1 Feb 2006
AFTER a quarter of a century flogging Pulsars, Nissan Australia was forced to adopt the global ‘Tiida’ name for its replacement small car, despite heated objections to head office in Japan.
At its release, the completely new Tiida came in four models, the entry ST sedan and hatch, ST-L sedan and hatch, Q hatch and Ti.
All were powered by a 16-valve 1.8-litre four cylinder developed in conjunction with Nissan’s alliance partner, Renault, with continuous valve timing control (C-VTC) mated to a six-speed manual, with a four-speed automatic being optional.
The 1.8 developed 93kW at 5200rpm and 174Nm at 4800rpm. Fuel consumption was 7.6L/100km combined for the manual.
The car’s suspension was reasonably low-tech, with MacPherson front struts and an H-shaped torsion beam rear system. Steering was rack and pinion with electric power assistance.
All models included dual airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, air-conditioning, keyless entry with remote central locking, four-speaker in-dash CD stereo, power mirrors, intermittent windscreen wipers and 15-inch steel wheels – but no 60/40 split rear seat in the base ST sedan.
The Tiida was built on Nissan/Renault’s “B” platform architecture, which also spawned the Nissan Micra-based Note, Renault Modus and Clio and Dacia Logan.
The Tiida was substantially bigger in most dimensions (except width) than the Pulsar, with a 65mm longer wheelbase at 2600mm, and wider front and rear track.
The hatch was 8mm longer while the sedan was 140mm longer and both variants benefited from an almost 90mm higher roof line, which translated into vastly better front and rear headroom.
In March 2010 launched a Series 3 upgrade for the Tiida, which it was struggling to sell in Australia. It also slashed prices by at least $1000 across the range and added side curtain airbags as standard to entry ST variants.
The Japanese brand added leather upholstery, climate-control air-conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard to its range-topping Tiida Ti variants, plus a sunroof for the Ti hatch.
Exterior modifications included larger front and rear bumpers, reworked grille, a new tail-light design for the hatch and, on Ti variants, body-coloured side sills. The ST also picked up a new 15-inch wheel cover design.
Inside, all Tiida model variants got a metallic-look finish across the dashboard and a revised instrument cluster. The latter included a revised fuel economy readout.
As well the extra airbags, all ST models picked up cruise control, electric windows, steering-mounted stereo controls and MP3 capability/player input on the single-disc CD stereo. Ti versions also included a leather-clad steering wheel and a six-stack CD with MP3 capability/player input. No major mechanical changes were made.