Just a few days back we got the first look of the Nissan Magnite. This then is a compact SUV which has the responsibility of saving Nissan in India. We also hear that with the Magnite, Nissan is all set to wage a price war in the segment and might even just create a new segment. So how is the car to drive and what all does it offer. We tell you all about it.
The Magnite comes with a rather aggressive design. The headlamps are sleek and in between sits the rather large grille. The grille for those who are aware resembles the ones seen on Datsun cars. This is perhaps because Nissan had initially planned to launch the Magnite under the Datsun brand. But circumstances have changed and as a result it is now a Nissan. The bumpers house the DRLs and the fog lights. It will also be apt to mention here that the entire front end of the Magnite comes with LED lighting technology and that’s a good feature to have. The bumpers also come with skid plates in contrasting colours which add to the look of the SUV. The Magnite also boasts of a rather substantial 205mm of ground clearance. The SUV uses 16in diamond cut alloys which sure look a bit small. The roof rails on the other hand are not just for looks but can bear 50kg weight as well. At the back the sharp design continues to impress. The bold Magnite lettering on the tail gate, the sporty spoiler and those sleek tail lights ensure eyeballs.
Inside the Magnite impresses with a multi-textured dash. The finishing is good but the black plastics could have been done better. The centre console house a touchscreen infotainment system which offers wireless Android Auto and Apple Car play. Superb feature to have in this class. The system is slightly inclined towards the driver as well. The centre console below has a dedicated tray for smart phones and also comes with wireless charging in top variants. Right below there is more storage space. The instrument panel features a colorful and quirky digital display and offers a lot of information including a tyre pressure monitor. The seats are rather comfortable and space on tap is brilliant both up front and at the back. Getting in and out of the Magnite is also easy. The boot offers a substantial 336 litres and the rear seats offer the versatility of a 60:40 split too.
Nissan is offering the Magnite with two engine option which include a 1.0-litre petrol and this, the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The turbo offers 100bhp and 160Nm of torque. However Nissan is offer a choice of two gearboxes. The first being the 5-speed manual and then the CVT.
The performance factor
Much like in all other small turbo petrol vehicles, the Nissan Magnite too feels viby at idle. However things get much better on the move. The engine offers a lot of power and it comes in fast thus giving brisk acceleration. The Magnite also benefits from its rather light weight and this means that performance is rather good. The CVT also surprised us quite a bit. The rubber band effect is much curtailed and though the engine revs quickly to 4,000rpm, the change in ratio happens quick and thereafter in comes the acceleration. In Sport mode, things get even better. With the manual transmission things get even better as the engine revs up fast with downshifts and power delivery is quick too. The gearbox feels slick and shifts are short too. The only downside then is the slightly heavy clutch.
Ride and handling
The Magnite is a rather fun to drive car and the suspension has been tuned in sync. Sure there is a bit of roll but around corners it is a lot of fun. The only downside to the overall package is the fact that the Magnite feels a bit ‘undertyred’. Slightly larger tyres could help the compact SUV become even more fun to drive. Bump absoption is also good but there was a bit of suspension noise emanating from our car. Last but not the least, the steering feels slightly on the heavier side and is good on feedback too.
Last but not the least Nissan is all set to wage a price war with the Magnite and we expect it to hover around the Rs 10 lakh mark for the top variant. So simply priced right the Magnite will be the compact SUV to watch out for.