Reviews

Nissan Teana 3.5 V6 Reviewed

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Mention the word Cefiro and many of us would remember the first generation – a sporty, sleek-looking family sedan car. Unlike other car manufacturers at that time, it was still fitted with a rear wheel drive layout. Today, the first generation Cefiro is bought by many enthusiasts for use in drifting. This would inevitably elevate the Cefiro to cult status in the world of drifting (although it was initially meant to be a family sedan). The second generation Cefiro, however, progressed with the trends. It ditched the rear wheel drive configuration for front. Its looks were also mellowed down. It was a large, family sedan slated as an alternative to the usual Camry’s and Accord’s. Despite that, quite a number of Cefiro’s were still being sold, but Nissan was normally relegated to playing “third fiddle” after the other two manufacturers.
After almost a 6 year hiatus in Malaysia, Nissan finally launched their all new Teana (named Cefiro in some countries) – aiming to take a slice out of the market that both Toyota and Honda are enjoying during its absence.
Engine
The flagship Teana has a 3.5 V6 under the hood. This VQ35DE series engine is not just any other engine. It is listed in Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 6 consecutive years! The engine is of typical V engine character – it is quiet, has minimal vibrations and provides a smooth power delivery. Prod the V6 and it will give out a faint grunt. A healthy 248 hp and 326 Nm helps to propel the 1.6-tonne body from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds.

Not bad for a large sedan.

Thanks to the Nissan’s Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), it helps make use of the abundance of low end torque to return an average fuel consumption of just 10.8 l/100 km. The engine is most relaxed travelling on the national highway speed at only a tad above 2,000rpm. However, if pushed beyond 5,000rpm, the engine starts to run out of breath. Nevertheless, for a large, luxury executive sedan, it is very unlikely that it will see that region often (unless Vernon Chan takes the Teana out for a spin).

Exterior
The Teana has got huge road presence. It made the Toyota Camry look like a hobbit when the Teana was parked next to it. Taking some design cues from Infiniti (Nissan’s upmarket brand), Teana gets some pretty curves, running from the front fender before tapering off below the rear light, making it look really elegant. Personally, the Teana feels so much more presentable at a hotel or an office headquarters lobby than its Japanese rivals.

There is an abundance of equipment in the Teana – auto-levelling HID lamps, rear LED lamp clusters, panaromic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors. The front parking sensors is needed to manoeuvre the Teana through tight parking spots. But it looks retrofitted. The switch is not illuminated at night and the sensor beeps every now and then, during driving… unless you switch it off. It is not known however if this is a feature (to tell you to switch off the front sensor) or a defect that is probably isolated to the test car.

Other than that, being a CBU from Japan means that the panel gaps are consistent and quality is top notch.

Interior
Same top notch quality theme continues inside. Dashboard is made of good quality material, buttons, levers and switches (save for the front sensor) have very good tactile feel on it. However, the sunglass holder looks out of place as the plastic grade used does not jive with the rest of the car (if I were to nitpick). The wood trim used is of exceptional good quality (unlike fake wood trim used on certain cars). The largest piece of it, surrounding the gear lever and the double stitched leather door trim explains the level of craftsmanship that had gone into making this car. Combined with beige interior, the Teana sure looked spacious. But the beige interior will bound to get scruffy over time.

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The best place to be in Teana is at the rear seats. The seats are so plush and comfortable that it almost felt as if sitting on home sofa. The driver get 8-way electronically adjustable memory seat with lumbar support. Front passenger gets the Ottoman-style leg rest with 4-way electronically adjustable seats. Both seats are ventilated (with either cold or hot air). Now, how’s that for comfort?

More creature comforts found in the Teana – keyless entry with push start button, cruise control, dual zone air conditioner with ionizer, rear air conditioner, rear power sun shade to keep out harmful UV rays, 6 disc in dash player with MP3 and Aux in support and multi information display. It is as if Nissan tries to pack as much features as possible as standard equipment. And even there’s a 506 L boot to spare! In English, that means you can bring 3 golfing buddies on a weekend of golfing trip.

Driving Impressions
The Teana scores well in all NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) department. Travelling at 20 – 30 km/h above national speed limit introduce minimal wind noise into the cabin. Conversation can be held in it without raising voice. Equipped with speed sensitive electric power steering, it means ease to manoeuvre at low speed and it firms up at high speed. Due to the nature of electric power steering however, the steering lacks feedback compared to mechanical power steering at high speed.
Independent suspension Macpherson strut at the front and multi link suspension at the rear enable the Teana to soaks up bumps and undulation well. Push it hard in a corner, the body roll amplifies. Naturally, this large sedan is tuned for comfort, not handling.

Conclusion
Nissan made a commendable effort in making a luxury car. No doubt, there is probably a hint or two inside that probably still reminds you that it is a Nissan. But the Teana surprisingly pawned its Japanese rivals, in my opinion. This car will appeal most to those who want comfort, smoothness and “business class” look.

Priced at RM 248,500 OTR, the 3.5 V6 will probably see more company ownership, rather than private, due to unfavourable tax structure here. Which is not shabby either, as Nissan usually have lower maintenance cost and the executive look to boot, compared to the other 2.

But, if you still want the sweet, silky smooth V6 for private ownership and do not want to pay high road tax, there’s the Teana 2.5 V6 with most of the 3.5 V6 features in it.

Specifications

  1. Engine capacity (cc): 3,498
  2. Horsepower (kW/hp @ RPM): 185kW/248hp @ 6,000rpm
  3. Torque (Nm @ rpm): 326Nm @ 4,400rpm
  4. 0-100 km/h (s): 7.2
  5. Road tax (RM): 4,371.00 (Individual Private), N/A (Company Private)
  6. Features: Dual Front Airbags, Side Airbags, Curtain Airbags, VDC with traction control, ABS, EBD, BA, Active head restraints, auto levelling HID lamp, rear LED lamp clusters, panaromic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors.

Maintenance

  1. Oil Filter: RM 30.50
  2. Air Filter: RM 59.00
  3. Brake Pads: RM 450 (Front), RM 485 (Rear)
  4. Timing Belt or Chain: Timing Chain
  5. Litres of engine oil needed: 4.8 litre
  6. Service interval: Every 5,000 km
  7. Warranty period: 3 years or 100,000 km, whichever comes first

 

About Jack Lee

Jack Lee is an unqualified petrol head (some say, to be one, you have to own an Alfa Romeo) who is disappointed with cars which are getting more and more electronics and the lack of interest in cars shown by today's youths in general. He owns an almost 20 year car from Germany, which has almost 50:50 weight distribution, 3 pedals (manual, FTW!) and believes that everyone should spin at the last corner of Sepang circuit at least once in their life. He also holds the distinction in TCG as the person with the lightest right foot, of course, when compared with his colleagues' mutated cast iron right foot.

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