The Nissan AD is a subcompact van and wagon available since 1982.
Nissan AD Design and Introduction
The first generation Nissan AD (VB11) began production in late 1982 to bring another high-cargo-capacity vehicle to the carmaker’s lineup in addition to their commercial delivery vans. It featured four doors and a rear liftback hatch, while a two-door version was introduced in 1983. Nissan discontinued other van offerings, including the Cedric, Gloria, and B310 Sunny, due to the AD’s introduction. Like many Nissan models, the AD was available under various names which depended on the market and even the deanship it was sold at. In Japan alone, it was sold as the Sunny AD at Satio Store dealerships (and in Europe), Pulsar AD at Cherry Stores, and Nissan Datsun AD in others. The AD was designed to be mainly used for commercial purposes, providing an excellent balance between cargo space, fuel efficiency, and cost. It has a front-wheel drive configuration allowing for a flat, low floor for easy loading, plus a simple leaf spring rear suspension to handle heavy loads. There were three different engines available in the Nissan AD. Two gasoline options included the 1.3L E13S with 75 PS and 1.5L E15S with 85 OS, while a 1.7L diesel CD17 engine pushed out 61 PS but higher torque. The transmission was a 4 or 5-speed manual in most models, but the 1.5L engine could be paired to a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Second Generation Updates
In 1990, the second generation Nissan AD (Y10/N14) was released. This was still sold under the Sunny name in Europe. Most of the design was kept very similar, although more rounded body panels were featured. It was again available as a 5-door wagon and a 2-door utility coupe. The rear end was redesigned and was now available with an oversized option known as the AD Max with a heightened roof for increased cargo capacity. The engine choices remained the same, with two gasoline options and one diesel. Four wheel drive was available as an option, which allowed the Nissan AD to be marketed for use as a recreational vehicle. The AD was now being sold in many countries across the world, including the domestic Japanese market, the European market, Thailand, New Zealand, and Mexico. Starting in 1994, the AD was sold under the Subaru Leone name as well. In Mexico, it was known as the Nissan Tsubame from 1993 to 2001.
Third Generation Modifications
The third generation Nissan AD (Y11) was released in 1999, sold in Japan, New Zealand, and Caribbean markets. This model actually shared many components with the Nissan Sunny B15 including MacPherson struts in the front suspension and a beam axle with coil springs in the rear, but it had a distinct exterior look. The engines now increased in size to a 1.5L QG15DE, 1.8L QG18DE, and 2.0L SR20VE, later changed to the QR20DE. Four-wheel drive was still offered using a multi-link rear suspension, but could only be paired with the 1.8L engine. The diesel option was discontinued in 2001 due to Japan’s policies which strongly discouraged the use of diesel engines, especially within cities where the AD was meant to thrive.
Fourth Generation Changes
In 2006, the fourth generation of the Nissan AD (Y12) was introduced. It was constructed on the Renault-Nissan B-platform and shared many components with the Nissan Note E11 hatchback and Nissan Livina station wagon. It was now exclusively available in the 5-door wagon body style. It was offered in front-wheel or four-wheel drive with a 1.5L, 1.6L, or 1.8L engine paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission or optional CVT. Different trim packages were available, allowing for a slightly more amenities for those who wanted them. GPS navigation, passenger side air bags, and Intelligent Key options were some of the available features.