Complete Nissan Cherry lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1982 Nissan Cherry (N12) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1982 - 1986 Nissan Cherry SedanCherry (N12)5 Trims 50 to 105 Hp 1978 Nissan Cherry Coupe (N10) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1978 - 1982 Nissan Cherry CoupeCherry Coupe (N10)2 Trims 52 to 60 Hp 1978 Nissan Cherry Hatchback (N10) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1978 - 1982 Nissan Cherry HatchbackCherry Hatchback (N10)3 Trims 44 to 60 Hp 1978 Nissan Cherry Traveller (VN10) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1978 - 1983 Nissan Cherry Station wagonCherry Traveller (VN10)2 Trims 52 to 60 Hp 1970 Nissan Cherry (E10) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1970 - 1978 Nissan Cherry SedanCherry (E10)1 Trim 45 Hp

The Nissan Cherry was a subcompact supermini produced from 1970 to 1986.

Nissan Cherry Design and Introduction

Before the merger with Nissan Motors in 1966, Prince Motor Company planned to develop and mass produce an affordable front-wheel drive car. Nissan kept the dream alive after the merger with Prince, bringing about the Nissan Cherry in 1970 as Nissan’s first front-wheel drive vehicle. In Japan, the Cherry was sold exclusively at Nissan Cherry dealerships. In other markets, the Nissan Cherry was distributed and sold under other names like many Nissan models. This included the Datsun 100A and 120A, depending on engine size, in the European market. It achieved great success in the face of declining British offerings during the early 70s. Perhaps one reason for its success in Europe, especially in the UK, was that it took the “transmission-in-sump” design which was first seen in British Motor Corporation’s Mini. The Cherry and the Mini shared the distinctive look that came from this incredibly compact design, leading to the supermini segment. It featured four-wheel independent suspension. The first generation Cherry was available in four different body styles, including a 2 and 4-door sedan, a 2-door coupe, and a commercial-focused 3-door wagon that was more similar to a van construction. 

Engine and Powertrain

There were two engine choices for the Nissan Cherry. The smaller version was a 1.0L A10 inline-4, sold as the Cherry or 100A. The larger engine was a 1.2L A12 inline-4, which used two-barrel Hitachi carburetors as seen on the Cherry X-1, also known as the 120A. The 1.2L powertrain produced 69 horsepower and 70 lb ft of torque, plenty enough for this tiny vehicle to be peppy around city streets. A 4-speed manual transmission was used.

Second Generation Changes

In 1974, the second generation Nissan Cherry (F10) was released. This model was Nissan’s first front-wheel drive to be sold in North America, where it was marketed as the Datsun F10. It was sold in Japan under the F-11 designation, while European markets knew it as the 100A F-II or 120A F-II. The vehicle retained much of its overall design, including the four-wheel independent suspension and wide array of sedan, wagon, and coupe body styles. It also kept with the A10 and A12 engine choices, but added the larger 1.4L A14 to the mix which was the only engine available for the US market. A new Sportmatic transmission was available, using a torque converter to negate the need for a clutch, bringing it a step closer to an automatic transmission. The Cherry’s sales declined in Japan, although the European figures held strong. It would be the end of the Cherry name in the Japanese domestic market.

Third Generation Updates

In 1978, a revised third generation Cherry was unveiled. This was sold in Japan under the Pulsar name, but kept the Cherry nameplate in Europe and other export markets. The styling mimicked other European vehicles and had a box-like shape similar to the Volkswagen Polo and Renault 5. Engine choices remained the same, with the A10, A12, and A14 available. The A12 was eventually replaced with the slightly larger A12A. The European sales continued to be strong, even earning the title of the most popular foreign car in 1981.

The Final Fourth Generation Nissan Cherry

The fourth and final generation of the Nissan Cherry was released in 1982. Like the past generation, the Cherry nameplate was not used in Japan, but instead was reserved for European and other export markets. This model, available as a 3 or 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan, was slightly larger in size compared to previous models. The Nissan Micra took over as the supermini offering in Europe. Along with the increased size came engine and other mechanical changes. Incredibly, Nissan was able to engineer the larger vehicle to weigh less than the previous generations, mainly by using the E-series engines, mainly the 1.0L E10 inline-4 with a 4-speed manual transmission. Other engines were available, including a 1.3L and 1.5L E-series, with an option for the 1.5L to be fitted with a turbocharger. 1.2L and 1.5L H4 engines were also available on some Cherrys, along with a 1.7L CD17 inline-4 diesel variant.