The Tiida lives up to high expectations, writes GRAHAMSMITH
THE Tiida had big shoes to fill when it replaced the popular Pulsar, but it has shown it is more than capable of doing it. Sadly, the Pulsar lost much of its gloss as it neared the end of the road, so it wasn’t surprising Nissan dumped the name and went for the quirky new one.
At the launch Nissan promised the Tiida was a giant leap forward, and it was indeed. owned by Renault and the Tiida shared its underpinnings with the Renault Megane.
Nissan promised the Tiida would be better than the Pulsar and delivered on its promise.
The Tiida was bigger, more refined, more comfortable, better finished and drove well.
The range was made up of ST sedan and hatch at the entry point, the mid-range ST-L sedan and hatch, and the Ti sedan and Q hatch.
Power came from a 1.8-litre double overhead camshaft fourcylinder engine with variable valve timing. When working at its peak it delivered 93kW at 5200 revs and 174Nm at 4800 revs, endowing it with spirited performance without being sporty.
All models but the Ti rangetopper came standard with a sixspeed manual gearbox, but there was an option of a four-speed auto. The Ti came standard with the auto.
Inside, the Tiida was roomy and comfortable.
It was also well finished with softfeel materials used on dash padding, door trims and headliner, topped off with polished metallic finishes that gave it a quality look.
All models were well equipped. Even the ST entry models had airconditioning, remote central locking, CD with four-speaker sound and power mirrors.
The ST-L had extra safety features, plus 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows and Tricot seat trim.
At the head of the class the Ti sedan and Q hatch had a leathertrimmed steering wheel, a blend of leather and cloth trim, an overhead console and six speakers. PAY $14,000-$18,000 for an ST; add $1000 for an ST-L; or $3000 for a Ti or Q. COMPLAINTS to carsGuide about the Tiida have been few and far between and generally of a minor nature. It seems there are no serious flaws with the small Nissan.
Good build quality, combined with a reliable package of engine, gearbox, driveline and suspension means little goes wrong.
Make the usual checks for evidence of a crash and poor repairs, and check for regular servicing. ALL models have dual front airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. All models above the base ST have curtain airbags for better all-round protection.
The Tiida also has an impressive array of active safety features, including anti-skid brakes, brakeforce distribution and brake assist. THE Tiida is on the money in the small-car class with a fuel-economy claim of 7.6 litres for 100km for the manual models and 7.8 litres/ 100km for the autos. WELL-built, wellequipped, economical small car with roomy interior, good safety.