Western Suburbs Weekly - - Community Drive Way - Chris Ri­ley

MOST peo­ple as­so­ciate the let­ters SSS with the hoon­mo­bile and its big wing from the ‘90s.

This time Nis­san has added a sedan to the mix but it's a more se­date pack­age with none of the boy racer bits.

Don't go dis­miss­ing the SSS out of hand how­ever, be­cause it's got a real spring to its step and is ac­tu­ally very good value for money, with all the per­for­mance you need, plenty of room in the back and a big boot to match.

The new SSS sedan re­places the Ti as the top-of-the-line model, fit­ted out to the same spec but with a turbo en­gine, sports body-kit and rear park­ing sen­sors added. With a five-star safety rat­ing the sedan is priced from $26,990 for the man­ual or $29,290 for the auto and $1000 more than the hatch.

Stan­dard kit in­cludes leather, dual cli­mate air, push but­ton start, xenon head­lights, and au­to­matic op­er­a­tion for the lights but not the wipers or rear view mir­ror. There's also six-speaker au­dio, a 5.8 inch touch­screen that is home for sat­nav and a re­vers­ing cam­era, plus LED run­ning lights, which for some rea­son the hatch misses out on.

The sedan shares its me­chan­i­cals with the hatch.

The 1.6-litre tur­bocharged four cylin­der petrol en­gine de­liv­ers a use­ful 140kW and 240Nm.

It's a big step up from the 96kW and 174Nm that the 1.8 in the Ti pro­duced, par­tic­u­larly in terms of torque, which kicks in at 2000 revs, much ear­lier in the range than the 1.8's 4800 revs.

The SSS is avail­able with a sixspeed man­ual or you can have an auto for an­other $2300.

Be warned how­ever of the CVT va­ri­ety, which 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 making it coun­try roads friendly.

With a 52-litre tank, fuel consumption is rated at 7.8 litres/100km (we were get­ting 7.5 af­ter al­most 700km).

The look is un­der­stated and as such the car is likely to have broader ap­peal.

For a small sedan it is larger than it looks with loads of rear legroom, but not at the ex­pense of the boot, which re­mains size­able.

The 1.6-litre four cylin­der en­gine de­liv­ers max­i­mum torque from a low 2000 revs and makes the car pli­able to drive, with­out the need to change gear con­stantly.

Most of the time the tacho hov­ers just above the 2000 mark, keep­ing the en­gine on boost and re­duc­ing dreaded turbo lag.

Put the boot in and the SSS will spin its front wheels off the mark, re­spond­ing ea­gerly to the throt­tle in­put as it rips through the gears.

The man­ual change it­self is sur­pris­ingly easy to use, with a clutch ac­tion that is light and that will ap­peal to all driv­ers.

It is refreshing to see the sat­nav pro­vide a con­stant re­minder of the speed limit, as well as warn­ings for school zones and speed cam­eras.

Ver­dict: The SSS wears its sports hat bet­ter in the guise of a sedan.

With­out the pres­sure of try­ing to be a hot hatch, it sim­ply be­comes a nice drive.

The se­date looks be­lie the SSS's abil­i­ties.

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