Benj Ngo / Brent Co | July 10, 2001 00:00
Revolutionizing the compact car class with elegant and advanced featuresIntroduced on 2001 revolutionizing the compact car class with elegant and advanced features not normally found in its class. The Exalta Grandeur came in two variants, one with a power sunroof and a premium variant with leather seats and mobile entertainment system. This Exalta was the premium Grandeur variant.
On the engine performance side, the QG16DE had quite a decent torque curve and power. Engine sound was kept to quiet levels at low rpms while it screams a little starting from 4000 rpm to the 6500 redline. The throttle is quite responsive but gets delayed by the shift shock control when downshifting.
The engine also features a distributor-less ignition system, with timing adjustments adjusted automatically by the ECCS while the engine is running.
The shift shock control of the transmission is setup very well as there is no presence of shift shock. The gear ratios are spaced evenly as power distribution is each gear is very good.
The interior is generously clad with leather and woodgrain finishers. From the four-spoke leather/wood combination steering wheel, and shifter to plush leather seats ooze with luxury. Rear legroom is not something to expect, after all its just a compact sedan. The Steering wheel mounted radio control was very convenient.
The Heads-up LCD Digispeed Display conveniently located at the lower left side of the windshield gives speed information in speed zones. The standard rear distance sensor coupled with the digital rear distance warning system, commonly found in luxury cars is really helpful in backing up when parking.
The pop-up LCD screen coupled with the 6-disc VCD capable CD Changer and the multi-speaker audio provides good mobile entertainment whilst in traffic or while waiting in the car.
The suspension features Nissan's patented Multi-link Beam Suspension at the rear. Its configured primarily for ride comfort but handling and steering response is still good. But there is a slight body rolling when running at higher speeds.
By far the best brakes tested so far. Every slight step to on the pedal equated braking. It was very direct. Braking distance is very good. The ABS worked very well as it responded exactly and applied the necessary pressure to each brake.
The four-lamp CSR headlamps illuminate the road quite well at night. Clear corner lamps, side repeater lamps and rear two-tone red and white provide visible turn signals during daytime and night driving. The Euro-inspired tail lamps really resemble the tail lamps from W124 Benz E class.
For control safety an ABS with EBD and Brake Assist are standard equipment. For impact safety, a driverside SRS Airbag, soft roofside rails and crumple zones provide safety to the driver and passengers. A standard auto security system with immobilizer and keyless entry is standard with the Grandeur to finish the package.
Overall the Exalta feels like a Cefiro in a small package. Its one of the most complete packages in its class, although performance enthusiasts will not find a liking in it as its built more towards comfort. For the consumer who demands luxury in a small package and budget the Exalta is definitely a perfect addition to the list of choices. Although a hefty pricetag of 875,000 pesos is to be expected.