Nissan Magnite, rival to Sonet and Venue, unveiled
Nissan Magnite production version has been finally unveiled after months of teaser images and specs being released by the Japanese car maker which is betting big and hoping to storm the extremely competitive sub-compact SUV segment here. Magnite indeed carries the weight of a whole lot of expectations for Nissan and will seek to challenge established players like Hyundai Venue and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza as well as relatively new challengers like Kia Sonet and Toyota Urban Cruiser.
Magnite was globally unveiled at an event on Wednesday but it's primary focus area is the Indian market which has seen sub-compact SUVs becoming the popular choice, and by quite a distance. The options are galore with almost every product seeking to woo and wow prospective buyers with looks, features, engine options and drive comfort. As such, Magnite also seeks to carve a niche for itself when it comes to these factors.
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(Also see: More pictures of Nissan Magnite sub-compact SUV)
Magnite's face is flanked by extremely sleek LED bi-projector head lights, LED streak turn indicators, LED L-shaped DRLs and LED fog lamps. While the blackened front grille bears a slight resemblance to the Dastun cars, the bonnet is sculpted with character lines and there is a silver skid plate to complete a sporty front visual profile.
From the side, Magnite's design benefits from square wheel arches and a ground clearance of 204 mm. The vehicle gets 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels while the functional roof rails mean that the owner would actually be able to use these to store and transport luggage or even cycles.
The windows are sufficiently large - the roof tapering slightly towards the C-pillar - while the doors close with a reassuring thud courtesy extra seals to ensure a check on NVH levels. There is also a very visible silver body cladding on the sides which begin from the front wheel arch and stop just short of the wheel arch at the rear.
The rear profile of Magnite manages to keep things simple while still attempting to grab eyeballs. This is because of the small but sleek LED tail lights and the 'Magnite' badge just under the rear wiper. The silver skid plate makes a comeback here and there is a brake light mounted on the rear spoiler as well.
There is 336 litres of cargo space - the rear seats can be folded in 60:40 split - which is sufficient for a vehicle in this segment although it appears that the lifting angle could be a little too high, especially for heavy luggage.
Step inside and it is clear that Nissan has worked overtime to ensure that the cabin of the Magnite is a major deviation from the cabin of other products offered by the company here.
An eight-inch infotainment screen almost instantly catches attention and offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This also puts out rear parking feed as well as a side camera feed which may be helpful during parallel parking.
There are six speakers inside the Magnite while Nissan is promising an optional Tech pack at launch which would replace these with premium speakers. The same pack would also ensure wireless phone charging system inside the Magnite, among other features like air purifier, puddle lamps and ambient mood lighting.
Since the doors open wide, getting in and out of Magnite may not be much trouble and the drive and ride position appears to be sufficiently high.
There are several storage space with the tall-floor center console section standing out because it is unique and ensures most of everything is well within the reach of the driver and front passenger.
The HVAC control dials are large and easily visible while the all-digital seven-inch TFT instrument cluster puts drive statistics and information like tyre pressure in a graphic-novel-like font and colour theme. All of these can be controlled using steering-mounted buttons. The ceter stack has a five-degree tilt in a bid to provide the driver with a cockpit-like feel.
Magnite's seats, according to Nissan, have been given added cushioning and bolstering with the company claiming best-in-class rear knee room and shoulder distance between front passengers. The rear seats also get a center armrest with two cupholders and a slot to place a mobile phone. And if that is not enough, there is a mammoth 10-litre glove box at the front.
Nissan has also equipped Magnite with a Drive Eco function which rates the driving by assigning scores while also suggesting ways to improve drive efficiency.
Nissan is also promising an engaging drive experience with a Turbo HTA0 engine option while buyers may also choose the company's much-acclaimed X-Tronic CVT transmission option. Magnite also claims to have the best-in-class turning radius of 5.0m.
The car maker says Magnite will come with a host of safety features which include dual airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) for safer manoeuvering in tight spaces, Hill Start Assist (HAS), Traction Control, Anti-Roll bar and ABS with EBD.
At launch, Magnite will be offered in multiple colour options but Nissan is primarily highlighting the four-coat flare garnet red colour which assumes slightly different shades when reflecting different lights at varying levels.
Clearly then, much attention has been given to the smaller details while the bigger ones seek to bring the focus on the car itself. Magnite holds a lot of promise, not just for Nissan but buyers looking for a sub-compact SUV at large. The launch is expected late November and expect the car maker to be extremely aggressive with the price structure of the vehicle in order to deal a mammoth blow to the rivals in the segment.