The features that make the Nissan’s Magite tick

Attention to stylistic detail are the highlights of Nissan’s Magnite, which will have to hold its own in the compact SUV segment

Nissan’s make-or-break product in India — the Magnite — is a compact SUV which has the tough task of making a name for itself in a crowded segment.

The car looks quite substantial; its well-crafted contours on the bonnet add mass to the front end, and the headlights peel back towards the pillars. The skid plate runs the width of the bumper and gives the Magnite ample SUV cred. The smartly detailed octagonal grille up front is the focal point.

The Magnite’s side profile is more crossover than upright SUV but there are plenty of nice details. The 16-inch machined alloy wheels look premium, the chunky cladding around the wheel arches and at the base of the doors is also a nice touch besides the roof rails that can hold up to 50 kilograms of load. The tail-lights enhance the SUV’s visual width and the roof spoiler is nicely integrated into the SUV’s lines. Nissan has done well to add cladding lower down on the rear bumper to bring more personality to the tail end of the car, but wider tyres could have helped its stance.

Fully screened

Inside, the dashboard has its share of stylistic flourishes like the storage recess at the base of the centre console and a phone bay with wireless charging. The real talking points are the screens inside the cabin. The smallest of these are set within the air-con controls and act as readouts for temperature, fan speed and air flow position; the largest is an 8.0-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The touchscreen features segment-first wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The most interesting screen, however, is the 7.0-inch TFT unit at the instrument console. Bright and easy to read, it welcomes you with a neatly done animation. There are smart graphics for the tyre pressure monitoring system too. The Magnite also gets an air purifier, puddle lamps, ambient mood lighting and a six-speaker audio system. On the safety front, there is ABS with EBD while dual airbags and rear parking sensors will be standard fit across the range.

The front seats offer good support and visibility. The big surprise is space at the back. Ingress is easy, thanks to a relatively large door aperture. There is more than ample head and knee room for six-footers. The seats are well padded and offer good thigh support. Adjustable rear headrests, rear air-con vents and a 12V charging socket are other amenities at the back.

There will be two engines on offer. The range will start with a 72hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine that will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine of greater interest will be the new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that makes its India début on the Magnite; it is expected to make around 95hp, and will come mated to a manual gearbox as standard.

Bookings for the Magnite will likely commence towards the end of 2020, with a launch expected at the start of 2021. The Magnite’s range is estimated to start at ₹5.3 lakh (ex-showroom) with the fully loaded Turbo CVT version expected to cost ₹7.5 lakh. While it leaves a good first impression, we will wait to drive the Magnite before forming an opinion.

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