The compact sub-4 meter SUV space is jam-packed, in the literal sense. This is easily the most talked about and the most desired segment in our market. Every car maker wants in on the action, and almost all these products are doing rather well to sell. Now Nissan, not having had the impact it so badly deserved in the recent past, now finally makes an appearance in this segment with its stylish-looking Magnite SUV, which happens to be made in India. We think it’s going to be a hit, but first, we hit the road to test its might.
Those stylish cues
Nissan cars seems to hit the right notes on the design front with its baby SUV. It’s a nice blend of sharp lines, bulges and curves – and that makes it very tempting to the eye. Up-front, you will see bi-projector headlights, LED indicators, L-shaped DRLs and LED fog lights. It also sports nice 16-inch wheels that look a bit small, and then there’s the option of a two-tone paint theme. The grille is Datsun-inspired but gives it a nice, bold look from the front. The Magnite is easily among the good looking SUVs in its segment.
The inside story
The cabin is nothing to be floored by, but to criticize it would be rude. The doors don’t shut with a solid thunk, and the plastics inside are just about alright. A lot of it feels hard to touch, but we liked the dashboard design, which is free of clutter. Then there’s the 8.0-inch touchscreen, the rotary controllers for aircon and a start-stop button. There are lots of features to play with too, like cruise control, wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, a 360-degree camera, a really cool 7-inch fully digital instrument cluster. On the safety front, it comes loaded with ABS with EBD, traction control and dual airbags.
The seats at the front are well shaped and provide good support. The controls are user-friendly and the room at the back is great, even for three full-sized occupants or four children. It is undoubtedly practical and stowage spaces are aplenty. Boot space, at 336 litres, is really good too.
All hail the turbo
The Magnite comes with two engine: a naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine and a turbocharged 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, both being petrol units. We took the turbo-engined one for spin, mated a CVT gear. A 5-speed manual is available too. It does vibrate at idle, but then, what do you expect of a 3-cylinder mill? However, once on the move, it becomes smooth with power delivered in a linear fashion. In the city, the CVT is super smooth and makes driving a breeze, but if you strain the little engine, it’s bound to get vocal. However, in manual guise, there’s lesser noise to put up with. But the manual gearbox isn’t particularly smooth, which leaves us liking the CVT more.
Good on road?
The ride quality, thankfully, is great, as the suspension soak up whatever’s thrown at it. Take it through a corner, you’re more likely to get a hint of hatchback traits, while the tyres give the Magnite the grip it needs. The steering, however, doesn’t impress and feels rather vague. But the brakes bite well.
The new hot-seller?
Absolutely. Nissan managed to bag 5000 bookings for the SUV after its launch. And we can see why – it’s a looker, is easy to drive, comes with a good list of features and above all, carries an on-road price tag of ₹ 11 lakh, for the top-of-the-line CVT model. Now if that isn’t value for your money, Also, read the latest car comparisons in India, only at autoX.
Ayush khanna is an journalist. Born and residing in the capital state of India, he has a knack for driving and testing cars and bikes to their extreme limits. He enjoys his time writing and travelling which is well suited for his profession.