“They don’t make them like they used to” is something said about many items in the modern age. The new Nissan Sylphy though, defies that, with its comfort, spaciousness and ease of use
Once upon a time, the humble family sedan was de rigueur for the majority of car buyers in Singapore, providing comfortable and reliable day-to-day transport in a country where most require a single vehicle to fulfill all needs.
More recently though, alternative car body types have been increasingly taking over Singapore’s automotive landscape, especially among younger owners, but that doesn’t mean the traditional four-door is dead.
Far from it, most sedans tend to offer a more comfortable driving experience than equivalent hatchbacks – which are marketed as being sportier – as well as sport utility vehicles, which are compromised by their tall ride height. Sedans also have larger boot capacities, no surprise given their extra length at the rear end, and also tend to look statelier, thanks to their upright three-box shape.
Epitomising the ethos of the traditional sedan is the Nissan Sylphy, now newly facelifted for 2019. It’s a continuation of an impressive 50+ year lineage, picking up the baton from the ever-popular Nissan Sunny.
For example, you won’t find any other car with a Category A Certificate of Entitlement (COE)* that can beat the Sylphy’s 2,700mm wheelbase. This translates into a colossal amount of legroom for all, enabling passengers the opportunity to stretch out on a long journey. Basically, it’s the closest thing to a Cat A limousine that you’ll ever find.
*For cars with an engine capacity of 1.6-litres or less, with less than 130hp
The roominess of the Sylphy isn’t just restricted to people, but extends to cargo as well. Not only does it have the largest boot capacity (520-litres) of any Cat A sedan on sale today, it’s also playing by more than just numbers: the load area is tall and wide with minimal intrusions, and its aperture is also of a wider and taller and taller shape, which makes loading bulky items easier.
Despite the Sylphy’s generous dimensions, it’s not at all intimidating to drive. The tall, upright glasshouse makes it easy to see out of, whether for parking or dicing with traffic, and the relatively high seating position (for a sedan) means a clearer view of the road than lower-slung rivals, .
There’s a comforting familiarity too when it comes to operating the Sylphy. All of its controls and readouts, whether physical or digital, are obviously labeled, the fonts are large and clear, and everything is simple to operate and laid out exactly where you expect them to be. It’s entirely un-intimidating to use, with no hidden surprises.
Finally, we come to the most impressive talent in the Sylphy’s repertoire: comfort. It’s refreshing to come across something that sticks closely to the guns that made it popular, rather than giving in to current trends.
In this case, the Sylphy has absolutely no pretense of sportiness, unlike many competitors; stiff suspension setups and big wheels may look and sound good on paper, but they end up simply making the car uncomfortable rather than actually handling any better – and with your family in tow, we’d argue that a car’s ability to handle bumps is far more crucial than its ability to handle corners.
To that end, the Sylphy’s soft suspension means it irons out and floats over road imperfections in a manner that’s genuinely more impressive than even some German luxury cars. There are plenty of bona fide premium brands we can think of that could benefit from taking a leaf out of the Sylphy’s unapologetic approach to comfort.
While it’s always tempting to keep up with the Joneses and jump in with the latest trends in style and technology, the new Nissan Sylphy proves that keeping things simple and sensible also has its charms.