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  • Loads of features, sporty drive, interior, fuel economy.
  • No stability control, lap-sash rear seatbelt, no traction control.

OUR RATING
6 / 10



Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review

A great car let down by a lack of safety features

Model Tested:

  • 2010 Nissan Tiida Ti Hatch; 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol; six-speed manual $21,990

Options:

  • None fitted.

CarAdvice Rating:

The move to replace the Pulsar name in 2005 was met with disbelief, especially considering the rich heritage the name had with the Australian public. A bizarre advertising campaign and a female-friendly design left the Pulsar replacement on shaky ground.

Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review



Ever since, the Tiida has been a sales flop for Nissan, down almost 10% this year (compared to last) and well short of the company’s initial prediction of 1500 units per month.

Since the car’s launch in 2005, I’ve never actually had the chance to drive the Nissan Tiida. I was apprehensive about what to expect, but came out surprised – on many fronts.

Although styling is subjective, the exterior of the Tiida is far from appealing in my opinion. The design is pinker than it is blue and softer than it is hard. That characteristic alone rules out most men, and certainly all men that I asked, out of buying one.

The top-spec Ti model test driven comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and rear spoiler to differentiate it from the rest of the range.

Inside the cabin, opinions are transformed. Where the outside is more feminine than masculine, the interior is decidedly unisex and carries a premium feel. The Ti model receives leather seats and steering wheel, in addition to a sunroof and six-stack CD-player.

The automatic climate control and audio buttons are conveniently laid out and are easy to find while driving. The cabin has an airy feel to it, with ample leg room both in the front and rear. The boot is also very spacious, with a built in removable cargo blind.

Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review

Behind the wheel, the Tiida opens another envelope of surprises with a perky and sporty engine. While 94kW and 174Nm doesn’t sound like much, the car’s 1130kg mass gives it an impressive power to weight ratio.

Torque is delivered through a six-speed manual gearbox (or optional four-speed automatic gearbox) that offers smooth shifts and an easy and soft clutch pedal.

While the handling and braking won’t blow away an BMW M3, it holds its own through corners and is sufficiently sporty if you encounter a few chicanes in your travels.

Fuel economy from the 1.8-litre four-cylinder power plant is equally impressive, with an official ADR figure of 7.6L/100km, which was easily achieved on test and bettered during the highway portion of testing.

So far, the Tiida had me sufficiently impressed and I wasn’t sure why it was such a miss with the buying public. It was when I started investigating the Tiida’s safety features – or lack thereof – that I started getting concerned.

Let’s start with the most obvious omission. The rear centre seat only has a lap-sash seat belt. It’s one of the few cars still on the market that doesn’t use a three-point seat belt for the rear centre seat.

The next major omission is the lack of Electronic Stability Control, let alone Traction Control. Aside from ABS, the Tiida is one of the only vehicles in this segment to lack either Traction Control or Electronic Stability Control. Also out of the dark ages are drum brakes fitted to the rear wheels.

Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review

Safety is somewhat redeemed with driver and front passenger airbags, in addition to head airbags for the first row of seats and head airbags for the second row of seats.

The lack of these key safety features beggar’s belief, especially considering the rich competition on offer in this segment. Electronic Stability Control is available on Tiidas in the European segment, so it’s hard to imagine why it’s so hard to have the life saving technology fitted to Australian specification vehicles.

Nissan Tiida pricing starts at $17,990 for the manual ST hatch. The top-spec Ti model test driven retails for $21,990.

The Nissan Tiida is a car that shouldn’t be taken at face value. It offers great value for money and is loaded with features considering the price. While the safety aspect is inexcusable, if the Tiida was to feature a three-point seatbelt for the middle rear passenger and Electronic Stability Control, it would be an exceptional purchase.

Until then, I couldn’t recommend the Tiida. Despite the great price and fit-out of the interior, it still lacks life saving technology that is available on almost all of its competitors, even the $12,490 Suzuki Alto.

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
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*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.


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NISSAN TIIDA BREAKDOWN

Nissan Tiida Road Test and Review
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Nissan Tiida Specs

Q : C11 MY07 : 1.8L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 4 SP AUTOMATIC - UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
NISSAN
Model
TIIDA
Variant
Q
Series
C11 MY07
Year
2010
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$9,020 - $10,250
Dealer Retail
$10,640 - $12,650
Dealer Trade
$7,200 - $8,200
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.8L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
174Nm @  4800rpm
Max. Power
93kW @  5200rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
83.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84x81.1mm
Compression Ratio
9.9
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
4 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
4.072
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
52Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1110
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1535mm
Length
4205mm
Width
1695mm
Ground Clearance
117mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1000  Unbrake:600
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.4
Front Rim Size
5.5x15
Rear Rim Size
5.5x15
Front Tyres
185/65 R15
Rear Tyres
185/65 R15
Wheel Base
2600
Front Track
1480
Rear Track
1485
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DRUM
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Hydraulic shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
15 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors, Rear Spoiler
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin
Thailand