Nissan Evalia XV - Performance Review
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Performance Review of Nissan Evalia XV
Last Updated at 03:14 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
The Evalia borrows its engine from the Sunny, feels shortchanged.
Platform sharing reduces costs – and since reducing production cost was of utmost importance for the Evalia, it borrows the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine from the Nissan Sunny, which puts of 85 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. It is a frugal engine, no doubt, but the power and torque output is rather dismal for the people-hauling application that the Evalia will be used for. Nissan has tried its level best to extract as much performance out of this setup as possible. For example, the Evalia is said to have a better low-end torque output for easy drivability in the city – and we can vouch for that. We drove the Evalia on the crowded city streets of Bangalore and the MPV pulled along well even with four people and a trunk-full of luggage on-board.
However, things were significantly different when we took the Evalia for the infamous Nandi hill-climb. Of course, we weren’t gunning to set any benchmarks on the hill-climb; but even if we were, the Evalia probably wouldn’t have been able to set any. If you belong to the age-group that the carmaker is targeting with the Evalia, then you’ll be reminded of the good ol’ Maruti Suzuki Omni and its escapades with hill-climbs – the need to turn of the air-conditioning; or the necessity to carry enough momentum up to a hairpin to avoid stalling; or the last resort, which needed all passengers to get off the car if the gradient was too steep – they all can be applicable to the Evalia too if its running a full house. Not that the Ertiga is any better in this regard, but it underscores the reason why the Innova and the Xylo run larger engines.
But that said, restrict your people-hauling activities to the city environs and the Evalia will impress you. The lightweight construction makes the Evalia almost 200 kg lighter than the Innova and the adequate 1.5-litre mill then manages to return a healthy fuel economy of 19 kmpl (company claimed). The roll-on acceleration too is said to be better than the Toyota vehicle. Add to it the 5.2-meter turning radius and the Evalia becomes a good city-dweller.
The Evalia uses a monocoque chassis unlike the body-on-frame construction of the Xylo and the Innova. Nissan have given it a combination of McPherson struts upfront and leaf springs with dampers at the back, which have been tweaked for the Indian road conditions. The difference of this setup is evident when you make quick lane changes on the highway or drive around bends. The Evalia’s setup feels slightly stiffer when driving around with just a couple of passengers, but with a full house, the ride is more pliant. But thanks to this setup, the Evalia has a significantly lesser body roll as compared to the other MPVs in the sub-15-lakh rupee segment.
The grip around bends is decent even with the tiny rubber that the Evalia runs on. On the uphill run on the Nandi hills, the tyres squealed plenty around the hairpins but not once did they feel skittish. The story could be different on the wet and slippery surfaces though, considering the skinny nature of the tyres. Upon launch, the Evalia will use tyres from MRF and J K Tyre and the latter was the one we tested. Like the Ertiga, Nissan too will offer ABS with EBD as standard equipment on all the variants, but airbags will be available only on the top three.
Overall, the Evalia presents a comfortable ride even with seven people onboard, but the underpowered engine is our only grudge. But if you have a large family and mostly need a seven-seater city car, then the Evalia could prove to be a good choice.
With heavily localised production, Nissan will aim at pricing the Evalia very competitively. However, from what we have experienced, we strongly believe that the Nissan MPV needs to be priced significantly lower than the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga if Nissan wants to really claim a big slice of the pie. But then you also have the Mahindra Xylo which is always ready to bite any new comer with its value-for-money packaging.
As far as competing with Innova is concerned, the Evalia can only aim at attracting the budget conscious buyer; for the kind of buyers looking for a more feature-rich and mechanically superior product – the Innova is still the best option out there as the Evalia appears to be too utilitarian to go up against the market leader.
First Published on 06:49 pm, August 17, 2012