The Nissan Grand Livina has been facelifted about a year ago, we have tested the Grand Livina 1.6 Tuned By Impul in manual transmission last year. About a month ago during a usual traffic jam session in Kuala Lumpur, the car beside my car was a Nissan Grand Livina 1.8 and because of that car, it triggered my curiosity about the ride of the Grand Livina 1.8 auto without the Impul sports suspension, 17-inch Impul wheels and Impul high flow sports exhaust muffler.
About two weeks ago, I managed to pick up the standard variant of Nissan Grand Livina 1.8 with only Impul body kit. Probably you have known that the facelift model now come with black colour interior which more contemporary in look and feel, which I am very happy with it. Please note that the car in the following photo gallery, it comes with a set of optional brown colour leather seats instead of the standard black colour fabric. Besides, the Grand Livina now come with wing mirror-mounted LED side indicators and redesigned front grilles. As usual, the 1.8 model come with fully chrome door handles and wood panels.
The Grand Livina 1.8 is pretty much similar to the Grand Livina 1.6 (manual) Tuned By Impul that we reviewed last year except the engine. Both come with white-faced instruments cluster which appeal to be sportier like the Honda Civic EG6/9 in the good old days. The audio headunit also comes with auxiliary input which compatible to all MP3 players in the market.
On the technical aspect, there is no change from the pre-facelift model on the engine and gearbox. For the 1.8 variant, it is using the same all-aluminium MR18DE 1.8-litre petrol engine that outputs 93kW/126ps @ 5,200rpm with max torque of 174Nm @ 4,800rpm. Frankly, the fuel efficiency of the Grand Livina 1.8 with 4-speed auto was not as great as the 1.6 with 5-speed manual that we tested previously especially driving in the city with traffic. However, I can feel the vehicle is more torquey and responsive though it is mated with auto transmission than the 1.6 manual. It will not have much performance concern for this car to ferry 7 passengers with its spacious yet practical design. The drivability of this car just like an ordinary sedan and the electric power steering (EPS) with 5.2m turning radius eases the driver to maneuvering the car in almost any road condition.
The crucial part of this car was the missing goodies from the Impul though it comes with Impul body kit. Without the Impul sport suspension and 17-inch Impul wheels with low profile tyres, eventually the ride is softer with more body roll even though it is improved. The standard 1.8 variant is fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels and wrapped with 185/65 R15 tyres. Most likely, the Grand Livina Tuned By Impul has previously spoilt me with its performance pack and drivability. Based on my experience and comparison on the same car, the handling of car is way better with 17-inch wheels and wider tyres. However, this is subjective to driver’s preference as my whole life has been living with cars that come with more solid suspension setup. That could be the reason why I never like the ride of the standard Toyota Camry at very beginning.
The noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) of the Grand Livina 1.8 Auto is considered fine at its class. Of course, without the high flow sport exhaust muffler the car is even quieter. However, I personally wish that this car will have an auto climate (instead of manual switches) and a built-in head unit with DVD playback and reverse camera. Overall, the Nissan Grand Livina 1.8 is still one of the reputable 7-seater MPV in terms of quality and pricing in Malaysia.
The Nissan Grand Livina 1.8 Auto is retailing at RM 98,815.30 on-the-road with insurance in Peninsular Malaysia. The car also comes with a standard 3-year or 100,000km warranty. If you are looking for a 7-seater compact MPV, why not check out the Grand Livina yourself before you decide.
Photo Gallery: 2011 Nissan Grand Livina 1.8 Auto Malaysia