Nissan Magnite first look review: What we think of India’s latest compact SUV [Video]

Nissan has remained dormant in the Indian car market for a long time now. After a long wait, the Japanese automobile giant is finally ready with its all-new product – the Magnite. It will be Nissan’s first-ever sub-4m compact SUV in the world. We got to spend some time with the upcoming Magnite and here is what we think about it.

Magnetic Magnite?

Well, the first time you see the Magnite, what you notice is that it does not look like a stereotype sub-4m compact SUV. The proportion of the car is such that the Magnite looks a little bigger when you see it standing alone. We are not sure how it will look compared to the other cars in the segment. Also, Nissan is yet to reveal the official dimensions for the Magnite but we will get to know these details soon.

Nissan has approached the design of the Magnite with an interesting angle. The grille might remind you of Datsun cars but Nissan says that this was never designed to be a Datsun. It follows the brand’s design philosophy of offering an intimidating looking vehicle with a big grille. The chrome brackets around the grille will be standard even in the base variant, which will ensure the bold look across all the variants.

You will also see the sleek all-LED headlamps and they do look extremely sharp. Nissan says that these are the sleekest lamps in the segment. Also in the front, you see the massive L-shaped DRL that is carefully positioned inside a crevice. Down below, there are all-LED foglamps and a good-looking muscular bumper with skid plate. The 205mm of ground clearance also helps.

The side profile is all about the dual-tone 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, they do look quite interesting. Also, the wheel arches get black cladding that again adds a rugged look. The Magnite we had with us was finished in dual-tone paint job with A and B Pillar completely blacked out while the C-Pillar getting partial black paint giving a floating roof effect. The roof gets roof rails, which are not only for show. They can be used for loads of up to 50 kg.

There is also a running board finished in hard plastic. At the rear, the Magnite gets split LED tail lamps and a raked window line, which adds a sleek look to the whole design. Down below, there is a silver insert in the black bumper and a skid plate too.

A view of inside

The car we had with us was not production-ready, which is why there are a few things missing out. However, Nissan has announced that the production version of the car will get a longer list of features that what we experienced. From the driver seat, you notice the massive 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster of the car that gets some great animation and fluid transitions. It welcomes you with animation and goes on to show a lot of information. This is hands-down the most advanced instrument cluster in this segment.

The infotainment system is also massive and measures 8.0-inches. For the first time, Magnite will offer first-in-segment wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It will also get a wireless phone charger with the production version. That’s not only the first-in-segment feature. The Magnite offers first-in-segment 360-degree view camera and it is smartly tuned to show the left-hand side of the car while reversing into parking. You can keep it activated below 10 km/h. The Magnite also gets driving computer that will rate your driving and will also give you tips on increasing the score.

The Magnite gets features like cruise control, hill start assist, traction control, vehicle dynamics control and dual airbags. Also, the dials for the climate control system has been designed quite interestingly. You get the display within the knobs for the controls.

Space galore

While Nissan claims to offer the roomiest cabin in the segment with widest shoulder room for the front passengers, we tested it and found it to be true. There sure is a lot of space for occupants and to keep your water bottles. It even gets a massive 10-litre space inside the glove box but it is not cooled. The rear offers maximum knee room in the segment for comfortable long-distance journeys. The rear armrest gets two cupholders and phone holder too, which again is a segment-first feature.

Engine & transmission

Nissan will offer the X-Tronic CVT with the Magnite as an option. It will come with an HRA0 engine, which is a 1.0-litre multi-point injected, turbocharged engine. The specifications? Nissan is yet to announce that and we will get to know more about it soon. No diesel engine will be available with the Magnite.

What do we think about it?

It is a promising product from Nissan and will surely make an impact in the ever-growing sub-4m compact SUV segment. The price announcement will happen next month and we think that it will become the most affordable car in the segment. The top-end automatic variant with all the bells and whistles is expected to get a price tag of around Rs 12 lakh, which will put it in an aggressive position.