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Japanese carmaker, Nissan is all set to introduce the Magnite in the Indian market sometime around the end of this month. The brand's all-new B-SUV was unveiled globally on the 21st of October 2020 and it will be positioned in the highly competitive sub-4 metre compact-SUV segment in the Indian market.
The new Magnite seems to be packed with features, while also offering a rather striking design which could help it stand out against its rivals in the segment. We got the car for a day and drove in the city and on the highway and here is what we have to say about the all-new Nissan Magnite.
Design & Style
At first glance, the Nissan Magnite looks absolutely fantastic. As we mentioned above, the compact SUV features an extremely striking design with sharp lines and creases all around. The SUV also comes with black-cladding all around and flared wheel arches, giving it a rugged appeal.
At the front, the Magnite gets bold lines and creases on the hood, that makes the car look much more muscular. It also receives a sleek pair of LED headlights and the DRLs are present at the lower part of the bumper. The fog lights are projectors and feature LED bulbs. Overall, the lighting setup on the Magnite looks nice.
The compact SUV also gets a fair amount of chrome on the front grille and the grille looks similar to the one seen in the Datsun. The front bumper of the car gives it a sporty look and overall, with the lines and creases on the hood, the new Magnite looks stunning.
Moving on to the side, the first thing that will attract your attention are those machined five-spoke dual-tone alloy wheels. Somehow the design of the alloy looks similar to the ones seen on the Skoda Octavia vRS. As we mentioned earlier the black cladding gives the car a robust look. The compact SUV features a blacked-out ORVM with an integrated LED indicator. Moreover, there are cameras on the ORVMs as it also features a segment-first 360-degree camera function.
The car gets a dual-tone paint scheme, where the upper half is finished in white and that looks awesome. The door handles are finished in chrome and it gives the car an upmarket feel. It also features functional roof rails finished in silver that can bear up to 50kgs of weight.
Now coming to the rear profile, the taillight of the Magnite may look like they are LEDs but they are not. However, the illumination of the taillights is fantastic and because of that, the car looks fabulous from the rear end also. You get the bold ‘Magnite' badging right in the centre below the logo. The car also gets parking sensors and adaptive guidelines that help park at really tight spaces. The quality of the camera could have been slightly better.
Interiors & Features
Step inside the SUV and you will be welcomed with a spacious cabin. The dashboard is finished in black and the AC vents look like the ones seen on a Lamborghini. Overall the cabin of the Magnite looks good and gives the car a premium look.
The centre stage is taken by an 8-inch infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The touchscreen is sensitive and there is no lag in the system. Right below the infotainment system is the automatic climate control that has it readouts within the dials.
The start/stop button is placed right below the AC controls. The car features a couple of charging sockets and there is a lot of space to keep things here and there.
The steering wheel is covered in leather and features controls on either side. The left-hand side buttons control the infotainment system and the right-hand side controls the instrument cluster. The switchgear quality is good and feels premium.
One of the main highlights of the car is the instrument cluster. It is a digital one that has a seven-inch MID screen that gives out a lot of information about the car. The cluster looks good but the readouts look like something out of a video game and could have been slightly better.
The seats are all blacked out and are pretty comfortable. However, only the driver's side features a seat height adjuster. The front seats offer good under-thigh support and side bolsters that keep the driver in place while cornering hard. We got the car for only a couple of hours, but we can surely tell that the seats will not tire you out on a long journey.
Now coming to the rear seat, it offers good backrest but tall passengers might find it difficult as there is no adequate legroom. However, headroom is not an issue for tall passengers. The AC on the Magnite is fantastic and thanks to the rear AC vents, the car's cabin cools down pretty fast, even on a hot day. One thing that even the top-end variant of the Magnite lacks is a sunroof.
The Nissan Magnite gets a 336-litre boot space that is enough to keep luggage for four people. The rear seats also get 60:40 split just in case more room for luggage is needed.
Powering the all-new Nissan Magnite is a choice of two petrol engines: 1.0-litre NA unit and a1.0-litre turbocharged motor. The 1.0-litre NA engine produces 71bhp and 96Nm of peak torque and is mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission. This engine is available only on the lower-spec trims.
The 1.0-litre turbo-petrol unit, on the other hand, churns out 99bhp of power and 160Nm of peak torque. We drove the seven-step CVT variant and no doubt it is a fantastic gearbox. There is also a five-speed manual gearbox on offer, producing the same engine and power figures.
The CVT gearbox feels smooth and has a linear power delivery. However, on the gearbox, there was an ‘L' mode right behind ‘D' mode, which stands for Low range. Now if you are driving at around 40 or 50 km/h in ‘D' mode and suddenly you shift to the L mode, you will see the rpm jump from say 2,500 to around the 4,000rpm mark. Now because of that, there is more torque available in the first couple of gears. This will be helpful when the car is climbing steep slopes.
The engine has a good mid-range and top-end and because of that, you will reach triple-digit speeds within no time. Since it is a CVT gearbox there is no lag between shifts. One thing we noticed is that at lower speeds the cabin stays pretty quiet, thanks to the good NVH levels, but post 80 km/h you will hear the engine noise continuously, which can get irritating sometimes. Other than that the motor feels pretty peppy and does its duty well.
The suspension setup on the Magnite is good, it allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Having said that, with 205mm of ground clearance the car is capable of doing some mild off-roading. Show the car a set of corners and you will be surprised as to how well it handles. There is body roll, but it is not too much. The suspension setup is perfect for city driving as it absorbs all the bumps and potholes.
The steering wheel has a good grip on it and is very responsive. We felt that the steering wheel is slightly on the heavier side, which is a good thing as at higher speeds a light steering wheel is risky. Since we got the car for only a day, telling the exact mileage figures will be slightly difficult, but one thing is for sure, that the manual gearbox will deliver better fuel efficiency than the CVT.
The Nissan Magnite is a fantastic looking compact SUV. It is bold, spacious and is a good handler too. However, some things that we did not like about the car are the lack of a sunroof, less usage of soft-touch materials and the boot door needing to be pushed hard for it to shut completely. Other than these things, the Magnite has a lot of best in class features.
Prices for the Nissan Magnite are not yet out but we expect Nissan to start the prices for the base variant to start somewhere around the Rs 5.50 lakh, ex-showroom range. Once launched the Magnite will go up against the likes of the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300, and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.