2014 Nissan Sylphy Tuned by Impul review

2014 Nissan Sylphy Tuned by Impul review

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As far as misguided experiments go, few examples stick to the mind as vividly as the previous generation Nissan Sylphy Tuned by Impul. From the starting point of the exceptionally comfortable and refined Sylphy G11, the Impul package delivered a car with a brittle ride and unnecessarily loud exhaust – it was, in short, difficult to live with and even more difficult to justify paying money for.

But pay money for it many people did, although the vast majority of buyers took only the aesthetic bodykit and left the suspension and exhaust options alone. Across the Nissan line-up, take up rates for the Impul bodykits are generally high, and local distributors Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) are unsurprisingly enthusiastic to offer it to as many models as possible. Indeed, with the latest Sylphy B17, ETCM has wasted little time to roll out a ‘Tuned by Impul’ package for it.


Prices & Variants

The Impul package can be added on to both the E and VL variants of the Sylphy, although available items for each variant varies. For reasons which we will elaborate later, two items are not available for selection in the VL variant. As before, buyers can opt for the full works in a complete package or specify items individually.

The four-piece Aerokit do come only in a set, however, consisting of front, rear, and two side skirts for a combined cost of RM3,000 for the 1.8 VL. The cheaper 1.8E model gets an additional boot lid spoiler bringing the total package price to RM3,600. This spoiler is not offered in the VL model because that variant already comes with a factory-fitted duck-tail spoiler with an integrated third brake light.

VL spec comes with factory-fitted spoiler. E model gets an extra rear wing spoiler with this kit.


Completing the Impul kit’s aesthetic touch is a set of 17-inch Impul Aura SX-20 rims costing RM4,500 per set; 205/50-size Continental CPC2 tyres are sold separately at RM1,800 per set for the 1.8E and come factory-fitted with the 1.8VL. Suspension upgrade comes in the form of uprated Impul springs, which lowers the vehicle ride height by 25mm – a RM1,000 expense if purchased individually. Uprated dampers are no longer offered and neither is the sports exhaust option.

In total, prices of the Impul accessories, if specified individually, add up to as much as RM10,900 for the E model and RM8,500 for the VL. Taken together, ETCM bundles them into one package costing RM7,900 and RM6,000 for the E and VL respectively. For a limited time period, ETCM is offering the said packages at promotional prices of RM5,400 and RM3,800 respectively.

The Impul springs are remarkably cheap at RM1,000.


Driving Experience

It doesn’t take too many kilometres behind the wheel to realize that this latest Sylphy Tuned by Impul employs a far better measured and more sensible approach than its quite frankly ridiculous predecessor. The spring rates are better judged than they were in the predecessor model, offering far greater pliancy to deliver a set-up much better suited for the rigours of day-to-day driving whilst injecting some semblance of sportiness to its handling.

Ride quality is, as you would expect, firm, but nowhere near the bone-shaking brittleness of the previous model. In fact, with the base version already rolling out from the factory with a firmer set up than the previous G11 model, the difference in ride quality between the basic and Impul set up becomes even less pronounced than it was in the predecessor. This is especially true of the VL variant, which is already fitted standard with the same tyres as the Impul-prescribed set up.

17-inch Impul Aura rims cost RM4,500, but 205/50 Continental CPC2 tyres already fitted for VL spec.


Without alterations to its engine and drivetrain, there is unsurprisingly little new to report on the Sylphy Impul’s straight line performance compared to the regular model. As we’ve noted earlier, the new 1.8-litre MRA8 engine and X-Tronic CVT combo is a partnership that is merely adequate in performance but largely satisfactory in refinement.

Typical of CVT-equipped vehicles, stomping the throttle sends the rev counter straight up the rev range whilst speed gradually builds with the infinitely variable transmission continuously altering its transmission ratio. This is the signature driving characteristic of vehicles equipped with CVTs, and in the previous Impul-tuned Sylphy which came fitted with a sports exhaust, it generated very unpleasant booming sounds in the cabin during hard acceleration. As such, we applaud the sports exhaust’s removal from the current model’s pool of options.


Verdict

We’re typically ambivalent towards sporty option kits offered in the market particularly if they don’t offer any form of dynamic or performance enhancements. The NISMO Performance Package in the Almera, for example, is something we wholeheartedly recommend because the add-on suspension significantly enhanced the driving experience compared to the standard model.

The Impul package offered here in the Sylphy is, in comparison, less convincing. Dynamic improvements it offers over the standard model are incremental, although the overall sacrifice in comfort are accordingly minimal as well. Crucial takeaway is that, the suspension setup is forgiving enough to live with on a day-to-day basis. The package as a whole, is not unreasonably priced, making it okay to buy if you like the enhanced appearance of the Impul kit, but not much more beyond that.


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