Published on August 30th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Nissan Latio……the ‘Missed’ Best Value Used Family Buy
Now in its 10th year, Nissan’s Latio (sedan and or hatchback) has been a car that fades away in traffic with no distinctive style and we are here today to remind you of its impressive qualities and value for money ownership. Even by the extremely conservative standards where cautious buyers seek no-risk cars, the Latio has been one of the blander choices, its boxy profile undervaluing its strengths in many other areas.
The designers of the Latio gave the car a unique appearance, inside and out. Love it or hate it, you sure can’t miss it if you are looking for one, otherwise it is very often ignored because not enough has been written about it. The design is a consequence of Renault’s influence. The French maker is Nissan’s major shareholder by the time the Latio was developed. Japanese designers at the time, in this class at least were looking to a different design language. Just look at the main rivals 10 year ago, Honda’s ever popular Civic and the Altis from Toyota.
Today in the used car market, the Nissan Latio is excellent value, given that it’s a full-sized five-seater, well equipped with a large boot and with a brilliant engine options (both the 1.6L and the 1.8L) .
Equipped with airbags, automatic air-conditioning, power everything, trip computer, CD player, 16-inch alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped wheel and gear lever are standard you get a spacious car with a glove box that is the largest you can find at the time and till today. A lady’s handbag will fit in nicely. Front seats are wide and very comfortable, especially for you drivers who love mamak and banana leaf meals.
Most 1st and 2nd owners are happy families and only the Latio Sport hatchback was purchased by speed demons. Look for the sedan….which is my pick for this model.
Check for crash damage or previous repairs as these can seriously affect the resale value of the car. Look along the doors and look for ripples in the finish of the panels. Look for paint colors that don’t quite match from panel to panel. Tiny specks of paint on non-painted surfaces such as windows, badges and exhaust tips are another sign of a repaint.
This Nissan Latio was popular as family cars so look for a damaged interior created by kids, still the hard wearing material in the Latio stands the test of time well. Make sure that the engine starts easily and idles smoothly from the moment it ticks over. Be suspicious of any rattles from the bottom, these may indicate slow pickup of the oil. Check for smoke from the exhaust if the engine is worked hard, driving up a hill in a high gear is a good test. An automatic transmission that has harsh changes may need be overdue for a service, or even major repairs.
Checking the service history is critical. There should be no major gaps between services either in distance or time despite the numerous change in owners over the years. Finding a 1 or 2 owner car will be very difficult but the best if you are lucky enough. Prices today range from a reasonable RM17,000 for an early 2007 sedan to RM33,000 for a year 2011 1.8L Latio hatchback with Impul body-styling on it.