Monday, June 24, 2013

Used Car Review - Nissan Grand Livina (2008-2015)

If the cars that Myk Belmonte previously featured were catered to the students, this time let's target the parents who wants a new ride to shuttle the kids to school.

2008-2015 Nissan Grand Livina

There are some parents reading my site who wanted a vehicle that can accommodate their children while using it as their all around mobile. With this in mind, let me add another vehicle that your family would surely love.

First made available in China back in 2006, the Grand Livina is available in either 5 (Livina) or 7 (Geniss) seater models. Engine options include a 1.5, 1.6, and 1.8 (the latter two can be had in the 7 seater variants). A Livina X-Gear model was made available in 2008 in Indonesia and Brazil which had over fenders, and roof rails to mimic a crossover. The Nissan Note E12 would replace this MPV by this year in some countries.

While this vehicle had its virtues when it was launched, Nissan was somewhat late to the game especially that 2008 was the year diesel MPVs dominated the streets. It had a car like driving but the ground clearance isn't sufficient enough for the provincial dirt roads. Needless to say, the Livina had its following among its owners. Variants include (arranged according to their pricing) the Elite, Luxury, and Elegance. A Highway Star version (body kits, different set of rims, among others) whose body kits developed by Autotech Japan is made standard on the Luxury and Elegance variants in 2012.

Value and Costs
Between P415,000-P600,000, one can drive home a Grand Livina and if you bought a unit from August 2010 onward, there is a portion of the warranty to assist you. Nissans generally have poor residuals but in the case of the Livina, it is somewhat slow than the rest in the lineup.

Parts can be purchased at any Nissan specialist dealer, but they are somewhat pricey than the competition. Just make sure the consumable items are replenished and replaced.

Exterior and Interior
Exterior-wise, the Livina resembles a small wagon but not that long. To make a differentiation among the variants here, Elite makes do with a grey grille and its door handles and mirrors are black; while the two upper models have chrome except for the side mirrors that goes with the body color. Highway Star models have a body kit that does not look tacky while the rims resemble the 2001-2002 Toyota Revo Sport Runner's.

Interior flexibility is tops for a compact size MPV, with the second and third row seats be folded 60/40 and the flat bay can accommodate a plant or bicycle. You can bring home a sofa bed or two months worth of groceries at the expense of bringing two people only. The third row can accommodate kids only, but then you'll be bring your kids friends to the soccer practice so its not a big deal.

It was deemed wise for Nissan to bring in the Livina with the largest engine in the range, a MR18DE 1,798cc that has 126hp at 5,200rpm and 174Nm at 4,800rpm. The variable valve-timing system can bring the car at ease in any rpm band, which is a good thing. While the automatics is decent, the manual is a six speed so shifting is definitely fun and they are closely spaced among themselves. Even at full capacity, this car has the capability to do that without straining the engine.

Driving Impressions
The electric power steering helps the engine to lessen strain and increase fuel efficiency, which is one secret of the Livina. Handling is decent but out on the open, it shows some vulnerability to crosswinds, no thanks to the slabs positioned in the side portion.

The Grand Livina is a great used car purchase thanks to its car like handling and fuel efficiency. However, those who wanted a high ground clearance or more space need not apply or buy. Wait a minute, how about waiting for the other van we will be featuring this coming Thursday?

The Good:
  • Drives like a car
  • Available six speed manual
  • Low position means a great car for the ladies
The Bad:
  • Tight for seven
  • No diesels
  • Can't wade floods
The Pick: 1.8 Elite

Engine: 1,798cc MR18DE I4 gasoline
Power: 126hp @ 5,200rpm
Torque: 174Nm @ 4,800rpm
Fuel Consumption: 7-10 km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear rigid axle with torsion beam

Price (New): P848,000-P1,008,000
Price (Now): P415,000-P650,000
Rivals: Kia Carens, Toyota Innova, Toyota Avanza, Suzuki APV
On Sale: 2008-2015

Nissan Mantrade - (02) 812-6789
Nissan Gallery Ortigas - (02) 635-5888
Nissan Gallery Quezon Avenue - (02) 731-5308

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