Its looks are the responsibility of Nissan's European styling centre in Germany while its technological advances have come from Nissan centres in Brussels and the UK. Nissan says the car's main advance comes in handling, which the company claims is best in class thanks to a sophisticated multi-link chassis.
Engines, including a new turbodiesel which is exclusive to Europe, have been specially tuned for the European market. Trims and materials inside have been developed in the UK and the car has been subjected to a host of improvements that drivers were asking for.
Engineers worked on economy, refinement and emissions for the petrol engines and achieved class leading fuel economy for the 1.6. On the new European cycle tests its 'combined' figure even beats that of the Toyota Carina E and its lean burn engine. On the 2.0 litre petrol engine, lighter pistons were introduced to reduce vibrations, rollers replaced rockers to cut down cam shaft friction and a two-piece fly-wheel also cut down unwanted vibrations. On both petrol engines a second catalytic converter has improved emission figures giving the principal benefit of a quicker light-off.
With the diesels the same needs applied but of course a turbo meant much better torque and overall performance. Drive-by-wire technology was also introduced to smooth out the power delivery and make fuel use more precise. Nissan says that like everyone else, it is working on direct injection engines but such a drastic move was not necessary to meet engineering targets.