The Sunny that we have Today in our market has a long history at its back. Nissan introduced the nameplate way back in 1966. When it comes to luxury and spaciousness Sunny has created its niche in the segment. Let's roll you down the Sunny's historic nameplate's tenure that is almost five decade old now.
Back in 1966, Datsun (Nissan's subsidiary brand) wanted to rename its new compact car (Datsun 1000 – known in 1966). In this spree, Datsun decided to crowd-source the name for the Datsun 1000. Users had the privilege of naming the new car! 8 million entries later, the name was finally coined out on February 19, 1966. The name selected was Sunny!
Available in two options – a two door sedan (B10) and a station wagon (VB10) the Sunny quickly rose in popularity. Taking advantage of the expertise in building small cars prior to the war, Nissan Sunny was built grounds up on a dedicated platform.
The series eventually saw a light commercial truck (B20) added in 1968. This was based on the VB10 chassis. Subsequently, a cab-over truck version, the Datsun Sunny Cab (C20) was added to the portfolio. With minor alterations to the front, it was marketed as the Nissan Cherry Cab.
The second generation of the Sunny that came in 1970 certainly was the Datsun 1200. It’s with this new model and the experience of having a cab, and light commercial vehicles that the product begun being associated with space. Soon masses started to pit Sunny against the Toyota Corolla. In fact, the Sunny Coupe 1200GX was offered as an alternative to two Toyota cars – the Corolla Levin and the Sprinter Trueno. Soon Sunny became popular across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US.
Subsequent years saw the addition of the Coupe (1971) with a new hood, fenders and a grille. Eventually, in November 1989, rounded headlights were the 'in things' in 80's and 90's rectangular lights; while notable additions in the form of front disc brakes were added to improve safety.
The Datsun 120Y or the B210 was introduced in the mid-1970s (1973–1978). Making a debut during a crucial fuel crisis, the B210 rose in popularity. What began as compact, was now growing in space, appeal and popularity. It’s during this period that emission control standard became a critical differentiator among products. Nissan’s innovation ensured customer adaption grew through the ‘70s. In fact, the Sunny leaded fuel-economy charts and indeed it was the least expensive car in North America back then.
Well technically it wasn’t. But between 1977 and 1981 the final Sunny under “Datsun” was sold as a rear-wheel drive. As the company had decided to wrap-up the Datsun brand. Furthermore, it featured numerous variants including a fastback station wagon, and a more squared-off model with three to five doors, a coupe, and two- and four-door sedans.
The B11, introduced at The Tokyo Motor Show in 1981, was the first front-wheel drive Sunny! It was only a year and a half later that the Corolla switched from rear to front-wheel drive. Between 1985 and 1990, the next Sunny (B12) saw itself grow in Kenya, Malaysia, Taiwan and several new markets.
The 1990s, the Sunny B13 (Tsuru in Mexico) was introduced. It retained a lot of cues from the B12, but with a more contemporary body. The car is still made and sold as the Tsuru in Mexico. The next variant, the B14, was also produced in Pakistan till 2001 via a joint venture between Ghandhara Nissan and Nissan Japan. Similar variants were sold in Mexico and Thailand with minor changes along the way.
The Sunny as we know it today finds its origins in the N platform introduced in 2000. The N16 was sold as the Sunny Neo in Thailand, and as the Sunny in Hong Kong, Kenya, Singapore, Sri Lanka and China. The N17 was introduced at the 2010 Guangzhou International Motor Show in China.
Finally, the new Nissan Sunny was launched in 2011, making it the 10th generation Sunny! A refreshing feel with extra space, luxury and comfort, the Nissan Sunny witnessed phenomenal success in the Indian market. In fact, the new Nissan Sunny is the most spacious car in its class. Laden with innovation under its hood, you won’t need your car keys. Its intelligent on-board computer ensures you’re secure throughout your journey. Ergonomic seats cares for your body and well-being. Once you park your favourite Sunny, you can let the lights stay on from between 30 to 120 seconds till you find your front door. All of this topped with an all-powerful engine! If you haven’t experienced it yet, we invite you to a test drive of the New Nissan Sunny 2014 today!