The Nissan Serena S-Hybrid MPV is in a very unique position of being just about the only 7-seater available in the Mid-sized MPV category, and certainly the best buy in terms of price, features and size. It has been around for a few years now in Malaysia, and yesterday we were given a preview of the all-new replacement Serena S-Hybrid model ahead of its launch. Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM), the official distributors for the Nissan brand here are starting their pre-launch road shows and are taking in orders starting from today.
The All-New Nissan Serena S-Hybrid looks as cool as ever, and comes with several new features which are likely to make it even more popular amongst its users, and the best surprise perhaps is the estimated price; ETCM is taking orders for the base Highway Star at an estimated price of below RM140k, while the more well decked out Premium Highway Star is estimated at below RM150k. These prices are exclusive of insurance, but include a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty and a 3-year or 60,000 km maintenance service (whichever comes first). This is an excellent package, considering the new features that have been added on, making this vehicle practically a ‘no brainer’ choice for people wanting an MPV in this price and size range.
For the first 500 early bird deliveries, the first of which are expected to happen in May 2018, there will be a special gift worth RM500. In addition, test drives of the All-New Serena S-Hybrid will be available from today at selected outlets; details can be found at www.nissan.com.my, or by calling ETCM’s Customer Hotline 1800-88-3838.
The Premium highway Star now comes with two-tone colour, combination leather seats, with two colour choices, 10.1 inch roof-mounted LCD panel, Tech-on Tray Mat, Driving Video Recorder (DVR) and LED room lamp. In addition, it also comes with 16-inch alloy wheels instead of the standard 15-inch wheels, Door Visors, V-Kool 4 mil Security Film Tinting, and Three Bond Ultra Glass Body Coating.
The all-new Nissan Serena S-Hybrid is powered by the S-Hybrid 2.0 litre MR20DD engine, basically a carry-over from the outgoing model. The S-Hybrid system is unique, with a generator cum motor that charges an additional car battery located next to the normal battery of the vehicle in the engine compartment. As the engine runs, the generator which is connected by a belt to the main pulley charges both batteries, and the generator becomes a motor and uses power from the charged battery to provide an additional boost of 2.6 PS and 48 Nm to the drive train. The base power without the S-Hybrid system is 150 PS at 6,000 rpm, and maximum torque at 4,400 rpm. Technically, it can work, as the small power increase plus the 48Nm of torque will help to boost the power a little, and technically it will help to save a bit of fuel, especially in stop-start traffic conditions, but I wouldn’t call this a true-blue hybrid system.
What this system does do, however, is that it helps the automaker to get EEV status, which in turn provides some relief in import duties, which helps to keep the retail price reasonable and affordable.
Drive is to the front wheels only, through a Nissan Xtronic CVT, which also contributes to fuel efficiency besides providing a smooth transmission. Fuel consumption (based on NEDC R101) is 14.2 kilometers per litre.
The design engineers have really worked hard on the features for the new Nissan Serena S-Hybrid, adding in customer-oriented features that would endear its users.
The most impressive would be the Hands-Free Dual sliding doors for the second row passengers – all the driver has to do is to put his or her foot under the door panel to activate the hands-free opening or closing of the door. Of course the key fob must be in close proximity; otherwise the door will not open. Another convenience feature is that there is a button for the third row passenger to open the sliding door as well. A Push Button start is standard. Generally, the new Serena is wider inside, and is also longer inside by 180mm.
Inside, the first and second row seats are ‘Zero Gravity’ seats, supposedly very comfortable, and the second row is pampered with ‘Captain’ seats with dual armrests. The third row seats now have a sliding function, and all the seats can fold back to provide an almost flat play area behind the front seats.
Another interesting, convenient and thoughtful feature is the double rear door, which allows the top part to be opened; this feature first appeared in the 1980’s in the Nissan Terrano.
Safety features include six SRS airbags, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Start Assist (which most drivers will love), and Traction Control System. The Serena scores five stars under the JNCAP rating.
All things said and done, the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid presents a great package in terms of price and size, with many great features. We had a slow drive around the block, and at city speeds, it is an ‘easy-to-drive’ vehicle, very quiet on the inside, and easy to maneuver. Internal seat and space configuration options are countless, and I can almost guarantee that kids will love it.