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Nissan to refresh Evalia, hopes to invigorate flagging sales

Team OD  | Updated: July 22, 2013, 04:57 PM IST

The Nissan Evalia has had a rather forgettable run so far in India. And that's surprising considering it's a vehicle that is well accepted in foreign markets – New York has actually chosen it to be the official NY cab. Unfortunately it never picked up in our market. While the Ertiga and Innova were both regularly moving over four thousand units every month the Evalia could only manage about 200. In fact the figure dropped to 117 in May and no cars were produced in the same period.

2012 Evalia image used as a reference2012 Evalia image used as a reference

When you analyse the situation it comes down to two basic things – looks and comfort. Price was not the main issue with the top Evalia being Rs 2 lakh cheaper than the similarly-specced Innova. The problem with the design is that the Evalia looks too much like a van. The utilitarian appearance thanks to the tall slab sided profile and awkward rear never appealed to the more family oriented customers. Then there's the issue with comfort – the Evalia is generously spacious but there are some flaws. For example the middle row doesn't get an option of captain seats and it doesn't get an AC vent while the third row does. However the biggest complaint has to be the windows for the second row that only crack open outwards by about an inch. Not a very good thing for families or taxi customers as car sick rear passengers can be a rather nasty experience in this Nissan.

Nissan recognizes that they have a problem on their hands which is why the Evalia is due for a refresh not even a year after it went on sale. The changes are aimed directly at the Evalia's woes. First off the company will be offering sliding windows for the middle row. The middle row will also get the choice of captain seats and we hear better materials will be used for the fabric and cushioning. There's a good possibility of AC vents being added for middle row occupants. We'd like to see an upgraded sound system with inbuilt GPS navigation. Nissan is evaluating the cost effectiveness of offering an electric sliding door for the top variant as well. We expect a few tweaks to the exteriors, mainly at the rear end to liven things up a bit. Spy images of test vehicles indicate a rear wash wiper will now be available.

The new Evalia can be expected around Diwali and we expect these improvements to come without any increase in price. Nissan hopes these changes will give their MUV a much needed shot in the arm and gives it more of a fighting chance against the competition from Maruti, Chevrolet and Toyota.

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