Nissan Tiida is a small-medium car with the sort of interior space that can accommodate a family and provide a smooth quiet ride with reasonable engine performance.

It replaced the very successful Nissan Pulsar in February, 2006, due to a clash of cultures. Australians think a new car should hold onto the same name as the one it replaces; the Japanese feel a significantly improved new car deserves a new name.

Tiida was a flop in the sales race, which was a shame because it is a good car for the person looking for nothing more than sensible transport from A to B. When Tiida reached the end of its model life in February, 2013, the new model was called … wait for it … Pulsar.

Due to its undeserved poor name, the Nissan Tiida is now a bargain on the used-car market.

Tiida isn’t what you would call stylish. But the boxy body makes for a surprisingly spacious interior in a car of this class and there’s as much legroom in the back seats as many cars a couple of sizes up.

What to look for

• Make sure that the engine starts easily and idles smoothly from the moment it ticks over. Be suspicious of any rattles from the bottom.

• Check for smoke from the exhaust if the engine is worked hard; driving up a hill in a high gear is a good test.

• An automatic transmission that has harsh changes may be overdue for a service.

• Tiidas are popular as family cars so look for a damaged interior created by bored kids.

• Look at the condition of the boot mats in case heavy loads have been ripping about during cornering or braking, these may indicate slow pickup of the oil,

By Ewan Kennedy, Marque Automotive News