Nissan Magnite is the brand’s smallest SUV for emerging markets
Emerging markets like India love small vehicles, given the tax benefits provided to cars shorter than 4 metres. Thus the “Compact SUV” market in India is flooded with pint-sized SUVs like the Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. Now, Nissan has jumped into this segment with the Nissan Magnite, the brand’s smallest SUV.
The Nissan Magnite has quite an imposing face yet it bears resemblance to the even tinier Datsun Redi-Go hatchback launched in the same market some time ago. This is because the Magnite was first supposed to be sold under the Datsun brand but given the imminent demise of the revived brand, the Magnite had to jump ship and come out as a Nissan. The design is bold for its size with a massive grill, sharp LED headlamps and large LED DRLs. The silhouette is almost upright helping the Magnite mask its diminutive size to some extent.
But do not let the small size fool you. Nissan promises segment-leading knee-room at the rear of the Magnite. The tiny SUV also offers a generous 336-litre cargo space as well. The interior is also well laid out, with Lamborghini Urus-like hexagonal air vents.
The Nissan Magnite comes loaded with a healthy tech list. There is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system kitted with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay and a 360-degree camera. There are JBL speakers to stream music through, while you charge your phone using the Magnite’s wireless charger. There is a 7-inch instrument cluster display too.
Under the hood, the petite size of the Magnite becomes evident. It gets two different engine options, both 1.0-litre units. The base models are powered by a naturally aspirated unit that produces just 72 hp. The top trims are fitted with a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine which sends 95 hp sent to the front wheels. The gearbox options include a manual or a CVT.
The Nissan Magnite will go on sale in India beginning next year where it is expected to breathe some life into the brand’s local operations which are almost on its death bed now. The Magnite may be shipped to some other emerging markets as well but given the Middle East’s lack of appetite towards something this small, it may not make it to our shores at all.