When shopping for a family MPV, the biggest deciding factor should be the availability power sliding doors, as this feature is a blessing for parents with young kids.
The Nissan Serena S-Hybrid is the only sub-RM150k MPV to offer this feature.
How Much Is It?
Two variants of the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid are available in Malaysia- 2.0 Highway Star and 2.0 Premium Highway Star, priced from RM 131,888 and RM 141,888, respectively. Opting for the two-tone variant of the Serena increases the selling price to RM 143,888.
It occupies a segment that was shared with the Mazda Biante, but that has since been discontinued. The other MPV that is comparable to the Serena is the Toyota Innova, which lacks the practicality of the power sliding doors.
As mentioned earlier, the current generation Nissan Serena addresses one of the biggest shortcomings of the predecessor model – the airbag count.
The previous C26-generation was fitted with only 2 airbags, an abysmal amount for a family MPV.
Other equipment include a 6.75-inch Clarion touchscreen head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, 7-inch full colour multi-info display, 7 USB ports, 6 airbags, Intelligent Around View Monitor (i-AVM), and Intelligent Moving Object Detection (i-MOD).
Crucially, what separates the Serena from the Innova is the inclusion of powered sliding doors on each side.
The more expensive 2.0 Premium Highway Star adds a driving video recorder (DVR), 10.1-inch roof-mounted LCD panel, ‘tech-on’ tray mat, LED room lights, and 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels.
Pros and Cons
One aspect where the Nissan Serena outperform the Toyota Innova is ride comfort levels.
Taller, truck-based MPVs like the Toyota Innova have a tendency of being bumpy through rougher roads. Instead, the Nissan Serena utilizes a monocoque construction, allowing for car-like comfort levels.
Furthermore, the Nissan Serena’s low ride height means that ingress and egress is easier than other MPVs.
Adding to the practicality aspect of the Serena is its dual-opening tailgate – the only MPV to offer such a feature. The dual-opening tailgate makes it a breeze to load and unload items from the rear of the Serena without opening the large tailgate.
With a total of 7 USB charging ports, the Nissan Serena is well suited for families with a lot of digital devices.
While the safety aspect of the Serena has vastly improved over the predecessor model, we would love to see the inclusion of ADAS features on the Serena, something much cheaper cars already offer.
Although the Nissan Serena is marketed as a 7-seater family MPV, the third-row seats are better suited for 2, as it can get tight back there.