NISSAN TIIDA 2006 – 2013

2006 Nissan Tiida sedan

2006 Nissan Tiida sedan

Nissan Tiida has come – and gone – from the Australian new-car market. And not too many people seem to be sorry. Which is a shame in many ways because it’s a perfectly good small-medium car with the sort of interior space that can accommodate a family, a smooth quiet ride and reasonable engine performance.

Tiida has gained an undeserved bad name because of Nissan’s decision to use that name for the Nissan Pulsar replacement when it was launched in February 2006. A bad move that has since been rectified by the use of the name Pulsar for the model that replaced the Tiida in February 2013.

Why a name change should put anyone other than full-on Nissan nuts off a car is a mystery, but such is life…

2006 Nissan Tiida hatch

2006 Nissan Tiida hatch

Anyhow, Nissan Tiida is a bargain on the used-car market and smart buyers may care to get in there and grab one.

Nissan Tiida isn’t the most handsome car around, but the boxy body is there to provide the aforementioned spacious interior. The front seats are almost as wide as those of a six-cylinder car, due to clever design that sees the adjustment levers being placed in the frequently-wasted space between the two seats.

There’s as much legroom in the back seats as many large family cars. As well as good headroom and shoulder room to go with it.

The boots of both the sedan and hatch are large, with the topline Tiida hatch having a further useful feature of sliding rear seats so that you can further increase the length of the luggage compartment if you don’t need full legroom in the back seat.

2010 Nissan Tiida hatch

2010 Nissan Tiida hatch

Ride comfort is good, with a reasonably supple feel from the suspension. However, the electrically-assisted system is over light and on the vague side. Noise and vibration suppression are impressive giving the sort of refined feeling you would normally expect from a car of the next size upwards.

In March 2010 the Nissan Tiida got a comprehensive facelift that saw the front of the car being extended and reshaped. A new radiator grille added to this look. The topline 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.

Power comes from a 1.8-litre engine with good torque from about 2000 rpm upwards. The engine is somewhat reluctant to rev and can be noisy as the redline approaches, but it’s certainly not aimed at the sport sedan market so that’s acceptable.

Tiida has a six-speed manual gearbox, making it a leader in the class at the time. 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.

On the other hand, the automatic is an old style four-speed unit. If you want a better auto, and your budget is up to it, the latest Nissan Pulsar has a good CVT automatic.

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 (nee Datsun) has operated in Australia since the mid 1960s so has a strong, experienced network of dealers. There are more dealers in country areas than is normal for Asian cars in this class and 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 on the modest to midrange in price and there are seldom any big differences from company to company. It’s always worth shopping around, but be sure you’re doing an accurate comparison on what is, and is not, covered in the policy.

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.

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 need 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.

Perhaps understandably, mundane cars that have previously belonged to people with no interest in motoring are often not looked after as well as cars that have been owned by enthusiasts.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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