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The Nissan Serena: Unsung Hero Of Malaysian Family Mobility


The Nissan Serena: Unsung Hero Of Malaysian Family Mobility

A family man will attest that a happy family is the key to a happy life. A family man will also usually go out of their way to provide the best comfort for people that matter the most to them, let that be in the form of a home or a car.

This is why multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) thrive in Malaysia. We care about our family and want nothing but the best for them. One of the original MPVs or OG MPVs that set the standard for all MPVs in Malaysia is the Nissan Serena.

The history of Nissan Serena in Malaysia

The Nissan Serena Hybrid in Years Malaysia

Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) introduced the 1st Gen C23 Serena (CKD) in 1997 as a value-for-money family vehicle. Due to its size, shape and ability to comfortably ferry around many people to different locations, some even went as far as calling it a Boeing 747 without wings.

In 2001, ETCM introduced the 2nd Gen Serena, which presented buyers with a larger MPV. Nissan decided to ditch its rear-wheel drivetrain for a front-wheel drive system, which freed up a lot more interior space. However, Nissan wasn't finished making the Serena more practical, as the C24 generation saw the introduction of Dual Sliding Doors, making it the first ever MPV in Malaysia to come equipped with them. Every Serena introduced to the Malaysian market came with something special, and the introduction of the 4th Gen was no different. 

In 2013, ETCM debuted the Serena S-Hybrid (C26), Malaysia's first-ever hybrid MPV. The fuel-efficient powertrain was under a stylistically designed MPV shell, beautifying it tremendously over the past generations. In 2014 ETCM decided to give the Serena S-Hybrid facelift the CKD treatment - which made it the first CKD Hybrid MPV in Malaysia and helped it become the best-selling non-national mid-size MPV in its segment. 

The 5th Gen C27 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid which was introduced in 2018 had a tough act to follow, but thanks to its new "V Motion" front facia and Nissan Intelligent Mobility features that gave drivers access to features such as a 360-degree camera, the Serena continued to be the best selling non-national mid-size MPV up until 2021. 

What’s new in the 2022 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid Facelift compared to the outgoing 2018 model?

2022 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid Launch

This brings us to the latest Nissan Serena, a facelifted version of the C27 generation. The 2022 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid has been updated with more premium styling and enhanced safety features. The bulk of the updates comprises its safety features, exterior looks, and infotainment system. 

While retaining the elegant presence of its design, there's a refreshed look to the 2022 Serena, thanks mainly to the inclusion of the 'Majestic Chrome Nissan V-motion front grille’, which stretches from the headlight area all the way down to the centre intake.  

2022 Nissan Serena V-Motion grille

There are also redesigned headlamps featuring dual projector LED lamps and positioning lights at the brow. In addition, the rear bumper has been given the glossy black finish treatment for a classy touch. The rear lights have also been refreshed, featuring a set of curvaceous taillights that help make the car look wider. The newly designed rear LED tail lights also add a clear identifier to the latest Serena.

2022 Nissan Serena tailgate

The Serena's dual-opening tailgate marches on in the facelifted vehicle as it is one of its best features. Many Serena owners appreciate the large opening of the tailgate as well as the relatively low loading height but sometimes prefer to use the glass hatch opening for smaller items.

To complement the premium look of the exterior, Nissan has also beefed up the interior, starting with a new wheelhouse sound-absorbing liner, which has helped make the cabin quieter. The liner helps suppress NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness) levels to deliver a quieter, more serene experience for all passengers.

2022 Nissan Serena Nappa leather seats

The premium touches inside the Serena continue through the addition of Premium Nappa quilted leather seats, which is a first for the Serena. This adds a sense of luxury to the interior, especially when they wrap those excellent Nissan Zero Gravity seats inside the cabin. With this combo, you now get premium seats to go along with that trademark Serena interior, which has always had an airy feel to it.

The biggest update where the interior is concerned is the bump up in screen size for the infotainment system, going from 6.75-inch to 9-inches. Now you can view the 360-degree camera system with Moving Object Detection (MOD) system through a bigger screen. The entertainment monitor for rear passengers has also increased in size, moving from a 10-inch unit to an 11.6-inch unit. This will surely keep the kids happier as they can watch their favourite cartoons on a bigger screen.

For those who prefer to be entertained via your own smart devices, the Serena can help keep your battery charged no matter which seat you are sitting in as there are seven USB ports strategically placed around the cabin.

2022 Nissan Serena Dashboard and steering wheel

While the bump in screen size will surely keep the family happy, the hands-free power-sliding doors will surely come in handy for anyone that wants to enter the Serena. The powered sliding doors on the Serena can be opened by just placing a foot under the side of the vehicle. This is another feature on the Serena that is well thought out as the hands-free feature will undoubtedly be appreciated when your hands are full as you can use your foot to open either sliding door.

One of the most significant updates to the Serena is its list of safety gear regardless of variants. All 2022 Serenas now come with Nissan’s SMART 360° SAFETY SHIELD, which includes safety features such as:

  • Intelligent Predictive Forward Collision Warning
  • Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Around View Monitor (360 view camera)
  • Moving Object Detection Warning
  • Driver Attention Alert
  • Six airbags
  • ABS, EBD, BA, TCS and vehicle dynamic control

Nissan’s SMART 360° SAFETY SHIELD is a comprehensive safety system package that makes you feel more confident and safe every time you get yourself and your family on the road. This to a family man is probably the most important feature in a car.

As we found out, no matter where you go, you’ll be backed up by a set of advanced technological assistance systems, which helps keep you safe without interfering with the pleasures of exploring the open road.

Everything from its Intelligent Predictive Forward Collision Warning and forward emergency braking to driver attention alert safety system aims to help you avoid collisions and reduce the stresses associated with driving.

Out of all the safety features, the Predictive Forward Emergency Braking is probably the most welcoming addition to anyone who gets behind the wheel of the Serena. Not only does it monitors the vehicle ahead, but it also analyses the second vehicle ahead to help reduce the risk of multi-car accidents. If it detects a hazardous situation, the Serena will activate its brakes and save you. 

We found this braking feature particularly useful during our out-of-town trip during the holiday period, where traffic flow on the highway was erratic. We’ve all been there where traffic can sometimes speed up and slow down without warning, causing us to brake late. 

While most of the time, we did the braking ourselves, there was an instance where a car in front pulled out to the next lane, revealing a stopped car in front of us. Thanks to the Predictive Forward Emergency Braking, the Serena autonomously braked for us, saving the day and rescuing us from getting into an accident with the stopped car.

The Serena’s safety systems can also cover your back when you’re not on the open road. Its Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection can help with unwanted stress during those visits to tight parking areas like the ones in malls.  

When you combine this with the MPV’s Rear Cross Traffic Alert system, you can be sure that the Serena will give you all possible warnings in order for you to avoid those unwanted hassles associated with car parks. 

Not only do the cameras strategically placed around the Serena give you a 360° virtual bird's eye view of your surroundings, but sensors placed around the car will also give you audio and visual alerts if movement around your vehicle is detected. 

While the system is particularly useful as a passive safety net, we also found that the system can save you from embarrassment in other ways such as maneuvering around obstacles on tight roads as well as avoiding high curbs. 

As we mostly live in a capital city where everything is pretty tight, the Intelligent Around View Monitor has come in handy more than once. Because the Serena gives us a 360° virtual bird's eye view of our surroundings, we have called upon it many times just to help us safely navigate tight spaces, such as an illegally parked car on a tight city road. Without it, we would have had to get out of the car and check the space we had to get past that pesky car.

Firepower comes in the tried and tested 2.0-litre Twin CVTC hybrid drivetrain with Energy Control Motor (ECO) for improved performance as well as fuel efficiency. This power unit for the Nissan Serena produces 150PS at 6,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 4,400rpm with a fuel consumption rate of 14.2km/l (NEDC).

The 2022 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid has been updated and upgraded in all the right places. The exterior has been updated to match current times, and the interior has been upgraded to provide a more premium feel and give its passengers a luxurious experience. 

Everything from its dual-opening tailgate and hands-free power-sliding doors has been thought out well, which in turn will provide families with the best MPV experience possible. Most importantly, however, the Nissan Serena is now safer and more aware of hazards than ever before - and this to a family man is probably one of the best reasons to get behind the wheel of the Serena, for the wonderful moments together.

It’s little wonder that the Serena is one of Japan’s best-selling MPVs as well as a top contender for all-time favourite MPV in Malaysia.

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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