Should Nissan PH bring in the Serena e-Power?

by Anton Andres | Nov 29, 2022
All-new Nissan Serena e-Power
PHOTO: Nissan
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It could be said that the Nissan Kicks e-Power is one of the most significant models to come out here this year. Not only does it serve as Nissan’s baby crossover in the local lineup, it’s been making a significant impression in the EV movement here too. But that got us thinking, what should the next e-Power Nissan model that should come here?

Let’s consider the Nissan Serena

Nissan Serena

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Nissan just released the all-new Serena van in Japan. For some, that might be a familiar name since Nissan Philippines did offer that model for a short time. A few generations passed since it was discontinued here, but we think it deserves a comeback.

Just think about it. The local market is going crazy with MPVs and SUVs, so why not boost the e-Power range with a people carrier? Plus, the next-gen Innova is going hybrid, so why not have another option here, right?

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It’s looks...quite interesting

Nissan Serena e-Power rear

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Nissan is really making the new Serena look as futuristic as possible. One look at that front end and you’ll see the interesting LED layout that surrounds the grille. It looks rakish too thanks to that huge windshield that’s sure to be a hit for visibility. You’ll also see some design elements from more recent Nissan offerings such as the Note subcompact hatchback and the Ariya electric crossover. As for the rest of the van, it's tall, slab-sided flanks are typical of those seen in Japanese Domestic Market models. And here’s something you don’t see in a lot of minivans and MPVs: a split tailgate.

Okay, what about the inside?

Nissan Serena 2023 interior

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The all-new Serena’s interior makes us wish more JDM vans were available here. Like its main rival, the Honda Step WGN (another van we’d love to see here), there’s a blend of form and function on the dashboard.

On the dash top are two sizable screens that serve as the instrument cluster and infotainment system. The second dash top sits a pair of cupholders on each corner. Meanwhile, the center stack houses a large touchpad that houses the climate control system and the push-button gear selector. Of course, there are loads of cubby and storage areas at the front, middle, and rearmost seats. This is a van, after all.

Nissan Serena 2023 seating

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Nissan Serena seating arrangement

But most impressive is the seating flexibility. Sliding second row seats are the norm these days, but the one in the Serena can slide per passenger. That means all three people at the back can adjust their seat just the way they want it. On top of that, the center second-row seat can slide all the way to the front, so you can have three abreast seating at the front and two individual seats at the back.

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Let’s talk about the e-Power

2023 Nissan Serena

Nissan says they put in the second-generation e-Power system in the all-new Serena. Whereas the Kicks relies on a 1.2-liter engine as a generator, the Serena has a larger 1.4-liter instead. It still has three cylinders, but total output rises to 161hp and 315Nm of torque. That’s a huge leap from the 1.2-liter version’s 127hp and 260Nm output. It’ll need that extra power too since the Serena will do family and hauling duties. As for fuel economy, Nissan reckons it can do up to 22.5km/L.

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Of course, there’s also the standard version without e-Power. That one uses a 2.0-liter engine with 148PS and 200Nm of torque. Given the Serena’s purpose, we’d be more inclined to go for the e-Power model because of the extra torque.

Will it come here?

2023 Nissan Serena side view

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As much as we want it to land here, the chances of the Serena e-Power coming to the Philippines are slim. See, vans like these are largely sold in RHD markets. Aside from Japan, we’re more likely to see this one arrive in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. A shame, really, because the local MPV market is stronger than ever.

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PHOTO: Nissan
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