Nissan returns to D-segment with all-new Teana

Nissan returns to D-segment with all-new Teana

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After quietly phasing it out five years ago, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) never quite bothered to replace the Nissan Cefiro in our shores. The result was a long unbroken duopoly by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in the D-segment market. Pretenders have come and gone, with Hyundai’s Sonata being the most credible challenger of that status quo to date.

Nissan actually had a successor to the previous A33 Cefiro, the J31 Teana which ETCM did sell alongside the A33 for a while. However, being a CBU import from Japan, the Teana was priced way above its league and the model never made any impact on our market.

The J32 replaced the J31 in 2009, and today the model has finally made its debut for the Malaysian market. Surprisingly, we are getting a very complete line-up of the Teana’s model range options. Offerings start at 2.0 litres, with the 134hp/190Nm MR20DE four-pot and X-Tronic CVT pairing from the Sylphy providing propulsion for the 2.0 Comfort and 2.0 Luxury models.

Priced to kill appears to be the modus operandi for the Teana. The entry level 2.0 Comfort model encroaches dangerously close to the upper C-segment at RM138,000 on-the-road with insurance. In terms of kit, that gets you auto headlights with manual leveling, electric folding side mirrors, push-button ignition, trip computer, dual airbags, and immobilizer among others. Topping in an extra RM4,000 gets you the 2.0 Luxury model which adds leather seats, V-Kool tinting, Ultra Glass body coating, and front cornering sensors.

Moving up, we have the 2.5 Premium, which picks up where the Cefiro left off five years back. At RM168,000, the Teana 2.5 boasts the the only V6 engine in its price range amidst a sea of four-cylinder competitors. Paired with the same X-Tronic CVT as the 2.0, this engine descends from the VQ engine series which powered the A32 and A33 Cefiro. This iteration of the award-winning family of engines produces 180hp @ 6,000rpm and 228Nm @ 4,400rpm.

In terms of equipment, the 2.5 adds xenon headlamps with auto leveling, auto cruise, power adjusting front seats, steering wheel controls, side airbags and traction control on top of what’s already offered as standard on the 2.0. ETCM assembles the 2.0 and 2.5 versions of the Teana in their Serendah plant alongside the Sylphy, Latio, and Grand Livina.

The 3.5-litre flagship variant, meanwhile, comes fully imported from Japan, and as a result, costs significantly more at RM248,500. Under its hood is a bigger variant of the VQ engine, the VQ35DE which displaces 3,498cc and makes 248hp @ 6,000rpm. Maximum torque, meanwhile, is rated at 326Nm @ 4,400rpm. The 3.5 also uses a slightly different X-Tronic CVT than its smaller siblings, featuring six virtual ratios for manual overriding. Added goodies in this model are curtain airbags, driver memory seat, and a must-have Ottoman seat for the front passenger.

The Teana is underpinned by the latest generation Nissan D-Platform, which features all-round independent suspension – MacPherson up front and multi-link rear. Disc brakes are also standard all-round assisted by ABS, EBD and BA. The steering system is interestingly named as the Twin Orifice Vehicle Speed Sensing Power Steering system. Don’t let the funky moniker confuse you though, it’s a rack & pinion setup with two valve openings instead of one on the power steering pump. Yes, that’s right, the Teana uses hydraulic power steering.

At the Teana’s launch earlier today, ETCM Executive Director Dato Dr Ang Bon Beng announced an ambitious target of capturing 30% of the country’s D-segment market with the Teana. Preliminary figures suggest that they are on course, with more than 1,000 bookings already collected before launch, 60% of them for the 2.5. Depending on variant, colour, and branch, the average waiting for the Teana now is about two months.

Summarizing again, the Teana’s prices in Peninsula Malaysia (on-the-road with insurance) are as follows:
* 2.0 Comfort – RM138,000
* 2.0 Luxury – RM142,000
* 2.5 V6 Premium – RM168,000
* 3.5 V6 Exquisite – RM248,500

The above prices are introductory, and valid only for cars registered before 31 December 2010. Dato Ang indicates a possible increase in the region of RM3,000 – RM4,000 after that date.

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