08 June 2024
2024 Nissan Serena e-POWER Hybrid Review – Serene And Refined

There’s just something special when a well-chosen family vehicle gives you that quiet satisfaction. That’s what the Nissan Serena offers in spades.

MPVs seem to be back in trend, a thankful reprise from the SUV onslaught that has dominated the automotive market in recent years.

Let’s face it, an MPV is just better when it comes to hauling around a large family, and the Nissan Serena proves you can do it both in style and efficiency.

The Nissan Serena tries its best to hide its rear minivan bulk, with a sloping front end that breaks away the otherwise tall roofline. It’s a straightforward, functional aesthetic that keeps it in trend without worrying if someone would complain that they’re driving around in a metal box.

The latest model sports a more understated approach to the ‘V-Motion’ grille. Black and horizontal lines dominate, steering clear of the flashy chrome that once adorned its predecessor.

This MPV might not fit the traditional definition of ‘sexy’, but it exudes a sleekness that’s rare in its category, and doesn’t compromise on the essentials that matter: space, comfort, and efficiency.

Venture inside and you’ll discover a sanctuary of space. The Serena is frankly cavernous, designed for the comfort of every passenger, from the driver to the rearmost rider.

The absence of a sunroof is a shame, but its absence does not dampen the airy and expansive feel inside, thanks to generously sized windows that cocoon you in tranquillity.

This higher Prestige 7-seater configuration is particularly delightful, with the middle-row captain’s chairs sliding out of the way easily to craft 3rd-row pathways. Frankly, you don’t even need to shift these chairs forward to allow ingress for 3rd-row occupants.

My main gripe with the interior is the rather tall position of the driver’s seat. There just wasn’t a natural position for my leg to feel comfortable, and it almost felt that I had to sit properly upright in order to maximise driving comfort.

What really sets the latest Serena apart is its refined cabin architecture. You used to get a bunch of useful cubby compartments in the old model; utilitarian, but otherwise mundane.

With the new model, Nissan has revamped the dashboard, integrating digital screens with just the right amount of physical buttons.

A pair of large screens dominate your immediate view, with a clever mix of haptic panels and physical knobs that allow for intuitive air conditioning control.

Quality isn’t bad either, and you are nicely covered in Nappa leather around the cabin, albeit with the inevitable intrusion of practical plastics closer to the floor.

This biggest party trick the Serena offers is its innovative dual-tailgate system, a standout feature that proves invaluable in cramped urban car parks, allowing access to the boot without the need to swing open the entire gate.

The Nissan Serena is rather unique in its class drivetrain-wise. While you usually see hybrid systems in modern MPVs, the Serena’s e-POWER setup gives it EV-like advantages, while still being able to fill up with petrol.

If you aren’t familiar, the engine doesn’t drive the wheels directly. Instead, it charges the battery that powers the electric motor, making the Serena effectively electric in propulsion.

The new 1.4-litre engine that replaces the older 1.2-litre model offers quicker battery charging and greater overall refinement. The electric motor itself has received a boost too, now delivering an extra 29bhp over its predecessor, which translates to a more robust 161bhp and 315Nm of torque.

This combination enables the car to get off the line with surprising nimbleness, something that belies its boxy silhouette.

Navigating the Serena feels intuitive thanks to the aforementioned elevated driving position and a suspension system that absorbs bumps with grace. Visibility is panoramic, and steering, while light, gains a satisfying weight as you pick up speed.

It’s equipped to handle the rigours of family life, with safety features like Intelligent Cruise Control and Blind Spot Assist adding layers of comfort and security to the drive.

One might think a vehicle of this size would be a challenge to handle, but its comparatively narrow body and short bonnet make it easy to manoeuvre. Plus, Nissan has significantly dialled down the engine drone (a common critique of the past model), ensuring a serene ride even at high engine loads.

Now, onto the perennial question of fuel efficiency. After a robust test run with a funny posse of passengers in tow, the Serena shows off with about 16.2km/litre. That’s pretty decent for a hefty 7-seater; It might not be the top of its class in this regard, but it holds its own.

Now, MPVs might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who value the practicality they offer, the Serena e-POWER presents a compelling case. This latest iteration has been significantly refined from its predecessors, offering a more polished ride, enhanced with all the trappings of a modern family hauler.

And yes, while there are other players in the field, the Serena holds its own with a unique proposition – at least for now.

The sum of its parts makes it a contender worth considering for those needing a dependable, versatile family car.

Technical Specifications

Nissan Serena e-POWER Hybrid

Engine: 1,433cc 3-cylinder in-line DOHC
Powertrain: Front Wheel Drive
Power: 161bhp (Combined)
Torque: 315Nm
Gearbox: Single Speed Reduction Gear (A)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 52 Litres
Fuel Economy: 20.4 km/L (claimed)

Price (All with COE, accurate at the time of this article)

  • S$209,800 (Premium 8-Seater)
  • S$212,800 (Prestige 7-Seater Single Tone)
  • S$214,800 (Prestige 7-Seater Dual Tone)

Contact: Nissan Singapore

Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven

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