Dubai, UAE – With an illustrious legacy spanning over half a century, the Nissan Sunny has earned its reputation as a symbol of efficiency, reliability, and quality. Introduced to the Middle East several decades ago, the Nissan Sunny has emerged as a beloved choice amongst families and young drivers, amassing a staggering following across the region.
As a core model in Nissan's line-up, the Sunny nameplate came about from a major naming campaign that took place in Japanese newspapers in 1966. People from across the country submitted over 8.5 million names for Nissan's latest passenger vehicle at the time, with "Sunny" being chosen for its perceived image of being bright, cheerful, and youthful.
Presently, the Sunny stands as a frontrunner in its segment, with the recently launched 2024 Nissan Sunny featuring a host of aesthetic and technological upgrades, including a redesigned front fascia and an exciting color palette comprising of eight exterior colors. This is supported by segment-first zero-gravity front seats and a variety of Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) technologies.
Thierry Sabbagh, President, Nissan Saudi Arabia, INFINITI Middle East and Managing Director, Nissan Middle East, said: "For numerous decades, the Nissan Sunny has not just been a car; it has defied ordinary and gone on to become a symbol of innovation, reliability, and a reflection of our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our customers. Each generation has left an undeniable mark, showcasing our dedication to delivering vehicles that provide value. The longstanding success of the Nissan Sunny is a testament to offering innovative and advanced mobility solutions that stand the test of time to customers across the region."
Across eleven illustrious generations, the Nissan Sunny has consistently set itself apart with a distinctive array of characteristics. Originally under the Datsun nameplate, the Sunny made a key move in 1981 by transitioning to the Nissan name, symbolizing a strategic evolution in its branding. Each evolutionary step has marked a new chapter, achieving noteworthy milestones which have become an integral part of its legacy. Here, we unfold five pivotal milestones that encapsulate the essence and enviable heritage of the Nissan Sunny:
1960s: The Pioneer of Japanese Private Vehicles
The Datsun Sunny 1000, launched in 1966, marked the birth of the iconic Sunny that heralded a groundbreaking era in Japan's private vehicle ownership. Boasting a sporty design and an affordable price tag, it quickly captured the hearts of salaried workers, selling over 30,000 units in just five months.
A few years later, the Datsun 1200 was revealed and had gained popularity for its family-friendliness. Available as a sedan, coupe, and van, the sedan offered the largest cabin space in its class and stood out with its quirky advertising tagline "Car next door looks small".
1970s: The 70s Performance Marvel
Venturing into the '70s, the Datsun Sunny Excellent made a bold entrance, embodying style, and sportiness in a two-door coupe. It was heavily used as a base car for races in the "TS Race" category of Fuji International Speedway and won eight championships between 1971 and 1982.
However, the pinnacle of its racing legacy unfolded at the '73 Japan Grand Prix. Nissan participated with nine Sunny Excellents, each equipped with the new LZ14 engine. In a spectacle of speed and precision, they dominated the race, securing the top three spots, underscoring the LZ engine's pedigree as a twin-cam powerhouse.
1980s: US Market Triumph
In a groundbreaking move, in 1981, Nissan marked its triumph in one of biggest auto markets - The USA. Branded as the Nissan Sentra in the USA, a veritable bestseller that outshone global competitors, the model embraced a front-wheel-drive layout, optimizing space efficiency. The transition showcased Nissan's commitment to both market demand and innovation, epitomized by the stylish bodywork.
Throughout the 1980s, the Sunny underscored Nissan's dedication to innovation, particularly in driving systems, with the introduction of electronic fuel injection, further solidifying its status as a trendsetter. This evolution not only enhanced functionality but also added a touch of style to the Sunny, making it a favorite among discerning consumers.
1990s: Symbol of Reliability and Comfort
The '90s ushered in a new era characterized by squared-off styling and introduced a four-wheel-drive variant for added versatility. Renowned for robustness, some units clocked over 700,000 kilometers without requiring any engine adjustments.
In 1998, the Nissan Sunny underwent a revolutionary transformation, prioritizing comfort with an expanded design that set a global standard. Exclusive as a four-door sedan, it not only redefined the entry sedan segment but also introduced innovative, affordable features. This marked a paradigm shift, making the Sunny a symbol of unrivaled comfort. Simultaneously excelling in motorsports, it solidified its reputation as a reliable and fun vehicle.
Building on Heritage and Technology
With continuous aesthetic and technological upgrades, the Nissan Sunny stands as a symbol of innovation, reliability, and commitment to customer needs. The latest generation introduced in 2019, embodies Nissan's vision of making advanced mobility accessible to all with a wide range of innovative technologies. While raising the bar for safety in the segment, the 2024 Nissan Sunny offers customers Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Seat Alert, it also further built on the Nissan's innovative technologies with a number of innovative Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) features, including Nissan Safety Shield® 360 for comprehensive protection available across all trims.
The 2024 Nissan Sunny, a culmination of success and heritage, is now available at Nissan's partner network across the Middle East, carrying forward the legacy of its predecessors into a new era of automotive excellence.
# # #
About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global car manufacturer that sells a full line of vehicles under the Nissan, INFINITI, and Datsun brands. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in four regions: Japan-ASEAN, China, Americas, and AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe & Oceania).
For more information about our products, services, and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit Nissan AMI. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
For more information, please contact:
Deputy General Manager – Corporate Communications
Nissan Middle East FZE
Phone: +971 (0) 58 941 0090
Edelman Middle East
Phone: +971 (0) 56 500 2941