Being a largely populated country, we have always enjoyed elements in life such as bigger houses or bigger offices. These are just examples of how we have always been appreciative of the feeling of space and comfort. This applies to large Multi utility vehicles too which have been an instant hit as soon as they are launched.
The most successful Multi Utility vehicle which has dominated the space for a decade and is continuing to do so is Toyota Innova. With bare negligible facelifts and updates, the Innova has been successful in setting a benchmark. In fact, the Aria, Ertiga, Xylo and many more are a result to counter Toyota Innova’s success in India.
Nissan, which re-launched itself with the Micra and Sunny have been selling good number of cars along with winning customer satisfaction in India. In its attempt to venture into the multi utility segment, Nissan decided to get the Evalia (also known as the NV200 in the international markets) in India and pitch it against the Innova.
However, during the product release, Nissan officials elaborated that the Evalia is an Urban Utility Vehicle and a first in this category. In India, any vehicle which hauls lots of people comes under the MUV tag and the Evalia won’t be an exception. To find out more, we review the Nissan Evalia in Bengaluru and find answers to all the curious questions.
Multi Utility Vehicles in general do not have a stylish design. They are like big bread boxes moving on wheels. The Evalia comes across as an urban looking MUV with its sophistication in design.
The front fascia is slightly reminiscent of the Maruti Suzuki Eeco with slender headlights and a slim three row radiator grille. The front bumper starts at a very tall position and has dollops of plastic wrapped around it. It reminds of those typical chubby oriental kids. Apart from the fact that it looks too bland, in case of an accident the entire assembly would be too expensive to be repaired.
The side profile highlights the two distinct divisions in the overall design, which is the front half and the rear half starting from the B-Pillars. If very crudely put, the Evalia looks something like an aftermath of an Innova-Eeco front collaborating with the Tata Venture rear. The waist line starts from the front bumper and makes it way to the B-pillar but does not continue after that. The side profile also reminds of the Toyota Alphard but at a basic level.
There are mild wheel arches on the body. The overall blandness of a VANish looking vehicle has been curbed by giving subtle creases throughout the body. The C pillar is not evident as it has been camouflaged with the window pane. Something that makes the Evalia differ from rest of its competitors are the sliding rear passenger doors. This can be an advantage in traffic flooded areas and cramped parking spaces.
Coming to the rear section, there is nothing except a tall big tail gate. I liked the simplicity of it though opening and closing of the gate can be a bit of an issue as it is considerably tall. Chrome inserts are used on the tail gate with reflectors. The tail lights look a little too small compared to the overall rear design.
To sum up, it’s a different looking MUV and as Nissan endorses the Evalia has been designed to attract urban users. Since the prices have not been announced, there is high probability of it being compared with the Innova. Personally, I would choose the Toyota Innova over the Nissan Evalia as the latter looks too VANish.
Inside the cabin, the Evalia looks roomy with amazing headroom. It falls in the MUV category but its driving stance is that of a hatchback. The feedback from the steering, the gearstick and the driving position is fantastic and does not make you feel of its BIGness.
Japanese cars may not have the best looking interiors but then their design concentrates more on the utility and less on aesthetics. The hatchback type tilting steering wheel and the gear stick are a great change compared to the conventional steering and long gear stick.
The instrument cluster is simple with an analog speedometer but besides that there is an multi information screen which houses the digital tachometer which is very unique in this segment of vehicles. In addition to provide basic information like the fuel left to empty tank, average fuel consumption and other reminders, there were two more things that caught my attention. First is a gear shift indicator which informs the driver about the correct time to up-shift or down-shift, which is fantastic and very educative for optimum driving. Second is a small screen for rear-view park assist. The system is nice and useful but the only issue is the screen is a tad too small and its location is not very convenient.
The central console holds the music system at the top and the AC controls following it. Central locking button is also situated at the middle of the central console just before the small gear stick.
The fit and finish of the front dashboard is impressive. It has a parallel board running underneath which holds the dedicated glass holders, the open glove box and the transmission panel. Color combinations used in the interiors are very subtle. The standard recliner seats are done in fabric for all the four variants. The seats are not too comfortable for people on the larger side of life. Legroom offered is not one of the highlights of the Evalia especially for the front row of passengers. This is because chunk of space is used for the dedicated glass holders, which could have been a slide and push arrangement, the transmission pillar which again takes a lot of space and to add to this is an extremely low placed open glove box.
Middle row passengers don’t get conventional windows but instead a flip out type arrangement, which flips out near the C-Pillar. There are no AC vents for the middle row but instead the last row gets one with individual speed control too. The rear passenger section of the Evalia is very roomy and spacious. The last row also gets drop down cup holders.
Regarding storage, there is an intermittent space on the front dashboard. A low placed open glove box under the dashboard, which could have been better if covered. There is small tunnel utility box underneath the central area, which tilts open, a very peculiar location for storing anything. There are small pockets on door trims while the sliding doors naturally don’t have any. Rear luggage space is decent and can take in good number of bags.
To conclude about the interiors, the Nissan Evalia may have certain lows but then the highs are the roominess of the cabin, fit and finish of the interiors and the overall feel inside the cabin.
The Nissan Evalia comes in four variants, XE, XE+, XL and XV. We drove the XV variant. It is powered by a 1461cc Nissan K9K engine. This engine can win “The best engine in a supporting role” as it features in so many cars which include Duster, Nissan, Micra and Pulse. It produces a power of 85bhp and a torque of 200 Nm. The engine is meted with a 5 speed manual transmission.
The looks of the Evalia may appeal to a certain group who would like a fresh look over the conventional ones. Inside the cabin, the music system does a decent job and so does the AC. Since, we were testing the Evalia around Nandi hills the climate was very pleasant and we could not test the AC to its limit. Roof mounted AC vents for the middle row passengers would have been a nice touch.
Something which is extremely positive about the Evalia is its large ingress and egress area. One doesn’t crawl or climb inside the cabin but just slides inside. The sliding doors for the rear passengers are indeed an advantage. The Evalia also boasts of a monocoque construction, which makes it lighter but then safer too.
Comparing the Evalia and Innova is natural as they both are in the same category but then the latter has got a bigger engine. The Evalia’s unit may not be a preferred unit for an enthusiast but then it is a very commuter type. Being a front wheel drive car while climbing the roads on Nandi hills, we did experience some wheel spin but also worth mentioning is that the roads were moist and the uphill climb was too steep on some turns.
What goes against the Evalia, are its tyres. The 165 R14 tyres are way too small for such a vehicle. Since the Evalia is a tall vehicle, it does have some body roll but the cause of it is the tyres as they don’t provide adequate grip.
The Evalia performs decently on the highway. As it has got a smaller engine, overtaking does need some effort and frequent gear shifts. So basically the Evalia is a perfect mid range highway cruiser. It can also be a nice city traveler as maneuvering the car is not difficult.
The best fuel efficiency that we got from it was 10.6kmpl, which was considerably less compared to what its official figures are. This figure was an outcome of us testing the vehicle rigorously so it might improve in the normal driving conditions.
Regarding the performance of the Evalia, it didn’t disappoint me but then just managed to satisfy my expectations from it. The K9K 1.5L engine perhaps can be replaced with a bigger unit in future.
|Power in PS||85|
|Torque in NM||200|
|Wheel base mm||NA|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1426|
|Ground clearance mm||180|
|Fuel tank capacity||NA|
|Turning circle radius in M||NA|
|Tyre Spec||165/65 R16|
|Front Power windows|
|Audio||1 DIN AM/FM Radio &CD||1 DIN AM/FM Radio &CD||2 DIN AM/FM Radio &CD||2 DIN AM/FM Radio &CD|
|Front Fog Lamps|
|Rear AC Vents|
|Tilt Steering Wheel|
|Body Color Bumper|
|Ex Showroom Mumbai (Approx)||850000||950000||1070000||1200000|
Competition All Specs
|Evalia XV||Innova VX|
|Power in PS||85||102|
|Torque in NM||200||200|
|Wheel base mm||NA||2750|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1426||2360|
|Ground clearance mm||180||176|
|Fuel tank capacity||NA||55|
|Turning circle radius in M||NA||5.4|
|Tyre Spec||165/65 R16||205/65 R15|
|Front Power windows|
|Front Fog Lamps|
|Rear AC Vents|
|Tilt Steering Wheel|
|Body Color Bumper|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai (lakh)||1200000(Approx)||1357034|
Presently, the prices of the Evalia have not been announced. However, Nissan officials have promised us that it would be “a pleasant surprise” when launched. We personally believe that the Nissan Evalia should be priced between Rs.8 lakhs to 11lakhs.
If rightly priced and with great fuel efficiency, this can be an important model for Nissan and help maintain its momentum which is at a high with the Micra and Sunny. The product strategy of Nissan has been revamped. Also, Nissan is eyeing the Renault Duster platform for its own compact SUV. Since the Duster has already bagged so many bookings, Nissan is confident that the compact SUV market is a lucrative investment.