Nissan Teana to Offer More Luxury
The replacement Nissan Teana is due very soon and more details are starting to appear. Some of these merely confirm earlier speculation (read previous article on 2009 Nissan Teana here.), but there are some interesting details that give us a clear indication that Nissan is attempting to raise the bar in the segment.
When Nissan introduced the Teana, it was a major departure from the styling of the car it replaced, the Cefiro. But more than simply redefine the face of the Japanese automakers flagship sedan, it also marked the start of a brand-wide style change.
The Teana was like a breath of fresh air in a segment that had stagnated and seemed to only have room for the most boring of designs. While the Honda and Toyota continued to play it safe with the Accord and Camry respectively, Nissan threw caution to the wind with the Teana.
Nissan were arguably even more daring when it came to the interior, and some five years on, and it still feels stylish and fresh next to more conservative rivals. So why is the Teana being updated so soon? Wouldn't a minor update be enough to keep things going for a few more years?
Actually, this should be true, but the Nissan Teana hasn't been as successful as Nissan might have expected. Nissan are currently offering 0 percent financing on the Teana in efforts to boost sales, presumably to clear stocks in time to launch the new model.
So what's new?
When Nissan showed us the Intima Concept at the Bangkok Motor Show last year, we were given an early glimpse of the form of the New Teana. And although Nissan toned things down a little, the basic lines remain on the production model.
The 2010 Teana actually has a lot in common with the outgoing model, but when compared side by side, the differences are obvious. New headlamps are much bigger and travel further back the car, although they are not as fantastic as those on the Intima concept. The rear of the car also features new tail light clusters, and although they are also distinctly different, the dynamic of the old car is retained.
The Nissan might not be to everyone's taste, but if you are bored with bland designs offered up by Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, then the Teana definitely offers something different. At least nobody can claim that they are copying anyone.
More luxury than you can shake a stick at
It is the interior where the biggest changes are to be seen though. Nothing looks familiar in here, and again this is praise. Nissan might be playing it a little safer this time around though, and the interior layout is a little more conventional than the outgoing model.
The center console buttons under the display are on a shelf, which is something that Nissan have been doing for years in other models. It actually works really well, and it makes sense to push down on buttons.
I'm reminded a little of Volvo when I look at these pictures, and it looks like Nissan have done a very good job in choosing materials.
One of the most interesting details to emerge however is that the luxury trim level will include a Bose 5.1 audio system. This should provide class-leading accoustics and with the smooth 2.5 litre V6 engine audiophiles shouldn't be bothered by engine noise.
While the Teana always had plenty of style to compete with competitors, it didn't really have anything substantial on paper to make it stand out. The 2010 Teana will have a few stand-out features
One is the continuously variable transmission (CVT), that should provide silky smooth power delivery when mated to the 2.5 V6, or the 2.0 four-pot. Honda and Toyota are using conventional five-speed torque converter automatic boxes.
With CVT, the gear ratio can be changed gradually, giving virtually unlimited variations in gearing. This has obvious advantages, as it allows the engine to remain in its most efficient power band more of the time, and improves efficiency when compared to a standard auto box.
Nissan is already using a CVT in the 3.5 litre Murano.
Online reports suggest that 0-100 km/h can be reached in about 8 or 9 seconds for the V6 Teana, so performance seems to be ample for this kind of car.
The Teana has already been seen in Nissan lots in Thailand, and Nissan is promoting the outgoing model, so there is a good case for expecting the launch to be soon. At the very latest it should be here in time for the Bangkok Motor Expo which starts on 26th March.
The current Teana is cheaper than the Accord and Camry. We can expect the 2.0 litre Teana to be able to continue to undercut the opposition, but it is possible that the 2.5 V6 models could push the top end of the segment, particularly the XV spec with that fancy Bose sound system and that all important sunroof. So expect THB 1.2 million to THB 1.6 million to be a reasonable guess for the 2009/2010 Teana.