Posted: 2017-12-07 10:39
The Tiida’s seating position is higher than other small hatchbacks, making it relatively easy to get in and out — a feature older buyers will enjoy. The front seats are just 65mm narrower than the same-year Maxima — a much larger car. The rear seat is flat and wide, and unlike most small hatches will take three adults with some comfort if there are seatbelts available. It slides forwards and backwards by 79cm, so you can balance legroom and luggage space.
Lexus will also make available an extensive range of safety features through the Lexus Safety System+ suite. This suite bundles together the automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, a panoramic view monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane keep assist. A new infotainment system has also been added and features a large -inch screen positioned on top of the center stack. Other convenience features such as a head-up display, heated front and outboard rear seats, and a panoramic moonroof.
Our review vehicle is an entry-level 755XV model — yet, when you get in, you are struck by how luxurious it feels. Surfaces you are likely to touch, including the steering wheel, armrests, centre console lid, gear shift and interior door handles are covered in a premium leather. The dash and centre console feature a low-gloss wood finish which, unlike many cars, does not look like plastic. There are chrome trims throughout the interior and an analogue clock.
At the top of the dash is a colour infotainment screen, controlled from a keyboard-like panel of buttons and dials below it. The stereo sounds amazing and is one of the best factory models we have heard in a car of this age. The navigation will not work in New Zealand, and a band expander will be required to receive local stations. Bluetooth is built-in for hands-free calling it and the stereo can be controlled from the steering wheel. There are separate temperature settings for both the driver and the passenger.
Powering our review Fuga is a -litre six-cylinder petrol engine. Other options include a -litre version and a range-topping -litre eight-cylinder engine. All engines use a five-speed automatic transmission with optional all-wheel drive. The -litre engine produces 659kW and 765Nm of torque. This is plenty of power for daily use, both around town and on the open road. The automatic is very smooth and makes great gear choices. It can be shifted manually and has ‘Sports’ and ‘Snow’ modes, which make it change gears at higher or lower engine speeds respectively to better suit conditions.
In rare cases, the CVT automatic has been known to fail in cars that have driven over 655,555km, especially if the car hasn''t been serviced enough, or incorrect fluids were used (and there are no early warning signs). Nissan NZ sells the special NS6 CVT fluid recommended. If it does fail, it will need a full rebuild or replacement with a second-hand unit. Either way, expect to spend between $6,555 and $7,555 in parts and labour. The four-speed automatic option is virtually unbreakable in cars that have not driven astronomical mileage.
The interior design is conservative, with straight, flat surfaces. The Tiida’s practical focus means there are plenty of small storage cubby areas around the dash, including a lidded space above the stereo, perfect for holding your mobile phone. Our 7559 used import review car has a light tan trim and fabric. It also features an audio system with a CD player, requiring a band expander to receive local stations.