Nissan Evalia XV - User Experience Review
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User Experience Review of Nissan Evalia XV
Last Updated at 11:59 am, May 20, 2013Rating :
The Evalia’s interiors are bland and look utilitarian as compared to the competition around.
Nissan clearly states that the Evalia isn’t your regular MPV and is instead something that they like to call ‘Urban Class Utility Vehicle’ – which still translates into a regular MPV, but with some better quality interiors and creature comforts. The large front doors and the sliding rear doors make ingress and egress easy for all three rows and also remind you that the Evalia is a van after all, but get inside and you’ll get a hint of what Nissan wants to convey. You have a two-tone layout for the dashboard, fabric upholstery for the seats, a full colour display where you least expect it, a double-DIN audio system and lots of cubby holes here are there. Let’s talk about the details then.
The dashboard is made up of scratchy plastics that are finished in two shades of grey. The dashboard isn’t too deep and the windshield is quite upright, so the greys do not reflect in the glass and hamper visibility. The A-pillars are relatively fat but the quarter glass windows give you a quick peek when turning around kerbs and medians. The dashboard layout is quite simple with flat lines and enough depth to hold your fancy toys and idols. The Evalia gets the round A/C vents from the Micra, which are mounted at either ends of the dash. Both the vents also have cup-holders under them and these are the cubbyhole type – which are more durable than the pop-out, tray-type cup holder that you get in the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. There is a glove compartment too, but for some odd reason, it isn’t covered.
The centre console is simplistic too. It has a crevice on top for stowing away small items. The silver-finish of the console is similar to what you find in the new Innova, but the Evalia has a much simpler audio-system layout. While the entry-level variants get a single-DIN music player, the top end versions will get a double-DIN unit. Since these aren’t integrated systems, you can easily replace them with an audio head-unit of your choice. Flanking the audio system are the central A/C vents that have a boxy, vertical design. Below the audio system sit the run-of-the-mill HVAC knobs. The Evalia doesn’t get climate control on any of the variants.
The centre console extends further downward with the console mounted gear-shifter. If you are upgrading to the Evalia from a Hyundai i10, you’ll feel at home, but for anyone else, the gear stick needs getting used to due to its unconventional positioning. During my test, a number of times I may have seemed like a blind man to the passengers, since my left hand subconsciously went all the way to floor looking for the gear shifter. The shifter knob itself looks like it came from an old school-bus and same is the case with the switches on the dashboard – the hazards, door locks, rear-A/C, headlamp beam adjustment, mirror adjustment – they all have knobs that look 20th century!
The rear view mirror doesn’t even get a manual dimmer, forget the electro-chromatic type But don’t write off the Evalia for these utilitarian bits just yet – because there are some funky things that Nissan has provided – like the instrumentation for example. It is divided into three sections – a large round clock in the centre and two trapezoidal units on either end. The left-most unit is where all the telltale lights sit and is therefore blank for most of the time, unless your car has something that these lights want to warn you about. The round clock has the speedometer and push-button/roller sticks for activating the follow-me-home-headlights (standard on all variants, saves costs), adjusting the intensity of the instrumentation backlight and cycling through the various read-outs on the multi-information display (MID). The right-most unit is the funky and colourful MID, which has full-screen readouts for the trip computer, fuel economy calculator and wait for it – a digital tachometer – who but a PlayStation loving carmaker like Nissan would have thought of an interface like that! That is not all, slot the gear into reverse and you have a necessarily helpful reverse camera feeding data to this colour display – take that, Ertiga.
The steering wheel comes from the Micra too, but because the Evalia doesn’t have an integrated audio system, there are no steering mounted controls for the music or the phone. The steering wheel is raked quite sharply and no matter what adjustments you try, it still feels like a typical van’s and no where close to that of a car. The ergonomics on the driver’s side aren’t bad though. However, I would have liked a slightly larger seat. Speaking of which, the front seats of the Evalia do feel tiny and the lack of arm-rests highlights this fact further.
The story is similar for the second and third rows too. While there is barely enough shoulder, knee and headroom for three plus two adults, the under thigh support and the foot space is negligible – which means you have limited space to stretch your legs. The middle row doesn’t have adjustable reach either and the backrest has limited recline which makes us doubt the level of comfort that the Evalia will offer over a long distance. Add to it the fact that only the front row windows can be rolled down, and those sitting in the second and third rows could feel stuffy and claustrophobic.
Since the Evalia has a front-wheel-drive mechanism and a relatively compact suspension, the floor is flat throughout the vehicle and therefore frees up space for the passengers as well as their luggage. With all the seats up, you can easily stash a couple of suitcases and backpacks. Hang up the last row though and you can stash 11 full-size suitcases is what Nissan claims. Now the number of suitcases / backpacks should generally be directly proportional to the number of people traveling, but with that sort of space, the Evalia can also be a good backup car if your entire family decides to go on a road trip.
And then there are the additional storage spaces throughout the car. The Evalia offers more cup-holders than the number of passengers it carriers. There is a decent amount of space available between the front seats and for the third row as well. The air-conditioning vents are only available for the first and third row with separate cooling coils at both ends and expectedly, the cabin is cooled in jiffy.
So all said and done, the Evalia may not be the most feature-rich vehicle in its segment, but it has enough space to brag about. The drab and utilitarian design may not bother the uninitiated soul who is purely looking for a MPV, but with the kind of benchmarks that are present in the market (and in their own portfolio), Nissan could have done a better job with the Evalia.
First Published on 03:39 pm, August 13, 2012