Nissan's all-new compact sedan.
Nissan's all-new compact sedan. Drive

Nissan unveil new sedan

AN all-new compact sedan from Nissan will arrive in 2012 – but it's not the new Pulsar.

The Japanese brand has pulled the wraps off a next-generation global sedan which will sit above the recently released Micra hatchback.

Due to arrive in Australia in 2012, the oddly proportioned new sedan – which hasn't been named for Australia yet, but wears a “Sunny” badge in China – will slide into the Nissan lineup in between the Micra and a new version of the Pulsar (which is due to replace the struggling Tiida hatchback, but has not yet been unveiled).

Marketed as an ideal choice for “young families in their 30s looking for a medium-sized sedan” the Australia version of the Sunny is likely to be built in Thailand alongside the Micra.

It will be powered by a 1.5-litre fuel-injected four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission, giving it the potential to become a “projected class leader in fuel economy”, Nissan claims.

Nissan has also hinted a big improvement in how the vehicle handles, with MacPherson struts used for the front suspension and a rear torsion beam "making for sporty and agile driving at low speeds, and steady and stable driving at higher speeds".

What the Australian version will be known as hasn't been decided yet, with local spokesman Jeff Fisher telling Drive that using the Sunny name is: “Unlikely, but we haven't locked anything in yet.”

Fisher says the new sedan will fill a gap in the Nissan lineup, following a noticeable push for city-friendly sedans, including Ford's Fiesta and Mazda's 2.

Fisher told Drive that despite already offering two cars in that segment, the new sedan isn't the replacement for the struggling (and ageing) Tiida hatchback.

“The death of Tiida is not imminent,” he says.

While this may not be the new Pulsar (or Sunny, for that matter) it is likely Nissan will bring the Pulsar name back when the replacement for the Tiida eventually arrives.

The car maker dumped the Pulsar name in favour of Tiida when the car was introduced in 2006, but has since suggested it was not comfortable with the Japan-led decision.

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