Nissan Sunny History: Eleven Generations Of A Practical, Reliable & Efficient Entry-Level Sedan

As far as practical, reliable, efficient, and value-for-money sedans go, the Nissan Sunny is nearly as good as it gets. Launched in 1966 as the Datsun Sunny, the small entry-level sedan has been catering to this segment for nearly 60 years now! It was designed to compete with the Toyota Corolla

Every generation of the Nissan Sunny features reliable and efficient inline-4 engines. It’s not uncommon to find some of these sedans clocking over half a million kilometres without needing an engine rebuild. In this edition of the DubiCars Car Spotlight, we take a detailed look into the history, generations, and more of the Nissan Sunny.

Origins Of The Nissan Sunny

Nissan Motor was incorporated in 1934, and its first car was produced in 1935. In subsequent years, the brand began producing trucks and aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army. After the Second World War, Nissan started producing sedans based on a few patents from Austin. 

Nissan President

However, Nissan sought to expand its lineup with a new compact car that could compete globally. It would be launched under the Datsun brand as it was to cater to export markets too. Toyota too launched the Corolla in 1966. Read all about the history and generations of the Toyota Corolla here. The Datsun Sunny was to compete with this new entry-level sedan directly.

First Generation Nissan Sunny (B10) | 1966 – 1969

The first generation of the Nissan Sunny, designated as the B10, was launched in 1966. This model was available in several body styles, including a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan, and a station wagon. It featured a 988 cc A10 inline-four engine, producing a modest 62hp but offered excellent fuel economy. 

First Gen Nissan Sunny

The Sunny was designed to offer an affordable and efficient driving experience, catering to the growing demand for economical cars in post-war Japan and globally. The car quickly gained popularity for its practicality and reliability, establishing itself as a staple in Nissan’s lineup.

Second Generation (B110) | 1970 – 1973

In 1970, the second generation, known as the B110, was introduced. This generation brought significant improvements in terms of design and performance. The B110 featured a more modern and aerodynamic design. However, it still retained the circular headlamps, and it also featured a more spacious interior. 

Second Gen Nissan Sunny

Performance saw a significant increase. It was available with 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre inline-4 engines. For the very first time, a 5-speed manual gearbox was on offer. A light-duty pickup truck based on this generation was sold as the Nissan Sunny truck. Though production of the sedan ended in 1973, the Sunny truck was produced until 1989!

Third Generation (B210) | 1973 – 1977

The third generation, the B210, debuted in 1973. It featured a more angular design, reflecting the styling trends of the time. The B210 was available with a range of inline-4 engine options, with capacities ranging from 1.2-litres to 1.6-litres. 

Third Gen Nissan Sunny

This generation also introduced the 2-door hatchback body style, adding to its versatility. The B210 was notable for its improved handling and ride quality, making it a popular choice among drivers looking for a reliable and practical compact car. A sports coupe based on the Sunny was launched in some markets.

Fourth Generation (B310) | 1977 – 1981

The B310, introduced in 1977, marked the fourth generation of the Sunny. This generation continued the trend of offering multiple body styles, including a two-door coupe, four-door sedan, five-door wagon, and three-door hatchback. This generation put an end to the era of circular headlamps, bringing a new squared-off styling to the fore.

Fourth Gen Nissan Sunny

This Nissan Sunny featured improved aerodynamics and a more modern design. Engine options included a range of inline-4 units with capacities ranging between 1.2-litres and 1.4-litres. The sporty 1.6-litre engine from the previous generation had been discontinued. 

Fifth Generation (B11) | 1981 – 1991

In 1981, the fifth generation Nissan Sunny, designated as the B11, was launched. This generation saw a significant shift towards the future. Nissan discontinued the front engine, and rear-wheel drive layout that previous generations used. Front-wheel drive was the new standard in the auto industry and this generation’s Nissan Sunny used the same. 

Fifth Gen Nissan Sunny

This only increased the sedan’s efficiency and new engine options further optimised this sea change. The 1.0-litre inline-4 made a comeback and so did the 1.6-litre inline-4 in addition to the previous generation’s engine options. Nissan had also made the car more angular than ever before. Though production ended in 1985, Mexico continued producing it until 1991 and Malaysia until 1996.

Sixth Generation (B12) | 1985 – 1990

The sixth generation, codenamed B12, was introduced in 1985. This generation continued the front-wheel-drive layout and featured a more streamlined and modern design. The 6th gen Nissan Sunny featured a multi-link rear suspension, which improved handling and ride comfort.

Sixth Gen Nissan Sunny

It offered a range of inline-4 engine options ranging from 1.3 litres to 1.8-litres. Diesel variants continued to use the 1.7-litre inline-4 unit. Its balance of performance, efficiency, and practicality received widespread acclaim.

Seventh Generation (B13) | 1990 – 2017

The seventh generation Sunny, designated as the B13, debuted in 1990. This generation featured a more rounded and aerodynamic design, reflecting the styling trends of the 1990s. The B13 was available in various body styles, including a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and five-door hatchback. 

Seventh Gen Nissan Sunny

Nissan discontinued the diesel engine and introduced a new 2.0-litre petrol unit. The previous generation’s other petrol engines remained in use. Nissan sold the car as the Tsuru in Mexico. Global production of this generation’s Sunny ended in 1993. However, production in Mexico continued till 2017.

Eighth Generation (B14) | 1993 – 2002

Nissan introduced the eighth generation Sunny codenamed B14, in 1993. This generation featured a more curvaceous design. It was a complete redesign with a sleek silhouette. This allowed it to have slightly better aerodynamics and improved fuel efficiency. 

Eighth Gen Nissan Sunny

The B14 retained the petrol engines of the previous generation. The diesel variant made a comeback with a 2.0-litre inline-4 under the bonnet. This generation introduced advanced safety features including, airbags and anti-lock brakes. Buyers praised the 8th gen for its comfortable ride, reliability, and improved fuel economy.

Ninth Generation (B15) | 1998 – 2004

The ninth generation, the B15, debuted in 1998. The Sunny featured a sporty yet practical look, drawing inspiration from flagship sports cars like the Nissan GT-R R34. Read all about the Nissan GT-R, its history, and its generations here

Ninth Gen Nissan Sunny

The 9th gen Nissan Sunny was available with a range of engine options. Petrol engine capacities ranged from 1.3-litres to 1.8-litres. Diesel variants received a new 2.2-litre unit. Nissan discontinued the Sunny and ended its production in 2004. The Nissan Bluebird and the Nissan Tiida succeeded it.

Tenth Generation (N17) | 2011 – Present

The Nissan Almera was a rebadged version of the Nissan Pulsar/Nissan Sunny. Nissan launched the Almera in 1995 exclusively for the European market. The brand launched the third generation of the Nissan Almera in 2011. Playing on the heritage of the Sunny nameplate, Nissan rebadged the 3rd gen Almera as the Nissan Sunny. This marked the sedan’s comeback.

Tenth Gen Nissan Sunny

This is quite easily the most popular version of the Nissan Sunny and the one that’s the most popular in the GCC. It is among the most loved entry-level sedans in the Middle East, and most driving schools in the UAE use this generation of Nissan Sunny as learners’ cars. Here are the top tips for you to get your driving license in Dubai quickly.

The tenth generation Sunny, designated as the N17, marked a significant shift in design, with a more contemporary and stylish appearance. The 10th gen Nissan Sunny features a more spacious interior and advanced technology, catering to modern consumer demands. Engine options included the 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre, offering a balance of performance and fuel efficiency. 

Eleventh Generation (N18) | 2019 – Present

Nissan introduced the eleventh and current generation, known as the N18, in 2019. This generation features a bold and dynamic design, with a focus on advanced technology and connectivity. The N18 offers a range of engine options, including the 1.6-litre HR16 and a 1.0-litre turbocharged inline-3 engine. 

Eleventh Gen Nissan Sunny

This generation includes advanced features, notably a digital instrument cluster, driver-assistance systems, and enhanced connectivity options. Buyers praise the 11th-generation Nissan Sunny for its modern design, advanced technology, and improved performance.

The 10th generation Nissan Sunny is without doubt, the most popular generation of the sedan in the UAE. it is quite a common sight on every road. The 11th gen impresses with its features list and design and is slowly gaining popularity. However, buyers still flock to the 10th-generation Sunny.

Nissan Sunny Price In The UAE

Prices for a new Nissan Sunny for sale in the UAE range from AED 39,500 to 54,000. Prices for a used Nissan Sunny for sale in the UAE range from AED 13,000 to AED 67,900 depending on the model year and condition of the vehicle. Want to buy one? Get a complete inspection of the car before putting your money down on it.

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