Following a preview back in July, the fifth-generation Nissan Serena has officially gone on sale in Japan. Nissan’s popular seven-seater MPV is now claimed to boast a best-in-class interior, enhanced practicality features and Nissan’s ‘ProPilot’ Autonomous Drive Technology.
The Japanese market introduction now confirms the S-Hybrid direct-injected MR20DD inline-four will continue as the power plant of choice, albeit with some tweaking for better fuel consumption. The engine is mated to Nissan's X-Tronic continuously variable transmission. For the Japanese market, the Nissan Serena is available in eight two-wheel drive and four all-wheel drive variants starting from JPY2,316,600.
Nissan’s ProPilot single-lane autonomous driving technology is also offered in the upper-range of ‘Highway Star’ variants. ProPilot automatically controls the distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle. The driver may pre-set the cruising speed between approximately 30 km/h and 100 km/h.
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The system steers autonomously and can apply braking to slow down or come to a full-stop, afterwhich the system resumes moving the vehicle only if the driver presses a button or depresses the accelerator. The system is also capable of adapting to preceding vehicles that move in or out of the lane.
Other highlights of the all-new Nissan Serena include:
- Interior length increased by 180mm
- Built-in 2nd row seatbelts
- Sliding second-row seats
- ‘Hands-free’ powered sliding door (Swipe foot under car body to open)
- ‘Around View’ 360-degree monitor
- Intelligent Park Assist, automatic parking assist system
- Safety: ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Hill Start Assistance (HSA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
- Front, Side and Curtain airbags for the front row.
- LED projector headlamps
There might be a period of gestation, however, with Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM), Nissan’s sole distributor in Malaysia, not expected to roll-out any new models until 2018. Both the Nissan Serena and Kicks could be prime candidates for local introduction in the near future.