Thursday, 17 March 2011

Nissan Teana 200XE tested

I thought I had resigned myself to just judging some cars for a highly notable publication's "Car of the Year (COTY) 2011 Awards" and not writing much reviews about them. Humbly, I do admit my lack of energy in penning a few paragraphs and to followers (if any few left) of my blog, my sincere apologies. Largely due to my clinical plus other domestic commitments et al. Also the Nissan Teana in 4-pot, 2.0-litre form that I sampled more than a few weekends ago didn't seem to excite my senses very much.

Imagine my awakening today when I stumbled upon my friend's blog - a hugely popular one - which featured the MMC (minimal model change) - that's facelift to you and me - new Honda Accord. I am not here to criticise the mid-cycle refreshed Honda. After all, I was quite a Honda fan owning the last-generation 2.0 Accord for a brief spell.

Well, let's just say that I am re-energised to share with you my brief flirtation with the latest D-segment offering from Nissan in Malaysia, after reading the post by another esteemed "colleague" on the new Accord.

Looks-wise, this Nissan has on-road presence, even while Honda still holds the measuring-tape champion title to being the longest, largest, widest etc in this sub-RM180K category which encompasses the Sinatra (Oops! Sonata I meant), the Camry, Mazda6 and of course the MMC (Mitsu Motor Corp?) Accord.

In a nutshell the new Teana is huge, soft-riding, comfy and looks the part of a towkay (big-boss) saloon. With its CVT drivetrain, it may be a bit disconcerting when you roll fast into corner but what the's a comfort-biased executive sedan not a BMW 5-series. The way I look at it, it's for fans of Camry's soft plush damping who don't want a Toyota and couldn't stand Accord's harder riding suspension settings. And a Mazda won't cut it because they don't want a brand that makes the world's sole rotary-powered sportscar.

Despite its bulk and size, the Teana's brakes are good and reassuring. Its interior looks and feel Infiniti-esque, though I suspect the V6s versions with more cow-leather plastered interiors and some steering control button/switches splattering would make this executive sedan feel decidedly more upmarket. It's so silent on the move that it makes you wonder whether there are low-pressure-near-vacuum-stretches on highway - almost devoid of wind noise - when you are doing, say 160 km/h.

So there you have it, another popular D-segment sedan for you to consider in Malaysia, apart from the perennial favourites of Camrys or Accords. Oh by the way, has Honda Malaysia solved the Accords (and likely Civics) brake judder issues due to premature-warping of front rotors? I hope these huge Nissans don't have such quality issues, not when it comes to brakes.

Admittedly, the Teana could do better with its instruments detailing though, because this isn't a Sunny, Latio or Sylphy for that matter. The rear end detailing, however - no need to buy Eagle-Eyes brand Taiwan-made aftermarket LED rear lights - is great though. In my strictly personal and humble opinion, the clean-design execution by Nissan here even leaves the new Mercedes-Benz W212 E-class' arse for dead. You can't win (or have) 'em all I suppose.


derek C said...

Once in a blue moon for your post!haha.. what u say is true, Teana's brakes are good and reassuring.

drlong said...

Thanks for leaving a comment.

JooFong said...

thanks for the short review of the Teana 2.0 as not many ppl are commenting on the 2.0 rather than the 2.5.

lowprofile said...

well, i'm still here!

JooFong said...

by the way, did you have the CVT overheat issue while test drive this car?

Kenneth said...

I disagree with some things but i only test driven it once opposite Carefour Subang Jaya. The saleslady let us drive for quite a long as there was 3 of us taking turns driving it. I could hear wind and engine noise above 100 kph. It is not very loud but audible. Another thing is the car does not feel stable in bendy windy roads like the Mercedes Benz E240 2003 we came in! perhaps it is an unfair comparison but still i expected a newer car (2011 Nissan)like this to be at least at par but it isn't!

drlong said...

Hi JooFong,

No, I did not have CVT overheating problem with the Teana 2.0 and there was an hour or more I was pushing the Nissan near its Vmax.

Thanks for your patience and sorry for the late reply.

drlong said...

Hi Kenneth,

Thanks for your comments.
Everything is relative I suppose.
You may be particular sensitive about the Teana's relatively noticeable wind noise and engine noise versus the W211 E240, which is undoubtedly a more-refined V6. (On another note do give the new BMW 520d a try, take note of the rather intrusive wind noise generated around its wing mirrors :P )

I used to own a 2005 W211 E200K but I now have a W220 S320 V6 which I use occasionally. So I perfectly know where your valid observations are coming from.

Mostly these days, I swap drives between my Porsche 911 Carrera S and my wife's Mk6 Golf GTI, so the Teana 200XE is a very silent executive saloon to me!

Thanks for your participation.

JooFong said...

thanks for the reply. Now, that leave me either to choose this car or wait for the CKD VW Passat.
for me, safety come first, then after sales service+support and then resale value.