The NamasteCar review:

Nissan Magnite Turbo XV Premium (O)

₹ 4,99,000 – ₹ 9,35,000

Nissan India breaks the segment norm with the Magnite.

OVERALL POINTS: 85/100


WE LOVE: Looks good, is spacious and also well equipped along with fantastic value, CVT automatic is also a highlight

WE DON’T LOVE: Tech pack should have been standard, no sunroof and hard plastics used inside


1. Introduction

Nissan’s India innings has been seeing a rocky path all this while and there was an urgent need to come up with a product that would provide the much needed volumes to sustain the Indian operations. The Kicks received a lukewarm response and Nissan went back to the drawing board to come up with a product that would have people coming to their showrooms. They picked the compact SUV segment and also did the homework of getting a high amount of localization plus making sure the car has all the features that car-buyers would want along with killer pricing of course. However beyond the competitive pricing, how good is the Magnite and does it live up-to the hype? Read on.

2. Looks from outside

The first glance immediately tells you that the Magnite is an attractive looking SUV. The design is carefully done so as to look like a proper SUV and not like a crossover. It has a broad stance while a lot of sharp lines along with clever surfacing. The front styling is probably the most appealing part where you can see a huge grille which has been given a chrome outline plus the slim headlamps and L shaped DRLs below match well.

There has also been an addition of a skid plate and cladding which gives further toughness to the styling. You also get roof-rails which are functional and elsewhere you see a small fixed rear spoiler along with broad tail-lamps gives the Magnite the look that it is a wide car. The Magnite is roughly the size of other compact SUVs while it also gets 16inch alloys which are diamond cut on the top variants. Nissan has also given many colour options which are matched for a dual-tone effect. The red colour in particular has extra coats for an increased shine and looks really good. Few colour choices are reserved for the top-trims only though. Overall the Magnite gets your attention and looks pleasing from all angles along with the all-important ‘SUV’ look.

3. Driving feel

Nissan has gone without diesel engines in India and hence the Magnite gets a pair of petrol engines only. The Magnite range starts with a 1.0 petrol which makes 70bhp and 96Nm (same as in the Renault Triber) but the one we drove was the turbo petrol and that is the more powerful one with 98bhp and 160Nm (152Nm for the CVT version).

We first drove the turbo petrol with the 5-speed manual with that being the choice for those who enjoy driving. The Magnite starts of well with only some 3 cylinder vibrations but it all settles down with only a faint noise. The NVH or noise vibration harshness in the city at low speeds is quite good.

You also appreciate the visibility while the driving experience is SUV like. The clutch in the manual is on the light side along with the gearshift being relatively easy to slot. In the city there is ample torque in the lower part of the rev range which means downshifts are less needed in stop-go traffic. The turbo engine has little lag.

Out on open roads the Magnite is enjoyable with plenty of power available along with light nature of the car coming in use. You can easily cover large distances and have fun with the car. The manual turbo Magnite then is more fun plus also amongst the most enjoyable compact SUVs.

Then we drove the CVT and here we have to appreciate Nissan that they did not give an AMT or a torque converter auto. It rivals do not offer a CVT and a CVT is actually more suited for city use. At low crawling speeds the gearbox is smooth in its operations and progress is nice and easy. It takes away the pain of city driving yet is fast enough not to feel slow. We also took it to an open private road where the CVT was quick enough with less of the known CVT issues where the engine becomes louder with no real progress in speed. It is less this time in the Magnite CVT and you can also push a small button on the lever to get quicker shift times. Plus you can also put in a mode where the car keeps itself to lower gears only for more performance when you need it.

The suspension was surprising as it has been tuned for a firm set-up which means it is light plus enjoyable to drive quickly along with compactness coming in handy. In the city you do feel a bit of the roads and potholes filtering into the cabin but overall the stability is good and it is not a very soft suspension. The steering is also well directed along with the right blend of lightness. The 205mm ground clearance is also useful in tackling our roads and while it is obviously not an off-roader, the above mentioned healthy ground clearance is better than some rivals. The Magnite has disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear while we felt the brakes were sharp and quick.

4. Interior features and feel

Open the door and the Magnite is easy to get in and out due to the tall height. The version we tested was the top-end and it gets an all black look with quilted seats while the base trims have dual-tone upholstery. The interior is sporty and designed for a youthful look which it does convey. The steering wheel is simple three-spoke one with controls on either side while the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster with a large display is easy to read. The quality is along with class standards while Nissan have also played around the cabin while adding a weave like pattern and silver finish elements. However you do notice some hard plastics being used inside.

You can also configure it to see several displays including the tyre-pressure monitoring system. The screen lay-out changes and the graphics are very cool. Move to the centre and it is a logical design with an 8inch touch-screen with a high quality finish while the air vents are like a Lamborghini Urus! Below the touch-screen are round controls for climate control while there is a place to charge your phone wirelessly. The push button start is located well below though and next to the gear-lever. You will notice plenty of large storage surfaces all over and that is useful.

Back to the touch-screen and it is an 8inch unit but is big enough while the display plus touch-responsiveness is sharp to use. The icons are nicely done too. More importantly it gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which no other compact SUV has. Another highlight has to be the around view monitor which is the USP as it even has a front camera to help you park easily.

Other things we liked included the 6-speaker audio system which has decent sound and quality while the AC cooled down the cabin well. The feature list gets you steering mounted audio and cruise controls, climate control, the around view camera, connectivity option for your smart-phones, tyre-pressure monitoring system, rear ac vents, eco function, 7inch TFT display, LED projector headlamps with DRLs and more. Also as an option, there is the ‘tech pack’ which gets you wireless charging, air purifier, puddle lamps, mood lighting etc. Of this the wireless charging bay is nice and big enough for your smart-phone plus access to it is also easy.

In terms of space the Magnite beats other compact SUVs easily with a much more spacious rear seat with ample legroom and headroom. The Magnite may not be the widest but two very tall passengers can sit easily. The floor is also nearly flat and three can squeeze into the rear seat while the window line is not narrow and gives the cabin an airy feel to it. The boot is also above class standards with 336l and it has 60-40 split seats. We also noted the glove-box to be fairly large and accommodating while the same goes for the door-pockets.

5. Ownership

We drove both the manual turbo petrol and the CVT with the manual being the more efficient car. In the city we saw 13/14 kmpl for the manual while highway figures increased more. That is pretty good while the official figure for the turbo manual is 20kmpl. The CVT delivers 17.7 kmpl with official figures while real-world economy is between 11/12 kmpl.

Nissan also promises low service costs and has initiated a new service called Nissan Service Hub which includes door step service and transparent billing process. It is too new to predict how it would fare in the long run in terms of reliability but the Kicks is fairly bullet proof so we expect the same with the Magnite.

6. Our opinion

“That means the Magnite is a lot cheaper than other compact SUVs and that is the biggest USP of this car. “

Prices for the Magnite start at Rs 4.99 lakh for the 1.0 petrol manual while the top-end 1.0 manual is Rs 7.5 lakh. The Turbo petrol range starts at Rs 6.99 lakh for the base manual while the top-end manual as tested here is Rs 8.5 lakh. The CVT range starts at Rs 7.8 lakh while the car seen here is the top-end which is Rs 9.4 lakh.

That means the Magnite is a lot cheaper than other compact SUVs and that is the biggest USP of this car. It provides greater value and plus you get a proper compact SUV for the price of a premium hatchback. We liked the CVT more as a value proposition though the manual is also good. The Magnite scores in terms of design plus doing well with features and scoring more in terms of space. The CVT is a big plus which rivals do not have also. In short the Magnite is a compact SUV for those on a budget but crucially it feels like a well put together product with not being built to a price.

1.0 NA PETROL1.0

TURBO PETROL

1.0 TURBO CVT PETROL
Exterior Dimensions
Length (mm)3994
Width (mm)1758
Height (mm)1572
Wheelbase (mm)2500
Ground Clearance (mm)205
Boot Space (L)336 (690 rear seats fold)
Fuel Tank Capacity (L)40
Engine
Engine type1.0L Petrol1.0L Turbo Petrol
Displacement (cc)999
Bore x Stroke (mm)71 x 84.172.2 x 81.3
Fuel – Efficiency (km/l)18.752017.7
Max Power (PS @rpm)72 @ 6250100 @ 5000
Max Torque (Nm@rp)96 @ 3500160 @ 2800-3600152 @ 2200-4400
Transmission
Transmission5 MTCVT
Brakes
FrontDisc
RearDrum
Suspension
FrontMac Pherson strut with Lower Transverse link
RearTwin tube telescopic shock absorber
Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

Been in love with cars for as long as I can remember and love writing about them along with driving them of course. Nothing makes me happier than a fast car and an empty road! Favourite Car: Ferrari 458 Speciale Quote: Life's too short to drive boring cars