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Published on January 18th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Nissan Teana; No Longer An UNCLE (Undisputable No Class, Life and Emotion) Car.

Nissan have had a long and remarkable existence here in Malaysia. Nissan vehicles have been reliable and easy to maintain. From their mid executive cars like the Nissan Sentra to the corporate car park challenging sedans like the Cefiro, they have left little negativity at the edge of owner’s tongues. However it has not been all-good. Nissan in Malaysia have been known in the past to keep revitalizing models locally instead of introducing new exciting models. This means, for every model introduced they will be 1 or 2 models skipped while the existing model gets a local makeover to challenge the competition that actively promotes new models every 4-5 years at least. Competitors like Toyota and Honda have taken active participation in introducing new luxury and executive models leaving Nissan in Malaysia to dwell in the small car and medium car segment. Their SUV segment only had the X-Trail challenging the others and it has started to feel the effects of more modern products being introduced by the competitors.
Now things have started to change with Nissan taken bolder steps to chase down the competition with newer more exciting products and they have introduced the Nissan Teana as a locally assembled version to replace the ageing Cefiro. (Note, there was an imported only Teana introduced 3 years ago for RM230,000 with very limited sales done).

The Teana is bigger inside and outside than the outgoing last generation Cefiro (now being used as a city luxury taxi). The car’s exterior has been given well-balanced proportions and the whole intent of the luxury sedan’s overall dimensions is to maximize passenger cabin space. The front seats offer good side and thigh support with great back support.

The 6-speed CVT gearbox shifter is conveniently positioned for reach with a shift knob that feels comfortable on the palm of your hand. Ahead of the driver, the instrument cluster is similar to other new Nissan’s from Japan, but it doesn’t tilt up and down with the steering wheel like the one in the Murano and the 370Z. It still however offers great visibility even under the hottest day.

The centre console which looks similar to the unit found in the Murano and houses the display for the stereo and climate controls. Rear passengers in the Teana get special attention, starting with cupholders under flip-up center armrest, great legroom and rear a/c vents. Legroom and shoulder room for two is great and for three a little less only as the interior is wide and with good space between the seats.

The 2-litre petrol engine is a willing performer but it does have its work cut out to move this big sedan around. Please remember that is an executive sedan so we are not looking for razor sharp handling or dive in cornering speed. Still on our test drive with and without the family in the back, there was little lacking in this saloon.

It returned good handling and control over twisty, bumpy turns, and offered a good level of grip. It did not take us by surprise as we negotiated some hairy corners and when called on there was little in the effect of negative steering feel. We can clearly say that among the current front-wheel-drive luxury sedans, its very competitive. The 6-speed CVT gear shifter was easy to negotiate with quick transmission response offering acceptable shifting feel.

A manageable top speed in excess of 180km/h was reached on the open highway and we had little to quibble about. Driver comfort was good and rear passengers felt little discomfort as we floated over the uneven highway pavement. Abrupt braking was good but could have been better.  Shaving speed quickly needs a hard shove of the pedal and some rear uneasiness could be felt from the chassis. Still this was way above the legal speed limit.

At RM136,000, the Teana is good value and offers the average executive car buyer another option when deciding between the competing Camry, Mazda6 and Accord.

We have to mention the superb cabin insulation, large/practical  glovebox, good build, well picked cabin materials, supple ride and executive environment which many have already experienced even before we test drove this Teana (there are already hundreds sold and delivered to happy owners…uncles).
Nissan Teana Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC
Capacity: 1997
Gearbox: 6-speed CVT transmission Max power: 136hp @ 5600rpm Max torque: 190Nm @ 4400rpm
0-100km/h: Not really relevant
Top Speed: 185km/h as tested
Price: RM136,323.60 


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