satnav reversing camera — plus LED running lights, which some reason the hatch misses out on.
The sedan shares its mechanicals with hatch.
1.6-litre turbocharged fourcylinder petrol engine delivers a useful 140kW and 240Nm.
It’s a big step up from the 96kW and 174Nm that 1.8 in Ti produced, particularly terms of torque which kicks at 2000 revs — much earlier in the range than 1.8’s 4800 revs.
But you pay a toll for this performance as it takes premium 95 unleaded instead of the standard 91. The SSS is available with six-speed manual or can have an auto another $2300.
Be warned however it’s CVT variety that may not be to everyone’s liking — it does offer manual mode though.
The sedan rides on 17-inch alloys with Continental rubber and a full-size steel spare makes country roads friendly. With 52-litre tank, fuel consumption is rated at 7.8 litres/100km (we were getting 7.5 after almost 700km).
The look is, if anything, understated and as such the car likely to have broader appeal. This fits with fact that it replaces Ti at top of range. For a small sedan is larger than looks loads rear legroom but not the expense the boot, which remains sizeable.
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine delivers maximum torque from a low 2000 revs and makes car pliable to drive, without need change gear constantly.
Most of the time the tacho hovers just above 2000 mark, keeping the engine on boost and reducing dreaded turbo lag.
Put boot in SSS will spin its front wheels off the responding eagerly to throttle input as it rips through gears.
The manual change itself is surprisingly easy use, with a clutch action that is light and that will appeal to male and female drivers alike.
The pricey Continentals provide plenty of grip, but we reckon they break traction far too easily with
squeal in corners — fortunately the car remains easy to control.
Good to see satnav provides a reminder of speed limit, as well as warnings for school zones and cameras.
The SSS wears its sports hat better in the guise of a sedan. Without the pressure trying to be hot hatch it simply becomes nice drive.