Nissan Sunny

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Nissan Sunny
Nissan Sunny 1998.JPG
2000 Nissan Sunny (B15)
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Nissan Sentra (1982–2000)
Production 1966–2004
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Related
Chronology
Successor Nissan Tiida

The Nissan Sunny is a compact car built by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 1966 to 2004. It was launched in 1966 as the Datsun 1000 and although production in Japan ended in 2004, the name remains in use in the Chinese market. In the US, the later models were known as the Nissan Sentra; in Mexico, the Sunny is known as the Nissan Tsuru.[1] The Sunny fitted neatly into the Nissan model line. It was larger than the supermini Nissan March (Micra) models, but not as big as the compact Bluebird models. The latest versions of the Sunny were larger than the early models, and may be considered compact cars. Earlier versions (through at least the B11 series) were subcompact cars. All Sunnys through the 1982 model year (except as noted below) used Nissan A engine motors.

Confusingly, the "Sunny" name has been used on other Nissan models, notably various export versions of the Nissan Pulsar model line. The Sunny has been imported and later manufactured worldwide under numerous names, and bodystyles, in economical, luxury and performance packages for many decades. Some configurations appear to be unique based on bodystyle appearances, but sharing a common platform. The Sunny was sold in Japan at a dedicated dealership sales channel called Nissan Saito Store, and badge engineered versions later appeared at the other Japanese networks.

After the implementation of Nissan Revival Plan, the Sunny was renamed the Nissan Latio using the Nissan Tiida platform in 2004.

B10 (1966–1969)[edit]

Datsun Sunny B10 Series
B10 sunny.jpg
Datsun Sunny B10 2 door sedan
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Datsun 1000
Production 1966–1969
Assembly Japan
Australia[2]
Body and chassis
Body style 2/4-door sedan
2-door coupé
3-door station wagon
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 988 cc A10 OHV I4
Transmission 4-speed manual all-synchromesh.[3]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2280 mm (89.8 in)
Length 3820 mm (150.4 in)
Width 1445 mm (56.9 in)
Height 1,295 mm (51 in)
Curb weight 625-705 kg (1380–1556 lb)

The first Datsun Sunny, exported as the Datsun 1000, was launched in September 1966 with two body styles, a two-door sedan (B10) and a van/station wagon (VB10). The Sunny was an all-new product built on a dedicated platform called the "B" series that benefited from Nissan's production of small cars since before the war. These were available in both a "Standard" and "Deluxe" version, featuring drum brakes, conventional leaf springs at the rear and wishbone type independent front end. The front end used a single transverse leaf spring. In Japan the car was sold at a dealership sales channel established just for the Sunny, called Nissan Satio Store The Sunny was introduced in the same year that the Toyota Corolla was introduced, that was also exclusive to a particular Japanese dealership sales channel.

In December 1965, Nissan held a national campaign in Japan to name its newest product in a mail-in ballot, and after receiving over eight million submissions, the name Sunny was chosen after having been suggested 3,105 times and was announced on 19 February 1966 by Yoshisuke Ayukawa, Nissan Motors founder.[4][5]

Nissan Sunny B10 series interior

The car featured a four-cylinder in-line engine, the A10, with a total displacement of 988 cc and a four-speed gearbox. The 1968 model, introduced in October 1967, added to the lineup the four-door sedan (B10) in both DeLuxe and Standard form. October 1968 saw the new 1969 models released with a new coupé (the KB10) added. Marketed as the "Sunny Coupé" in Japan, it was available in a wide variety of levels from "Standard", to "GL" (Grand Luxe). The range of factory options and accessories was by this time vast. Total horsepower in the 1968 model was claimed to be 62 hp (46 kW) at 6,000 rpm.

All of the other models got new grilles and larger tail lights, which now included reversing lights in the van/wagon model.

The only other country that seems to have received the coupé is Australia, where it was marketed as the "Datsun 1000 Coupé". It was well equipped, and was available only in the Deluxe level of trim. The Australian Deluxe model came standard with many inclusions that were available only as options in the Japanese model. The engine in the coupé had higher compression, a different Hitachi carburettor, and a dual outlet exhaust manifold. These changes increased its power output to 66 hp (49 kW); a 4 hp, or 6.5% increase over the lesser models. Unlike the sedans and wagons, the coupé was only ever made in right drive.

Four-door sedan, rear view

July 1969 saw the release of the slightly different (cosmetically) 1970 model year, which left the 1969 model year run at only nine months. No additional models were added, and production ceased in December 1969, cutting the 1970 model year run at only six months.

B10 Sunny Coupé

B20 series[edit]

Datsun Sunny Cab (C20)

The (Japanese: Sunny Truck) debuted in October 1968 and was the light commercial truck variation of the B10 passenger models. It was based on the VB10 van chassis, and is a body style which is sometimes referred to as a "coupé utility", as the bed is not separate from the passenger area. This is known as a "ute" in Australia and as a "truck" in Japan.

Being a commercial model, these were only ever available in Standard trim. The equipment was basic, but this kept the price low.

The B20 used the same wheelbase and running gear as does the Datsun 1000 VB10 van. There was also a cab-over truck version called the Datsun Sunny Cab (ja) (C20), which was also marketed as the Nissan Cherry Cab with a slightly different frontal treatment.

B110 (1970–1976)[edit]

Datsun Sunny B110 Series
Datsun 1200 dutch licence registration 57-45-UT pic2.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Datsun 1200, Datsun Finn
Production 1970–1976
Assembly Japan
Australia[6]
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 2/4-door sedan
3/5-door wagon
2-door Coupé
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2300 mm (90 in.)
Length 3830 mm (152 in.)
Width 1495 mm (59.6 in.)
Height 1390 mm (53.1 in.)
Curb weight 700 kg (1640 lbs)

The second-generation Sunny was launched in 1970 and was also known as the Datsun 1200. This new model was slightly larger in all dimensions to match its market rival, the equally popular Toyota Corolla.

The Datsun 1200 featured MacPherson strut front suspension with optional disc brakes and an economical 1.2-liter A12-series engine. A five-door station wagon was added to the Sunny range in addition to the three-door wagon. In April 1970 a GX Grand Luxury trim with twin-carburetor engine was added for the Japanese market. In January 1972 a minor facelift occurred in the Japanese market with a new hood, grille and other small modifications and equipment fitting. In August 1972the GX-5 model was added in Japan, which improved on the GX by fitting a direct-fifth (non-overdrive) five-speed manual transmission. The Sunny Coupe 1200GX was offered as an alternative to the Toyota Corolla Levin and Toyota Sprinter Trueno, which were performance package trim levels on the more economical Corolla and Sprinter models. For the 1973 model year, US models were re-specified with energy-absorbing bumpers, fire-resistant interiors and other government-mandated safety items.

Nissan Sunny Coupe series B110 1200GX-5

The B110 made its racing debut at the Fuji 200 mile race on November 23, 1970 in the TS1300 class. In this class which was effectively a Toyota Corolla monopolistic state it was challenged by only one Nissan works car, but with a victory for driver Makoto Suzuki.

In Australia and New Zealand, the Datsun 1200 was highly regarded for its effective conversion to a 2WD rally car. The Datsun 1600 generally rated highest among entry-level Datsuns, and the 1200 a close second.[7]

Nissan Sunny Van Deluxe (B110, Japan)

The Datsun 1200 was the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the United States in 1973,[8] as rated by the government at 28.7 mpg-US (8.2 L/100 km; 34.5 mpg-imp) in overall driving pattern. It achieved 37.9 mpg-US (6.21 L/100 km; 45.5 mpg-imp) in highway driving.[9] At its United States introduction, it was the lowest price car at $1866. (Road & Track magazine, November 1970)

In South Africa, the B110 was sold through 1976. A pick up (bakkie) derivative, featuring a 1,400 cc engine, was sold until 2008 when emissions laws forced the end of its production. Over 275,000 were sold to customers who appreciated the rugged rear-wheel-drive design.[10]

In New Zealand, a special edition Datsun 1200 SSS four-door sedan with twin side-draft Dell'Orto 40 mm carburetors and other sport features was developed, assembled locally and marketed. The 1200 was popular in New Zealand, where it was contract-assembled at a number of different factories (sedans at Campbell Industries in Thames; three, and later, five-door wagons at Motor Holdings, Waitara). The car remained in production well into 1974 as Nissan NZ was unsure how the public would react to the oddly styled 120Y successor.

In the UK the Datsun 1200 was the first Japanese car to be imported in large numbers. It was well equipped for its price with disc brakes and reclining front seats. This model established Datsun as the top Japanese exporter of cars to the UK.

In Portugal, a special Datsun 1200 S1 two-door sedan was marketed.

In North America (US and Canada), there were an average of 44,000 Datsun 1200s sold each year for three model years, 1971–1973.

  • Coupé total sales: 89,541
  • Two-door sedan total sales: 43,761

Reference: Nissan model guide sheet

PB110 series Coupe[edit]

Datsun 1200 Coupé, B110 Series

April 4, 1971, halfway through the model year, the Sunny Excellent (PB110 series) coupe debuted for the Japanese market. It was based on the B110, but with new hood, fenders and grille, and featured a SOHC 1.4-litre Nissan L engine. The front overhang was extended 130 mm (5.1 in) to accommodate the larger P510 type radiator and the wheelbase by 40 mm (1.6 in). The engine position was retained in the same position as the original A-series engine which further assisted the handling even though the engine was heavier. No changes were necessary to the firewall. The PB110 was offered in both GL (single carburetor) and GX models (twin carburetor). In Mexico this was marketed as the Sentra 1400.

At the Tokyo motor show, October 19, 1972, a Sunny Excellent with Nissan's two-rotor Wankel rotary engine was exhibited (Article on Datsun1200.com). Wheels magazine drove this car on the race track.

B120 series (Sunny Truck)[edit]

Nissan GB121 Sunny Truck

The B120 commercial truck debuted in February 1971, based on the B110 passenger car chassis. The B120 used the same wheelbase and running gear of the Datsun 1200 sedans, coupé and wagon models. Initially it used the same stainless steel grille as the 1200 sedan, and the rectangular gauges of the Standard model B110s. Both regular (B120) and long-bed (GB120) models were offered. After the 1200 car series ceased production the B120 continued. In certain markets the B120 was actually badged as the "120Y", as part of the updated 120Y range. The B120 ute was sold in Australia until 1985. It was assembled locally and marketed in New Zealand during the 1980s in two trims: "RoadStar" and "SportStar". This model was known as a bakkie in South Africa. It was capable of 49 mpg-US (4.8 L/100 km; 59 mpg-imp)). B120s were not sold in North America - especially the United States where the "Chicken Tax" is imposed.

In 1978, in the Japanese market, the B121 model replaced the B120, with the most notable change being a switch to a plastic grille of the type used by the B110 coupé. Also notable was a change to upscale round instrumentation.

Nissan GB122 Sunny Truck

In November 1989, an updated B122 and GB122 (longbed) models replaced the B121. Prominent among changes was a switch from round headlights to rectangular ones (along with a new grille to accommodate this change). However other significant changes included:

  • front disc brakes
  • catalytic converters
  • NOx Conforming (emission controlled) models RB122 and RGB122 the A12 engine.

B140 series (Bakkie)[edit]

Nissan 1400 B140 Bakkie

The Sunny Truck lived on in South Africa for a total of 37 years (launched there in 1971). The B140 variation, with 1.4-liter A14 engine, was manufactured up until 2008 by Nissan South Africa as the Nissan LDV 1400 (Light Delivery Vehicle). The 1400 Bakkie saw many changes in its long career. The main ones were a five-speed manual gearbox, power assisted disc brakes, and a roof height extension to accommodate taller South Africans. A sport model of the 1400 Bakkie was marketed as the "Champ". This model had appropriate side striping, bucket seats, a tachometer, and central handbrake. This vehicle had two popular local nicknames, either "1400" or "kanniedood" which translated from Afrikaans means "cannot die", a testament to its reliability. The 1400 Bakkie was replaced late in 2008 by the "NP200", a derivative of the Romanian Dacia passenger saloon (sold as the Renault Logan in the same market). A major departure for the Nissan Bakkie is that the new model is front-wheel drive (FWD), whereas the original was rear-wheel drive (RWD) - a major selling point of the vehicle in South Africa where it was the only RWD bakkie in its class for many years. A long standing marketing credo was "put the power where the load is".[11] The 1400 Bakkie was assembled by Nissan in Rosslyn, South Africa (Nissan).[12] Another assembly location for the model was the AYMESA plant in Quito, Ecuador which assembled it under the Datsun brand name as the 1200 PickUp.

B210 (1973–1977)[edit]

Datsun Sunny B210 Series
KB210.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Datsun B-210, 120Y, 140Y, Sunny
Yue Loong 301[13]
Production May 1973–1977
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 2-door hatchback
2/4-door sedan
3/5-door wagon
3-door panel van
Layout FR layout
Related Nissan Silvia S10
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,340 mm (92.1 in)
Length
  • 3,950 mm (155.5 in)[14]
  • 3,985 mm (156.9 in) (Wagon/Van)
  • 4,045 mm (159.3 in) (Excellent)
  • 4,080 mm (160.6 in) (with US bumpers)
Width 1,545 mm (60.8 in)
Height 1,360 mm (53.5 in)
Curb weight 2,000 lb (907 kg)

Exported as the Datsun 120Y and Datsun B-210 (in North America), the third generation (1973–1978) Sunny was extremely popular as it debuted during the gas crisis of the 1970s. It was first shown on 1 May 1973 in Japan, as the 1.2 or the 1.4 litre Excellent. Both engines were offered in two different levels of output, from the lowest powered 68 PS (50 kW) 1.2 to the 95 PS (70 kW) Excellent GX Coupe.[15] Six body styles were offered: the four-door sedan, two-door sedan, two-door fastback, three-door wagon, five-door wagon, and a three-door van. The coupé retained its fastback styling, but now featured a full hatchback door rather than the small trunk lid of the previous generation Sunny. The wagon and van were not offered in North America. In 1975, Japan models were fitted with emission control technology, called Nissan NAPS to be in compliance with Japanese Government emission control regulations enforced that year.

Nissan Sunny Excellent GX 1400 coupé (KPB210, Japan)

The related Sunny Excellents continued until 1976 as PB210 models, at first fitted with a 1.4-litre L14 engine. American market B210s were the first Sunny's to have the larger 5 mph collision bumpers- due to the US's safety standards at the time. Other markets continued with the more tightly fit chrome bumpers. In most markets, the B210 line featured as the only engine option a re-designed A12 engine. As usual for Japan, the wagon (three- and five-door models alike) was marketed as a van for commercial use in Japan, where it was only available with the lowest powered 1.2 engine (VB210). The van, in its lowest Standard equipment level, came equipped with a column-mounted three-speed manual.[16]

This chassis formed the basis for the S10 underpinning the Nissan Silvia coupé, which allowed Nissan to sell the Sunny Coupe at two Nissan Japanese dealership networks. The Sunny was exclusive to Nissan Saito Store, while the Silvia was exclusive to Nissan Prince Store, alongside the Nissan Skyline.

Facelift (B211)[edit]

1976 Nissan Sunny GL (B211, Japan)

B211 is the chassis code for the minor facelift of the B210, introduced in February 1976. It included a changed grille and other minor changes, such as new wing mirrors and hubcaps. The most important differences were under the hood, where the engines had been upgraded to meet Japan's 1976 emissions standards.[17] The Sunny Excellent now only came fitted with the larger 1.6 litre engine, with the more compact A14 engine replacing the L14 and being installed in the regular bodied model (HB211). The Excellent's chassis code changed from PB210 to GB211 and was now considered a trim-level option for the regular B211 rather than a separate model. Although regular production in Japan as well as sales in most countries ended in late 1977 for the 1978 model year, the B210 series continued to be produced by Nissan South Africa through 1980. The van models were not replaced until later.

Export markets[edit]

1974 Datsun 120Y (B210) sedan (Australia)
1974 Datsun 120Y (B210) sedan (Australia)

The Sunny continued to be the fuel-economy leader in North America and one of the least expensive cars available. This was in part due to the light metal; small A12 or A14 engine with OHV technology and a very basic vinyl interior used in its construction. At the time, their body styles were popular with buyers - mainly the hatchback coupé as the sedans were considered by some to be less appealing. The 1978 B-210 (American model) with five-speed transmission was rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency at 50 mpg-US (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg-imp) highway fuel economy.

Road & Track was somewhat critical of the B-210 in their 1975 test[citation needed]. They criticized the "modest performance" of the "peppy" engine, but were impressed with its 27 mpg-US (8.7 L/100 km; 32 mpg-imp) fuel economy. B210 pricing started at US$2849 that year.

The "Datsun Honeybee" and The "Datsun SSS" were limited edition B-210s; the Honeybee being released only in North America and the SSS in New Zealand and Australia. Both only featured minor aesthetic differences to the regular B-210. Nonetheless these models are now considered collector's items among Datsun enthusiasts. In the South African market, where the B210 was assembled locally until 1983, they also featured L14 and L16 engine options, as well as a special edition of B210 coupé badged as the 140Z and 160Z. The 140Z featured a high performance camshaft, freeflow exhaust and twin 40mm Dell'orto carburettors, while the 160Z featured twin SU carburetors and both had five-speed transmissions.

When introduced in the UK, the 120Y quickly gained popularity, further strengthening Datsun's position, helping them to gain second place amongst foreign imports. Its popularity was due to high equipment levels for its price, reliability and the fact that UK manufactured cars were in short supply due to the continual strikes and stoppages affecting British car plants at the time.

Despite earlier misgivings, the 120Y, when finally launched in New Zealand in 1974, proved popular with Nissan NZ eventually assembling some cars itself in a temporary CKD plant in the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill until its new plant in Wiri was completed later in the decade. Four-door sedans and three-and five-door wagons were built locally and supplemented by some coupes imported built-up from Japan.

The 120Y was sharply criticized by magazines such as Wheels of Australia, which felt that it offered no true improvement on its predecessor, not surprising given that the B110 platform was carried over, but used a slightly revised A12 engine. Like some Nissans of this period, it tended to be considered overstyled.

US-market models were fitted with these A-series engines (years given are model years):

A highly modified "ground effect" 120Y fastback coupe is the fastest Datsun/Nissan in the world. Tom Burkland's "411 To Bonneville" held the B/BFCC record at Bonneville from August 1985 to August 2011 with a speed of 294.868 mph. SCTA records

B310 (1977–1981)[edit]

See also: Nissan Pulsar
Datsun Sunny B310 Series
Datsun Sunny 140Y 1980.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Datsun Sunny
Datsun 210
Datsun 120Y/130Y/140Y/150Y
Yue Loong 302/303[18][19]
Production November 1977–November 1981
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 2/4-door sedan
2-door coupé
3/5-door wagon/van
5-door wagon (fastback)
3-door panel van
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 1171 cc A12 I4
1237 cc A12A I4
1270 cc A13 I4
1397 cc A14 I4
1487 cc A15 I4
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,340 mm (92.1 in)
Length 4,190 mm (165.0 in)
Width 1,580 mm (62.2 in)
Height 1,365 mm (53.7 in)
Curb weight 2,000 lb (907 kg)

This is the last Sunny sold under the "Datsun" brand in Japan. The final rear-wheel-drive Sunny from model year 1978 to 1982 featured numerous variants, including a fastback station wagon as well as more squared-off, utilitarian models with three and five doors, a coupé, and two- and four-door sedans. They were first introduced in October 1977, going on sale on 21 November in Japan.[20] At home they only received the new A12A engine and the slightly larger A14, although the Van continued to receive the earlier, smaller, A12 engine. The "Excellent" trim package was discontinued as the top level model, and the B211 van continued to be built for a little while longer. In Japan on February 1978 the Sunny Coupe 1400SGX-E and the 1400GX-E appeared, as a replacement for the previous Sunny Excellent Coupe. The "E" denotes multiport fuel injection, an option offered only in Japan. This generation was also the last utilizing front engine and rear-wheel drive powertrains.

Nissan Sunny B310 series fastback coupe

These models appeared with Datsun 120Y, 130Y, 140Y and 150Y badges in some markets (depending on engine size) though Sunny was increasingly used for export, too. The North American version was marketed as the Datsun 210. The B310 was known for its high equipment levels and build quality at the time. It was available with the same A-series engines as its predecessor although the B210's optional 63 series 5-speed transmission was replaced with the more compact 60 series unit. The leaf spring rear suspension was discontinued and the live axle was now suspended using a coil spring four-link configuration while the front had struts with coilover springs.[20] In 1980, the B310 was given a mild facelift, with a smoothed off front end, a grille with square headlamps, and a redesigned dashboard.

In November 1980 the A12A and A14 engines were replaced by the marginally larger A13 and A15 versions in the Japanese markets. At the end of 1981 passenger car versions of the B310 were replaced by the front-wheel drive B11 Sunny, although the Vans continued to be built for a few more years.

1979 Datsun 210 Wagon (US)

In North America, the only wagon offered was the fastback version. In Japan, this fastback wagon was a special model called the Sunny California, aimed at private buyers unlike the square-backed 3-and 5-door Sunny Van (although for the Japanese market these vans were always fully glazed and usually had a back seat) meant for the long-standing Japanese commercial wagon market. In most other markets the more traditional two-box wagon was offered, either alone or alongside the fastback, and some countries where "no rear side glass" was part of a legal definition of a "light truck" got panelled-in versions of the three-door. The five-door van was discontinued in November 1982 when the new and even boxier Nissan AD range was introduced. In July 1983 this appeared in a three-door version, meaning that the VB310 was retired.

This model marked the first and only time the "Sunny" name was used in Australia. This chassis, along with the A10 chassis on the 160J/Violet/Stanza formed the basis for the S110 chassis on the Nissan Silvia.

Datsun Sunny 140Y 2-door sedan (Europe)

In most markets, the A12 engine was the only, or most common engine offered. However B310s in various markets were fitted with the following A-series engines (power outputs for the Japanese market unless otherwise specified):

  • A12 (1171 cc), 68 PS (50 kW) at 6000 rpm
  • A12A (1237 cc), 70 PS (51 kW) at 6000 rpm
  • A13, (Short Deck Engine)
  • A14, 80 PS (59 kW) at 6000 rpm
A14E, 92 PS (68 kW) at 6400 rpm
  • A15 (from late 1980)

In North America, the Datsun 210 engine line ups were as follows:

  • 1979 - A12A or A14
  • 1980–1982 - A12A, A14 or A15

The special MPG model was a small-port A15 with 5-speed transmission and achieved 47 mpg-US (5.0 L/100 km; 56 mpg-imp) per US standards.

YLN 302/303[edit]

In Taiwan, Yue Loong continued building the B310 series until the 1990s as a lower priced alternative to more modern Sunnys. Originally introduced as the YLN 302, with SD or DX equipment (Standard, DeLuxe)[18] it underwent a facelift in 1981 in parallel with Nissan's Sunny, becoming the YLN 303. After another facelift (in 1989), it became the YLN 303S. The station wagon was also offered in Taiwan, as the YLN 303W. The Yue Loong-built B310s were only ever available with the 1.2-liter A12 engine.[19]

B11 (1981–1985)[edit]

See also: Nissan Sentra
Datsun/Nissan Sunny B11 Series
Nissan Sunny Sedan 1982.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Nissan
Also called Datsun Sunny
Nissan Sentra
Nissan Tsuru (MEX)
YLN 311[21]
Production 1981–1985
1983-1996 (Malaysia)
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 3-door hatchback
2/4-door sedan
3-door coupé
3/5-door wagon/van
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 988 cc E10 I4 (export only)[22]
1,270 cc E13 I4
1,488 cc E15 I4
1,488 cc E15E T turbo I4
1,680 cc CD17 diesel I4
Transmission 4- or 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 4,050–4,255 mm (159.4–167.5 in)
Width 1,620 mm (63.8 in)
Height 1,360–1,390 mm (53.5–54.7 in)
Curb weight 745–910 kg (1,600–2,000 lb)

Introduced in late 1981 (at the Tokyo Motor Show), the B11s were the first front-wheel-drive Sunnys, predating by a year and a half the switch to front-wheel drive by their main Toyota Corolla rival, and were exported to the United States as the Nissan Sentra from the 1982 model year onwards. The chassis code returned to the original "B" designation, then added "11" to signify a front wheel drive platform. The B11 was the first Sunny to be available with a diesel engine, the 61 PS (45 kW) CD17 of 1.7 litres. Most markets received 1.3 or 1.5 litre four-cylinder engines, although for some markets with strict taxation (such as Greece), the 50 PS (37 kW) 1-litre E10 engine was also available.[22] The fuel injected 1.5 L turbo was introduced to Japan only September 1982, offered only in the 3-door hatchback bodystyle, and was called the "Sunny Turbo Leprix", and was rarely exported. The installation of a turbo on the top level model wasn't necessarily to market the Sunny as a performance sedan, rather it was to reduce emission tax liablilty for Japanese buyers so as to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce emissions as a result of the Japanese Government having passed emission control regulations in the 1970s. The turbo and the diesel were both later additions to the lineup, having been presented in September 1982.[22] The Sunny Turbo Leprix was sold in the United Kingdom as the "Sunny Maxima Coupe", alongside the "Sunny Maxima" sedan.

A further spin-off from the Sunny line was the Nissan Laurel Spirit (in Japanese), which was essentially a rebadged and better equipped Sunny sedan designed to capitalize on the premium image of the larger Nissan Laurel. The Laurel Spirit was exclusive to Nissan Motor Store which sold the Laurel, while the Sunny remained exclusive to Nissan Saito Store. The Laurel Spirit was offered in four trim packages, starting with the LT, LT-G, LF, XJ, and the XJ-E denoting a fuel injected E15E engine. In 1983 the top level XJ was installed with a turbocharger, designated as the Laurel Spirit Turbo XJ.

The Laurel Spirit was exported as the "Nissan Sunny Maxima SGL", which was sold in limited numbers in the United Kingdom. This was not in any way related to the much larger "Bluebird Maxima" (which was simply just sold as the "Maxima" in the United States). The "Sunny Maxima" line consisted only of upgrades such as a sunroof, enhanced exterior trim, only available with a five-speed manual, chrome tailpipe, dual waveband radio meeting United Kingdom radio authority specifications, and deluxe carpeted floor mats.

In 1982, the Sunny platform was used to introduce a new MPV bodystyle in Japan, called the Nissan Prairie. It was introduced at Nissan Bluebird Store locations and went on to be sold globally.

The B11 series was regarded as one of Nissan's most modern ranges at the time, and was the first to abandon the Datsun name formally (though a small 'Datsun' still appeared on boot lids for the first two years). The wagon was known in its home market as the "Nissan Sunny California", and Nissan installed the turbocharged engine in October 1983 for Japanese customers only. It was launched in late 1981 and continued into 1985. After the succeeding B12 had been presented, the B11 Sunny soldiered on as the "Sunny 130Y" as a lower-cost alternative in certain export markets, including Malaysia; production there continued well into the nineties. While a hatchback version was available for a little while in Japan (and very briefly in North America), this bodystyle was built in comparably small numbers as the Pulsar generally replaced the hatchback in most markets. The two-door sedan was only sold in North America, with Sentra badges.

This generation of the Sunny was launched as a saloon and estate in Britain from May 1982, around the same time that the new Cherry was launched. Nissan switched its marketing strategy to position the Sunny at buyers of traditional saloons and estates, which the Cherry was re-positioned as a small family hatchback to compete with the Ford Escort and Volkswagen Golf, with its previous role as a supermini being filled the following year by the Micra.

The B11 was the first Mexico-market Sunny to be named Tsuru, a nameplate still in use there.

Taiwan[edit]

As usual, Nissan's Taiwanese subsidiary Yue Loong assembled a local version of the B11 Sunny. It was available as a four-door sedan or a five-door wagon, with 1.2, 1.3, and 1.5 liter engines.[23] It was marketed as the YLN 311 SD or GX, depending on equipment levels. Taiwanese Sunnys were fitted with the larger bumpers as used in the North American markets; it is unknown why this is the case.

Nissan AD[edit]

The Sunny five-door station wagon was also introduced as a delivery van called the Nissan AD van, using the E15S, the E13S, and the CD17 diesel engine.

Nissan Sunny Coupé 1.5 GL (Europe) 
Nissan Sunny Wagon 1.5 GL (UK) 
Malaysian market Nissan Sunny 130Y of the late eighties 
Nissan Sunny ADvan wagon 

B12 (1985–1990)[edit]

For the Sunny sold in Europe between 1987 and 1991, see Nissan Pulsar (N13).
Nissan Sunny B12 series
Nissan Sunny 1987.JPG
Overview
Also called
  • Nissan Hikari
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Nissan Tsuru II
Production 1985–1990
Assembly Smyrna, Tennessee
Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
Oppama, Japan
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door hatchback
2/4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
2-door sport coupe
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Nissan B platform
Powertrain
Engine 1.4 L GA14DE I4
1.5L E15(E)
1.6 L (96.7 cid) E16(s) I4
1.6 L (96.7 cid) E16(i) I4
1.6 L (96.7 cid) GA16(i) I4
1.6L CA16DE
1.7 L (102.7 cid) CD17(i) I4
1.8L (110.4 cid) CA18DE I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,431 mm (95.7 in)
Length 4,285 mm (168.7 in) (sedan)
4,229 mm (166.5 in) (coupe)
4,125 mm (162.4 in) (hatchback)
4,374 mm (172.2 in) (wagon)
Width 1,641 mm (64.6 in) (coupe, sedan, wagon & hatchback)
1,666 mm (65.6 in) (sport coupe)
Height 1,379 mm (54.3 in) (coupe, sedan & wagon)
1,326 mm (52.2 in) (sport coupe)
1,405 mm (55.3 in) (hatchback)
1,394 mm (54.9 in) (4WD wagon)

From 1985, the B12 was not as widely exported, apart from the station wagon model and to some extent the RZ-1 coupé. This line is characterized by its squared-off styling, which was rather unfashionable by the mid-1980s.[citation needed] The angular styling was insisted upon by Nissan's design chief at the time and contributed to the automaker's increasingly poor sales of the period. A four-wheel-drive variant was introduced during this generation.

In October 1986, European markets saw the B11 Sunny replaced by a rebadged N13 Pulsar in hatchback and saloon form (the hatchback replacing the previous N12 Pulsar, which had been sold as the Cherry in this market). These were sold alongside the B12 Sunny estate and coupé. In some markets, such as Greece, the N13 Pulsar retained the "Cherry" nameplate.[24] In the UK the B12 was sold as the Nissan Sunny Estate with a 1.6L engine. The B12 Coupé (RZ-1) was also imported, with either 1.6 L or 1.8 L 16v engines.

Nissan Laurel Spirit

In Japan, the Nissan Laurel Spirit continued to be offered at Nissan Motor Store locations as a Sunny-based companion to the larger, more luxurious Nissan Laurel, with all-wheel-drive added to the Laurel Spirit's option list. The styling of the Laurel Spirit drew heavily from the larger Laurel, to further distance it from its more humble Sunny counterpart, and included the hood ornament from the Laurel to the smaller car.

The B12 series Sentra remained the mainstream C-segment Nissan in North America throughout its run, although the models available dwindled over the years. At launch, sedans were available in two-door base or XE or 4-door XE or GXE models, along with two trim levels each of the coupé and FWD wagon, a short-overhang three-door hatchback and an AWD wagon; by 1990 only one model each of the coupé, four-door sedan and FWD wagon, plus two two-door sedans (one with the same trim as the others and one extra-basic price leader) remained.

In Malaysia, it was known as the Nissan Sentra Super Saloon (early version) and came with the E16 engine. It was often used as a taxi and rental car. The B12 was replaced by the Pulsar N13 in 1987.

In Kenya (East Africa), the B12 is imported and marketed as Sunny and comes with a 1.3- or a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1.3-litre version is assembled locally (1.3 SLX) and is known for greater reliability than the imported versions.

The "Sunny California"-style fastback was the only B12 wagon; the B11 "Sunny Van" continued in those markets where it was previously offered. The station wagon continued in its second generation as the Nissan Wingroad and the commercial AD Van.

Nissan Sunny California wagon 
Nissan Sunny 2-door sedan 
Nissan Sunny 2-door hatchback 

RZ-1[edit]

1989 Nissan Sunny RZ-1 Coupe

In February 1986, Nissan introduced the Sunny RZ-1 coupe, with RZ representing “Runabout Zenith-1”, as Nissan was already using the “Z” for its sports car, the Fairlady Z. The Sunny RZ-1 replaced the Sunny Turbo Leprix coupe. The RZ-1 was sold in Mexico as the Nissan Hikari.

As with previous B series Sunny generations, the chassis was common with the wagon and sedan, with specific appearance to the RZ-1, while maintaining the traditional fastback associated with the Sunny Coupe. The Sunny hatchback and sedan were introduced with a square appearance, while the RZ-1 was more angular, with a more sharp appearance. The interior could only accommodate four people, with a black mask between the front headlights, retaining the strong slant angle, adding blistered front and rear over the wheels, and a wrapped around window treatment for the rear hatch, that had hit a different personality hatchback and sedan. The angular approach was also used on the Nissan EXA, which appeared internationally at the same time, and earlier on the Nissan Leopard.

Initially, the engines offered to Japanese customers were the E15S type (1500 cc straight-four SOHC), and the E15ET type (a turbocharged, fuel injected version of the same), but in August 1986 the CA16DE type (1600 cc straight-four DOHC) was added. Nissan introduced something called the "TWINCAM series" and the "TWINCAM NISMO", this included special suspension and aero parts that offered Japanese customers a customized specification, offering special interior appearances, including power windows that were not available on lower trim packages. In export markets it was mostly sold as the "Sunny Coupé", but export markets generally did not receive the higher trim packages available in Japan.

B13 (1991–1994)[edit]

See also: Nissan Presea
For the Sunny sold in Europe between 1991 and 1995, see Nissan Pulsar (N14).
Nissan Sunny B13
Nissan Sunny 1992.JPG
Overview
Also called Nissan Sunny
Nissan Tsuru
Nissan V16
Production 1991–1994
Assembly Smyrna, Tennessee
Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
Oppama, Japan
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Body and chassis
Body style 2/4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform Nissan B platform
Related Nissan Sunny
Nissan Presea
Nissan Wingroad
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic 4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,431 mm (95.7 in)
Tsuru: 2,430 mm (95.7 in)
Length 4,326 mm (170.3 in)
Tsuru: 4,325 mm (170.3 in)
Width 1,669 mm (65.7 in) (1993-94)
1,666 mm (65.6 in) (1991-92)
1,369 mm (53.9 in) (coupe & 1991-92 sedan)
1,374 mm (54.1 in) (1993-94 sedan)
Tsuru: 1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Height 1,346 mm (53.0 in)
Tsuru: 1,381 mm (54.4 in)
Curb weight 2 door: 1,028 kg (2,266 lb)
4 door: 1,038 kg (2,288 lb)

The B13 was introduced in 1990 and retained many of the B12's ideas but in a more rounded, up-to-date body. It was particularly successful in the United States where the sports model two-door Sentra SE-R was marketed by Nissan of America as a latter-day BMW 2002. The car is still being made in Mexico, where is it sold as the Tsuru, for domestic and export markets (in Chile and Peru as Nissan V16), and is quite popular among cab drivers for its reliability and low maintenance costs. It was also part of the image of the former Mexico City mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was driven around with a white Tsuru. In Taiwan, it is known as the Nissan 331. The Nissan Sunny California wagon was discontinued and replaced with the Wingroad, a small family wagon based on the Sunny AD commercial delivery van.

Nissan Sentra 2-door sedan - the North American version of the Sunny

In Mexico, the Nissan Tsuru is still the best-selling car in its category, as it is much bigger and cheaper in maintenance than its direct competitors: the Volkswagen Pointer and the Chevrolet Chevy C2. The 2007 model is available in 2 trims: the GS 1 (base) and GS 2. Both trims use a 1.6-liter 16-valve (ga16dne) engine producing 105 hp (78 kW) and can be equipped with an automatic gear-box and air-conditioning (Tsuru GS 2). A new Nissan Tsuru GS 1 costs approximately US$9,500.

In Malaysia, known as the Sentra Super Saloon with GA16DE fitted engine with two versions (first and last models[clarification needed]), it is widely used as a taxi in Genting Highlands, due to its engine durability and fuel efficiency in such conditions.[citation needed]

In Japan, the Laurel Spirit was renamed the Presea, continuing to be a luxury-based Sunny companion to the Laurel, both exclusive to Nissan Motor Store locations.

The Sunny Sports Coupé was replaced by the ovoid NX internationally.

The AD Wagon remained available

B14 (1995–1999)[edit]

Nissan Sunny B14 series
Nissan Sunny 1997.JPG
Overview
Production 1995–1999
Assembly Smyrna, Tennessee
Aguascalientes, Mexico
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia[25]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform Nissan B platform
Related Nissan Lucino
Nissan Sunny (B14)
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L GA16DE I4
2.0 L SR20DE I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,535 mm (99.8 in)
Length 1995-96: 4,321 mm (170.1 in)
1997-99: 4,343 mm (171.0 in)
Width 1,692 mm (66.6 in)
Height 1,384 mm (54.5 in)

The B14 Sunny and Sentra appeared in 1994 and were produced until 1998, and featured four-wheel-drive variants. Other than Japan, this variant was produced in Karachi, Pakistan through a joint venture between Ghandhara Nissan and Nissan Japan till 2001 for the local and export markets.[26]

In this generation, the station wagon was supplied to Mazda under an OEM deal as the Familia Van. The Nissan Wingroad range appeared as a spin-off of the Sunny line in Japan, denoting a highly specified station wagon that replaced the Nissan Sunny California. Both the Familia and the Wingroad had different front and rear ends compared to the wagon that was exported. The luxury version of the Sunny, called the Presea, continued to be offered at Nissan Motor Store Japanese dealerships.

Nissan Mexico sold versions of this as the Sentra with a 1.6 engine GA16DE from 1995 to 1997, GA16DNE from 1998 to 2000 and 2.0 engine (SR20DE) in the GSS version (top of the line).

Thailand and other selected Asian countries had this model of B14 from 1994 until 2000 with a few minor changes along the way. First minor change shows when the rear changes to split the red strip into two sides, next the face changes in a few years with a small ridge i the middle of the hood and a chromium decoration on the hood tip, finally the last minor change, the tail light style changes from two layers of white/red to be the three layers red/white/red. The two variants of engines is 1.5L (in the first generation) and 1.6L (available only after some minor changes).

All models were equipped with Multi-link Beam Suspension for the rear.

Nissan Lucino[edit]

Main article: Nissan Lucino
Nissan 200SX

In 1995, Nissan reintroduced the 200SX nameplate in United States and Canada to designate a two-door version of the Sentra (B14 chassis, a front wheel drive car), known in Japan and Mexico as Lucino, replacing the Sentra coupe and NX (discontinued in 1993). The 200SX came in base, SE, and sportier SE-R models. All shared their front-end appearance, front-drive chassis, dashboard, and many dimensions with the Sentra and Japanese-market Lucino. Base and SE editions shared the Sentra's twin-cam GA16DE engine 4-cylinder engine. The SE-R inherited the 140-horsepower 2.0 L SR20DE engine used in the previous 2-door Sentra SE-R. All three came with a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic, and were equipped with dual airbags. Antilock brakes were optional in the SE and SE-R.

B15 (2000–2006)[edit]

For the Sunny sold in Southeast Asia since 2000, see Nissan Bluebird Sylphy (N16).
Nissan Sunny B15 series
NISSAN Sunny.jpg
Overview
Also called Nissan Sentra 180,
Production 2000–2006
Model years 2001–2006
Assembly Aguascalientes, Mexico
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform Nissan MS platform[27]
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L QG18DE I4 (126 hp)
2.0 L SR20DE I4 (145 hp)
2.5 L QR25DE I4 (165,175 hp)
Transmission 5-speed RS5F51A manual (2.5l)
5-speedRS5F70A manual (1.8l, 2.0L)
6-speed RS6F51H manual
4-speed RE4F03B automatic (1.8L, 2.0L)l
4-speed RE4F03A automatic (2.5L)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,535 mm (99.8 in)
Length 4,508 mm (177.5 in)
Width 1,709 mm (67.3 in)
1,694 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)
Curb weight 1,140 kg (2,513 lb)

The Sunny was produced up to the B15 series, from 1998 to 2004. For the 2005 model year in Japan, the Nissan Tiida took over this market, replacing the Sunny model line. In the United States, the Sentra continues with 1.8- and 2.5-litre engines, and carries on the Sunny lineage, though plans are to make the next Nissan Sentra based on something other than the discontinued Sunny chassis.

In Japan, the Sunny was offered with 1.3, 1.5, and 1.8 L petrol or 2.2 L diesel engines.

Also to be noted is that while earlier North American-market Nissan Sentras were very similar to their Japan-market B-series Nissan Sunny twins, the B15 Sentra (2000–2006) diverged greatly from the B15 Sunny. The Sentra B15 body looks similar to the aero-look B14 body, while the Sunny B15 body is return to the more traditional squared-off off three-box sedan design. In Japan the B15 was marketed as the Nissan Super Sunny.

The Wingroad station wagon and the badge engineered Mazda Familia Van (1.3, 1.5 and 1.8 L) continued to be spun off from the main Sunny range. A facelift for the Wingroad in 2002 gave it a new front end, though the rear was retained. The two door sedan was discontinued internationally.

A new Wingroad wagon was released in 2005, based on the Tiida.

Other versions[edit]

Although the Nissan Pulsar and Bluebird Sylphy ranges (N-series family) were a separate model line with different heritage from Sunny (B-series family), for various reasons the Sunny name was — in some markets — applied to various Pulsar/Sylphy vehicles.

N13 (1987–1991)[edit]

Nissan Sunny (N13; 1987–1991)
Main article: Nissan Pulsar (N13)
Main article: Nissan Pulsar (N13)

The Nissan Sunny name was used on the Nissan Pulsar (N13) in Europe from 1987 to 1991, which was introduced as a replacement for the Nissan Sunny B11 series.

N14 (1991–1995)[edit]

Nissan Sunny (N14; 1991–1995)
Main article: Nissan Pulsar (N14)
Main article: Nissan Pulsar (N14)

The Nissan Pulsar N14 series was introduced in 1990 in Japan and in 1991 for Europe, badged as the Nissan Sunny. It was replaced by the Nissan Almera N15 in 1996, which was itself a rebadged version of the Nissan Pulsar N15 series.

N16 (2000–2005)[edit]

Nissan Sunny (N16; 2000–2005)

Although the Bluebird Sylphy G10 did not spawn a Sunny range in Japan, it was sold as the Sunny Neo in Thailand and as the Sunny in Hong Kong, Kenya, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the People's Republic of China, where it is produced by the Dongfeng Motor Company, a joint venture with Nissan. Also, the N16 series was sold in parts of Latin America and in Europe as the Nissan Almera.

From the 2007 model year, its platform changed to the Renault Samsung SM3, that is sold in parts of Europe as the Almera Classic. Also since 2007, the Renault Samsung SM3 is sold as the Nissan Sunny in the Middle East,[28] with a solitary trim that comes with a 1.5-litre engine.

N17 (2011–present)[edit]

Nissan Sunny (N17; 2011–present)
Main article: Nissan Latio
Main article: Nissan Latio

The Nissan Sunny N17 was unveiled at the 2010 Guangzhou International Motor Show in China. Nissan Sunny is the Chinese market name for the Nissan Latio sold in Japan. Sales began in 2011.

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Autotest Datsun 1000 de luxe 988 cc0". Autocar. 130. (nbr3803): pages 22–26. 2 January 1969. 
  4. ^ Nissan Sunny naming contest at Sendagaya Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
  5. ^ Origin of Sunny name
  6. ^ Pedr Davis & Tony Davis, Volvo Down Under, page 76
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  20. ^ a b 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book] (in Japanese) (Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) 25: 109. 1978-10-10. 0053-780025-3400. 
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  23. ^ Mastrostefano, Raffaele, ed. (1985). Quattroruote: Tutte le Auto del Mondo 1985 (in Italian). Milano: Editoriale Domus S.p.A. p. 1172. ISBN 88-7212-012-8. 
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External links[edit]