Automotive Nissan Magnite Crossover

Published on September 18th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Nissan Magnite Will Cost RM40k Before Taxes

Do you want this compact crossover to come to Malaysia?

On July 16th this year Nissan India unveiled the Nissan Magnite compact crossover with sparing information on which markets this ‘K’ crossover is heading to. The name Magnite is a portmanteau of the words ‘magnetic’ and ‘ignite’. 

Originally conceived as a Datsun before Nissan pulled the plug on said Datsun brand worldwide in early 2020, this sub-4-meter-long compact crossover is a segment smaller than the traditional competition offered in Malaysia. 

The Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30 are all larger than the Nissan Magnite. In terms of size, this is closer to the retired Ford EcoSport.

Nissan Magnite_poster

Magnite Design

From the front, slim headlights draw the eye to the large front grille with thick chrome surrounds. The grille itself is also an elegant design featuring the new Nissan emblem, together with flashes of chrome inlaid on the largely black grille, creating a menacing look. This imposing front is further enhanced by the boomerang shaped LED daytime running lights and a rather aggressive skid plate topped off with chunky black plastic surrounds. 

BHP Banner

Moving on to the side of the Magnite, the chunky back plastic look continues on the wheel arches, giving the Magnite the Tonka toy off-roader aesthetics. Additional chrome trim on the sills and windows that kick up at the rear doors, in addition to the two-tone paint scheme of red-and-black on this concept rendering further adds visual flair on this presumably lifestyle compact crossover. 

Round the back, the design looks a tad empty. Partially because the number plate sits on the black rear bumper above the rear skid plate, surrounded by even more plastic trim. This leaves the tailgate looking just a bit too plains, even though the sharp LED rear light cluster and giant crease in the sheet metal attempts to hide this fact. 

Nissan Magnite_cabin view

Magnite Cabin

On August 4th this year, Nissan India unveiled the interior of this Nissan crossover, based on the concept artwork it appears that it will be as striking as the exterior design. Resplendent in a red-on-black colour combination, the flowy interior design appears to follow a minimalistic theme, with not many physical buttons apart from the three dials for climate control settings. An 8-inch central infotainment system and fully digital instrument cluster are present, but it remains to be see whether or not they will make it into the production variants. Meanwhile, the hexagonal air vents are reminiscent to those on Lamborghinis of the current era. 

On the practicality front, there also appears to be enough space in this crossover for 4, with Nissan claiming that it has made considerations for extra legroom in the rear to suit the demand of the local markets. 

Nissan Magnite_dashboard

Magnite Engine

Engine choices of the Magnite appear to be between a choice of two 1.0 litre petrol engines, a 72 hp naturally aspirated unit or a more-powerful 95 hp turbocharged power plant. For the Indian market, the transmission options for both engines are either a 5 speed manual gearbox or a CVT transmission. 

Prices of this subcompact Nissan crossover is estimated to start at only 6.5 lahk (RM 36,800) when it launches in India in early next year. No news yet on whether this Indian-market Japanese crossover will be exported elsewhere, but considering the crossover boom happening all over the world, including here in Malaysia, there should be no reason as to why Tan Chong will not bring the Magnite over to capitalise on this growing segment.

Nissan Magnite_drive

Opinion and Text by Joshua Chin

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