Plush – The Nissan Elgrand

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Plush – The Nissan Elgrand

You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish to figure out that Nissan’s choice of name for its Elgrand MPV has something to do with its size.

This big seven-seater is actually the first model in the large MPV segment to be available here as an official import. Like the Honda Elysion and Toyota Alphard, the Elgrand was something one could only find at a parallel importer’s.

But authorised Nissan distributor Tan Chong Motor Sales is introducing it with an eye on the hospitality industry.

The plan is to market the Elgrand not as a big family MPV but as a mobile business unit or VIP lounge. Tan Chong says that since the Elgrand was first introduced in 2007, it has been popular among top executives and celebrities in Japan and Hong Kong.

The selling point is the spacious interior and flexible seat arrangement, which can be customised (for a price) to suit a particular need.

For an extra $10,000, for example, the VIP Edition will get rear all-round curtains, a premium sound system, additional sound-proofing and a bigger 15-inch LCD entertainment screen. Currently, the monitor that drops down from the roof is only eight inches in size.

The individual seats in the third row will also be turned into massage chairs. And to really persuade hotel and Integrated Resort operators to put down a deposit on an Elgrand with a remodelled interior, Tan Chong can provide the necessary software and hardware for their guests to check-in en route to their properties.

This IT feature is also part of the other personalised option for the Elgrand. At about $30,000, the Mobile Business Edition will have Wi-fi capabilities and three PCs with touch screen LCD monitors – one main monitor on the centre table and two more that can swing out from the side when needed.

A roof-mounted projector screen will also be fitted and the Elgrand cabin can be turned into a conference room since the second row features two individual captain’s seats which will swivel around to face the rear.

It is appropriate then that the Elgrand has a fairly soft suspension, otherwise it may be difficult to take minutes while on the move. Its 2.5-litre V6 engine offers adequate performance for normal driving but otherwise, the two-tonne Elgrand does not allow for jackrabbit starts from the lights.

The car is fairly easy to drive despite its size. The controls are light and manoeuvring it is not much more taxing than driving a big MPV, except that you sit higher.

The cabin is standard Japanese fare – with more than its fare share of plastic – but it works. The interior is cavernous because of the boxy proportions and the twin glass sunroof enhances the feeling of spaciousness.

One cute touch is the extra large cabin lamp. Its glittery glow and dimming function may remind you of a KTV lounge but in a nice way. The Elgrand may not be the epitome of luxury on wheels but you cannot deny that it has a certain charm.

Nissan Elgrand Highway Star

Engine: 2,495cc V6

Transmission: 5-speed auto

Max power: 186 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Max torque: 232 Nm @ 3,200 rpm

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