After much anticipation, the all-new Nissan Magnite is finally here for real. And just as we had predicted, its price tag is low enough to scare smaller hatchbacks! In a last-ditch attempt to make its stance, Nissan has introduced the Magnite at an introductory price of Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom). I know that this is just its introductory price, but it is really quite low. So low, in fact, that it makes other sub-compact crossovers seem like they are overpriced. And no, folks… Stop calling this a “compact SUV” because the Magnite is not an SUV. It is unarguably a sub-compact crossover – please keep that in mind. Meanwhile, the Japanese automaker clarified that the introductory price of the Magnite would be applicable till the end of 2020.
The Nissan Magnite will be sold in four separate variants and with two engine & gearbox options. The cheapest option here is the entry-level XE, which comes with a naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a manual gearbox. On the other end, there is the top-end XV Premium, which starts from Rs 7.55 lakh (ex-showroom). Depending on your preference and budget, the all-new Magnite can be had with a turbo-petrol engine and Nissan’s X-tronic CVT gearbox. Of course, there is also the option of a lower-output naturally-aspirated motor and a 5-speed manual gearbox. Nissan dealerships will also offer customers of the Magnite a Technology Package worth just under Rs 40,000.
The package will give you extra features such as external puddle lamps, ambient LED lighting, an air purifier, a wireless charging pad, and an upgraded JBL audio system. Then again, do note that this package is only available on XV trims and above. Speaking of which, the higher trims of the Magnite come with quite a bit of kit. These include 16-inch alloy wheels, full-LED headlamps with LED DRLs and front fog lamps, keyless entry with push-button start, and electrically-adjustable & closing door mirrors. On the inside, there is automatic climate control, cruise control, leather-wrapped multi-functional steering wheel, a fully-digital driver’s display, plus an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Nissan has had to cut costs to ensure the low pricing of the Magnite. For instance, the quality of plastics in this cabin isn’t going to blow your mind. If you think that the Magnite’s cabin is going to feel like an indestructible place, think again. The hard plastics and certain rough edges won’t make you feel upscale or luxurious. On the other hand, the Lamborghini-style air vents, dual digital screens, and a 360-degree camera system might make you feel better. But when you think about the money you saved by not buying its more expensive rivals, the Nissan Magnite’s cabin will feel pretty special.
As mentioned earlier, the Nissan Magnite comes with a petrol engine under the hood. Also, this 1.0-liter motor can be had with or without a turbocharger. In its natural guise, this three-cylinder engine produces a mere 71hp and 96Nm of torque. However, a punchier Nissan-Renault co-developed HRA0 turbo-petrol engine is also on offer here. And it churns out a more noticeable 98hp and 160Nm. Then again, it is never going to blow your mind in terms of its performance. However, it suits an ‘SUV-like’ car such this over the gutless naturally-aspirated motor. Considering its affordable price tag, the Nissan Magnite comes with decent safety features. For example, you can get equipment such as dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), and Traction Control System (TCS).
The Magnite’s nearest Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza rival costs around Rs 2.30 lakh more, while the cheapest Kia Sonet is about Rs 1.70 lakh costlier. Even at the high-end, this Nissan is far more affordable than its well-established competitors. For example, the top-spec Magnite XV Premium costs Rs 9.45 lakh. Meanwhile, its equivalent Vitara Brezza or Sonet rivals cost Rs 11.15 lakh and Rs 12.89 lakh, respectively.
So as you can see, if you are on a stringent budget, the Nissan Magnite will seem like a great value proposition. If you are fine with stretching your budget, there are several cars in this segment vying for your attention. Some of these include the Hyundai Venue and Mahindra XUV300 – the latter even scored a perfect 5-star safety rating at Global NCAP.