By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
What’s the best-selling minivan in Japan? According to Nissan, it’s the midsize Serena*. Since its introduction in 1991, Nissan has sold nearly 2 million units of this popular people and cargo mover. Serena was the first Nissan to offer the ProPilot driving assistance system. It also serves up e-Power hybrid and 4WD versions. Now, Nissan has introduced refreshed models of the Serena at its dealers across Japan.
Serena gains a bolder look, sporting Nissan’s signature double V-motion front fascia with a wide chrome grille. Flagship Highway Star models receive the most aggressive appearance and can be dressed with new Sunrise Orange paint and a Diamond Black two-tone roof. Refreshed rear styling includes new taillights and trim elements.
New intelligent safety technologies making their debut on Serena include an Adaptive LED Headlight system, a Nissan first. Said to automatically detect vehicles via a forward-facing camera, each of the 12 LEDs in the headlight unit can be individually deactivated to help reduce brightness and glare for other drivers.
Additional safety features include Intelligent Emergency Braking, Road Sign Detection, Emergency Assist for Pedal Misapplication, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
Inside, Serena offers seating for seven or eight passengers, depending on the model and trim level. The instrument panel has been redesigned for ease of use while seats gain new trim choices. Hands-free sliding side doors also make their debut, offering convenient activation by simply waving a foot under the door.
Seats can be reconfigured in different ways to carry bulky cargo and long items inside the van, like a pair of surfboards. The flexible cargo space can be increased by folding the third-row seats up and out of the way.
Customers can select a wide variety of accessories from Autech to dress up and personalize their rides. The list includes exterior and interior upgrades along with high-tech multimedia and infotainment systems.
Gas-powered Serena models feature a 2.0-liter MR20DD engine, or MR20DD-SM24 for S-Hybrid. The e-Power system offers electric drive power along with a small range-extender gas engine that charges the battery pack.
Serena base prices in Japan start at ¥2,399,760 (about US$22,600) for the 8-passenger 2WD B version, topping out at ¥3,657,960 (about US$34,400) for the e-Power Highway Star G. Serena is built at Nissan Motor Kyushu Co. Ltd.
For more information visit the Nissan consumer website in Japan
Note: Prices, features and specifications for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice. Prices do not include insurance premiums, other taxes and costs related to vehicle registration in Japan.
* Top-selling minivan in Japan for fiscal year 2018
News sources and photos courtesy of Nissan Motor Corp. and Autech Japan, Inc.
Story (commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com