Nissan Tiida is a small-medium car with the sort of interior space that can accommodate a family, and provide a smooth quiet ride with reasonable engine performance. It replaced the very successful Nissan Pulsar in February due to a clash of cultures. Australians think a new car should hold onto the same name as the one it replaces. Whereas the Japanese feel a significantly improved new car deserves a new name.
Tiida (which incidentally we were supposed to pronounce ‘tee-eeda’) was a flop in the sales race, which was shame because it is a good car for the person looking for nothing more than sensible transport from A to B bad. When Tiida reached the end of its model life in February 2013 the new model was called … wait for it … Pulsar. But the damage had been done and Pulsar is still struggling to make up the ground it lost during the Tiida years.
Due to its undeserved poor name the Nissan Tiida is now a bargain on the used-car market.
Tiida isn’t what you would call stylish. However, the boxy body makes for a surprisingly spacious interior in a car of this class. The front seats are almost as wide as those of a six-cylinder family car and there’s as much legroom in the back seats as many cars a couple of sizes up. As well as good headroom and shoulder room to go with it.
In March 2010 the Nissan Tiida got a comprehensive facelift that saw the front of the car extended and reshaped. The Tiida Ti had its side skirts done in the same colour as the rest of the body to visually take some of the height out of the car. It’s still on the boxy side, though.
The boot of both the Tiida sedan and hatch are large, something that’s further improved in the topline Tiida Ti hatchback as it’s fitted with sliding rear seats to further increase the length of the luggage compartment.
Noise,vibration and harshness (NVH) suppression is impressive and Tiida feels like a car of the next size upwards on all but the roughest roads. Ride comfort is good, with a reasonably supple feel from the suspension. Handling is competent but not exciting and the EPS (Electrically Power Steering) system is too light and can be vague at times.
Power comes from a 1.8-litre engine with good torque from about 2000 rpm upwards. The engine is a bit reluctant to rev and can be noisy as the redline approaches. Further distancing Tiida from the sport sedan market!
Nissan Tiida has a six-speed manual gearbox. The shift is surprising noisy and gives a real clunk-clunk sound with every gearchange. We find it irritating, owners say they get used to it. The automatic is an old style four-speed unit.
Nissan Tiidas originally came from Japan. Later a Nissan factory in Thailand provided most Australian imports. Build quality is almost as good in the strictly controlled Thai factory as from the Japanese one.
Nissan / Datsun) has been in Australia for over 50 years so has a strong network of dealers. There are quite a few dealers in country areas than is normal for Asian cars as Pulsar was a big seller in the bush – Tiida didn’t so as well.
Spare parts prices and servicing are reasonably priced and we seldom hear any complaints about parts availability.
Insurance premiums are generally reasonable and there are seldom any big differences from company to company. It’s always worth shopping around, but take your time to make sure you’re doing an accurate comparison.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Make sure that the engine starts easily and idles smoothly from the moment it ticks over. Be suspicious of any rattles from the bottom, these may indicate slow pickup of the oil.
Check for smoke from the exhaust if the engine is worked hard, driving up a hill in a high gear is a good test.
An automatic transmission that has harsh changes may be overdue for a service.
Check for crash damage or previous repairs: Sight along the doors and look for ripples in the finish of the panels. Look for paint colours that don’t quite match from panel to panel. Tiny specks of paint on non-painted surfaces such as windows, badges and brightwork are another sign giveaway.
Nissan Tiidas are popular as family cars so look for a damaged interior created by bored kids.
Look at the condition of the boot mats in case heavy loads have been ripping about during cornering or braking.
Budget on spending from $3000 to $5000 for a 2006 Nissan Tiida ST; $5000 to $8000 for a 2008 Ti; $6000 to $10,000 for a 2008 Q or ST-L Plus; $7000 to $11,000 for a 2009 Q; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2009 Q; $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2012 Ti; and $11,000 to $16,000 for a 2013 Ti.
CAR BUYING TIP
Unless you’re a trained mechanic it’s very wise to have the final inspection done by a professional. Your motoring association can do this for a pretty modest price.