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Ownership review: My Nissan Magnite Turbo XL

Our criteria was choosing a good spacious, peppy and efficient family car which we would take out for occasional trips around West Bengal and Odisha (my in laws place).

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This is Abhirup, a communication professional based in Kolkata. This is an ownership report of our new member in the family - a Nissan Magnite Turbo XL fondly named as "White Beauty".

Likes & Dislikes

Likes

  • Beautiful looks (our Magnite grabs eyeballs wherever it goes.. so much so that my neighbour who owns a Mercedes Benz GLC 220D regularly peeps into my Magnite)
  • Superbly Value for Money
  • Very spacious cabin
  • Well equipped for its price - base model XE has rear wash & wipe, rear spoiler; XL model has auto climate control, power folding mirrors, steering mounted audio controls,
  • Very peppy and efficient turbo petrol engine
  • High ground clearance
  • 16 inch tyres
  • Turbo variants get additional features like VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Stability Control), Hill Start Assist, Traction Control System (TCS), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), ISOFIX seats, rear armrest with cellphone holder (in XL Turbo), 60:40 split seats
  • Good quality OEM Music system (4 speakers + 2 Tweeters) compared to some rivals
  • Well weighted steering & good suspension

Dislikes

  • Driver seat height adjustment lever is not present in XL model
  • Dashboard is set a bit too high which is difficult for a person of average height (I am using two cushions while driving, my height is 5.6 feet)
  • C Pillar is a bit wide which affects rear visibility a bit
  • Clutch is not light rather its bit deep, one gets used to it while driving regularly
  • Boot space is a bit less compared to competitors
  • The rear antennae height is non adjustable
  • Nissan should introduce more colour options atleast for Turbo XL variant owners as we are paying more than Magnite XV Non Turbo variant
  • No foglamps or DRLs are part of official accessories
  • No rear AC vents for Turbo XL variant

Buying decision

We were a family of 3 and we became a family of 4 very recently after I got married in March 2021. Since 2020, I was on the lookout for buying my first new car and I fixed a budget of 7.50 lakhs on road. We already have a 2008 Maruti Alto Celebration LXI model which has clocked 1.30 lakh km and still going strong. I, along with my father, narrowed down upon the following cars which suited to our budget:

  • Maruti Swift VXI
  • Maruti Dzire VXI
  • Renault Triber RXT
  • Nissan Magnite XL NA (wild card entry)

Our criteria was choosing a good spacious, peppy and efficient family car which we would take out for occasional trips around West Bengal and Odisha (my in laws place).

Maruti Swift VXI

We liked the Maruti Swift due to its peppy engine and affordable price. However, it was ruled out because I no longer wanted another hatchback and the rear seat area felt a bit claustrophobic due to the small windows.

Due to covid 19 restrictions, most dealerships weren't providing test drive at home and therefore we waited. In end December 2020, I contacted a known Maruti Suzuki Arena dealer and he confirmed that on 9th January 2021 which was a Saturday, the sales person would bring the TD vehicle to my home.

Maruti Dzire 2020 Facelift

On 9th January, the sales representative brought a new Swift Dzire VXI model for a test drive. (Still dont know how he managed to get a Dzire VXI car for test drive as all test drive vehicles are top models for all brands, might have been a car from dealer stock).

The Maruti Dzire was my first choice since it was a very reliable product from MSIL. The facelifted Dzire looks really good and interiors are top class. The all new K12 N Dual Jet engine from Baleno is super silent and very peppy. Took the car for a test drive of 6 kms over broken roads, smooth patch of roads. The car handled them well but the low ground clearance with total 4 passengers and a driver on board, while negotiating two huge bumps scraped the car's bottom. Plus my aging parents found that the car wasn't that spacious with a third person in the rear seat and there was very less knee room. And the sales person of the showroom wasnt so friendly and behaved as if he was doing a favour to us by selling the Dzire. Waiting period for Dzire VXi model in Jan- Feb 2021 was a minimum 3- 4 months in Kolkata. So the Dzire was ruled out.

Renault Triber

During my contact with the Maruti dealer, I was also speaking with the Renault dealer in Kolkata for a possible test drive of the Triber. In the meantime, I searched and read all information on Renault Triber including Team-BHP official review, ownership reviews which really helped me a lot about understanding the product.

On 16th February 2021 Saturday, we saw a Renault Triber RXT TD vehicle in blue shade. All of us really liked the look of the car. It looks so European and looks like a small European minivan. We sat in the car and just loved the enormous space. Kudos to Renault India for bringing out so much space from a 4 meter MPV like Triber. I started the car and 3 cylinder engine came to life. One thing I noticed is that the car started shaking when the engine came to life and the rear silencer pipe was shaking tremendously in the TD car. Nevertheless, took out the car for a spin and switched on the AC. After test driving the Dzire, the Triber felt that its built to a cost. The car pulled but I found the driver's seat not that comfortable, the clutch was hard and while going over a flyover with 4 passengers and AC on the car started to feel underpowered. (Off topic- I still wonder why Renault doesn't give the Magnite's turbo engine in Triber. Then it would be a very spirited performer.)

We checked out the third row in Triber and it was very spacious. The salesperson was very polite and explained the finance offers. The waiting period for Triber RXT in Kolkata in January 2021 was around 2- 2.5 months. The colour options were good and after having discussion with my parents and my soon to be wife, we narrowed down to Triber RXT.

Nissan Magnite

In the meantime, I was regularly in touch with a friend of mine who is into the auto journalism field and updated him about my test drive experiences of Dzire and Triber. At this point in time, I was also following Nissan which had just launched its most awaited compact SUV, Nissan Magnite in December 2020. My friend told me to test drive the new Nissan Magnite atleast once since it is good VFM alternative.

So, I decided to contact the sole Nissan dealer in Kolkata- Autorelli Nissan. Initially I was a bit skeptical about Nissan since no one in our family or close friends owned any Nissan car. However, two of our neighbors owned Nissan Terrano and they were quite happy with their cars. On 24th January, again a Saturday, Rajesh, a very helpful and polite sales executive from Autorelli Nissan came to my house with a Sandstone coloured Magnite XV Premium Non Turbo TD vehicle.

One look on the Magnite and 3 of us fell in love with it. It looks so much more premium and beautiful. All of us sat inside the car and I cranked the engine. Though it shared the same engine with that of Triber, I noticed that the Magnite Non Turbo variant was better insulated than Triber. The car wasn't shaking that much and the interiors were so spacious. I test drove the car over broken roads and also over some smooth tarmac. The Magnite didn't feel underpowered and pulled off quite smoothly compared to Triber. We were 4 passengers in the Magnite and it was performing quite well. No effect of load on engine or AC. I noticed that the car had a better suspension set up as it was taking the potholes effortlessly and the SUV like feeling made you feel like king of the road. My parents really liked the spacious interiors. I instantly decided that I will buy Magnite. Rajesh shared the brochure and explained the finance options since I was going to take car loan.

I decided to purchase the car in May 2021 and decided to book the vehicle in March - April end. Rajesh told me to book the vehicle beforehand since the car already had waiting periods.

In the meanwhile, my marriage was fixed with my girlfriend all of a sudden after matching our kundalis as the main family priest said that marriage has be done before 10th March 2021 as the auspicious time ends on the that day, else we would have to wait till April 2022.

I got married on 10th March 2021 . After marriage, I decided about buying the new car. My wife already knew about my choice of going for Nissan Magnite Non Turbo model. After looking at the funds, we decided to go for Nissan Magnite Non Turbo XL model as it fitted our budget perfectly and had all the features one would need.

In late March, there were news reports that Nissan was set to increase prices of Magnite and other products. I decided that I have to act now or never to beat the price increase.

I called up Rajesh and informed him that on 29th March, I am coming to book the vehicle. In the meanwhile, Rajesh told me to atleast experience the turbo petrol variant of Magnite. Initially, I wasn’t so much inclined towards the turbo petrol variant since it was beyond my budget. So the next day all of us went to Autorelli showroom and I test drove the turbo petrol Magnite. I was floored with the pickup and acceleration. The Non turbo was nowhere close to it in terms of outright performance. I spoke with my father and wife and asked about their opinion. They also loved the spirited pick up of the Turbo variant. Rajesh informed us that the waiting periods for Magnite XL Non Turbo models were 4- 5 months and there was only 1 month waiting period for the Turbo models. The on-road price difference between the two models was Rs 1.30 Lakhs. In EMI, it translated to an increase of Rs 1500 over the EMI for Magnite XL model. Since I opted for the Nissan Gold Care Maintenance Pack of 5 yrs, the final on-road price of Nissan Magnite Turbo XL in Kolkata was Rs 8.38 Lakhs. I again spoke with my father and wife and all of us decided to go for the Turbo petrol model. Rajesh told us to choose the colour and we decided to choose Storm White. Luckily, he informed that an owner had cancelled his booking of a Turbo XL model (which was coincidentally White in colour) and the car was already in transit.

We were overjoyed and went for paying the down payment and loan processing at SBI Bank was done by Autorelli. The SBI Branch Manager, Ms. Monika, was very helpful and immediately started the process. My loan was approved in 2 days time and Autorelli Nissan got the loan amount disbursed to their accounts on 31st March 2021. Rajesh promised me that the car will reach dealership in 3 days and I will get delivery by 10th April 2021.

There is an old saying “Man proposes, God disposes”. Eventually, the car carrier reached Kolkata late and our car came to the dealer stockyard on 8th April 2021. Rajesh, our sales executive called me to say that due to Election time in West Bengal, most of the RTO officials were busy with election duties and as a result normal vehicle registration process would take 2-3 weeks’ time due to shortage of staff. However, he said that if I choose a fancy registration number, it will be done in half a day’s time. I asked for the charges and he said its Rs 1040 only. And we therefore decided to go for a fancy number. In the meanwhile, the sales person shared the chassis number and engine number of our car and said that it was manufactured in March 2021. I decided to double check it and decoded the VIN following Team-BHP VIN decoding list. It was made on 4th March 2021. On 11th April, Sunday afternoon, I went to the dealership and did a thorough PDI of the vehicle for more than an hour following Team-BHP’s PDI checklist. This was the first time I got a glimpse of our White Beauty. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep that night.

On 12th April, Monday, all 4 of us reached the showroom at around 4.30pm. The car arrived at the dealership. The car was fully cleaned and since I opted for the basic accessories kit (Rs 2499), Nissan branded mats were provided along with a small idol of Ganesha for which I paid. A cake cutting ceremony and photo session was held and then I was handed over the car keys. My joy knew no bounds. The sales representative explained all the features. As per Team-BHP suggestion, carried a small gift for the sales representative as a token of thanks. After taking it out from the showroom, went to the petrol pump to fill a tankful of petrol. The drive home was a good one and my wife and parents praised the comfort of the car and enormous amount of space. I was carefully driving the new car through evening traffic. I noticed that the Magnite was already grabbing eyeballs from other motorists on the road. We reached home safely and parked our White Beauty and thus a long day came to an end.

And guess what, our Magnite Turbo was the first Magnite in whole of Narendrapur area in Kolkata which was confirmed by our dealer at the time of delivery.

Our Alto LXi Celebration Edition along with our White Beauty - Nissan Magnite Turbo XL.

Glimpse of White Beauty.

Interior pic of White Beauty.

The statutory puja of our White Beauty was held next day at home. Pics after Puja.

Ownership Experience

Due to covid-19 regulations, I couldn't take out the car for longer drives and with the onset of stricter norms, White Beauty spent most of her days in the garage.

Engine & Performance

The HRAODET 1.0 turbo petrol engine in Magnite is quite a spirited performer. The same engine is shared with many Renault/Nissan products abroad.

As adviced, while starting the car from the garage, I always follow the idling period procedure before taking the car out. The car doesn't knock or feel underpowered when it reverses but many Non Turbo Magnite owners have said that they feel its sluggish when their car's reverse gears are engaged. The Turbo in Magnite kicks in at around 1800 rpm and it pulls really well. The 5 speed manual gearbox is smooth to use and gear slots in well. The clutch has a deep travel but its not hard. One needs to get used to it while driving. After owing an Alto, I have noticed that one needs a bit of time to get used to driving a turbo petrol engine car and the pickup / pulling power is adequate. Another thing that I have noticed is that Magnite Turbo doesn't stall, I have pulled it once at 2nd gear from 15 kms in traffic and car didn't stall.

Fuel efficiency: City & Highway

In these 3.5 months of ownership, I have seen that as a typical turbo petrol characteristics, the car is sensitive to throttle inputs. If the car is driven a bit hard, it affects the fuel efficiency. The lowest efficiency which I have seen showing on the MID when pulled a bit hard is 7.8 kmpl, and with a light tap on the accelerator, the same car shows 25- 30 kmpl at speeds of 45-65kmph (all with 100% AC on).

MID showing 30.kmpl at speeds of 45kmph with AC on.

During our recent trip, and light tap on accelerator, the car gave an overall fuel efficiency of 18 kmpl with 100% AC on. Calculated via tankful method. In the city, the car gives a mileage of around 12 - 13.5 kmpl and in the highway it gives above 17 kmpl with AC on always.

View from Driver's Seat

Coming from an Alto, the driving position in the Magnite is quite commanding and makes one feel king of the road thanks to Magnite's considerable height. But with lack of height adjustable seats in XL model, I have to use two cushions to get a view of the road and bonnet of the car as the dashboard is set a bit high and people with short and average height would find it a bit difficult. All the controls in the car can be reached easily from the driver's seat and not one of them seems to be out of place.

Overall build quality, fit & finish, paint quality & panel gaps

The build quality of Magnite is quite strong. The doors dont have that European thud sound while closing but much better than some of the other Japanese rivals. The bonnet of the Magnite is very heavy when lifted and it is very heavy if one tries to lift it with only one hand. The boot door gives a solid thud sound when it is closed.

The Magnite XE, XL and XV variants come with dual tone dashboard and dual tone door pads compared to the fully black dashboard which are found in Magnite XV Premium variants. I find the dual tone dashboard better in terms of visual appeal and makes the cabin a bit bigger in comparison to the all black dashboard & door trims found in XV Premium models.

The Magnite's plastic quality is basically a mix bag sort of thing. While some plastics especially on top of the dashboard are good while other plastics in lower part of the dashboard, doors are average.

ACC switches with smart LED display units and switches for hazard warning lamps, door lock/unlock and rear defogger. Also seen above is the USB/AM/FM/ Bluetooth enabled music system.

The ACC control switches are good to hold and look very stylish. The buttons for rear defogger, door lock/ unlock and hazard warning lights are of good quality. The same parts are used in the Renault Kiger as well. The power window console buttons are also of good quality, much better than MSIL's power window switches.

Some of the thoughtful features added in XL model are auto folding view mirrors, steering mounted controls. The glovebox does shut properly and doesnt rattle. Some media cars, during the Magnite test drive, highlighted issues like glovebox not closing properly and door locks coming out from the position after use. But no such thing in my car. Probably those were early prototypes and had some issues which Nissan sorted later.

Many people have said that Magnite's paint quality is average. However, I have a slightly different opinion regarding the same. Recently an Uber taxi scratched the rear door handle with its driver's side view mirror. As a result, the body coloured door handled had a visible black mark. I was a bit disheartened with the incident. However, after wiping it with diesel, removed the mark totally and there was no scratch or paint didnt peel off from the door handle.

As far as panel gaps are concerned, while they are even in most areas, however at the rear, there is a bit of inconsistency, especially in the area where the tail lamps fits in their respective places. In my car, the left side tail lamp fits perfectly while there is a very small gap when it comes to the fitment of the right side one.

Another issue I have found is the poor quality door beadings used in Magnite. The front left side door beading has undulations at the top which arent there on the right side door beading.

Interior space & comfort

The Magnite is a very spacious and comfortable car. From exterior design, one cannot fathom the amount of interior space this compact SUV has thanks to clever design by Nissan. The front seats provide adequate thigh support and are quite wide. The Magnite's rear seat is wide enough for 3 people to sit comfortably compared to its competitors like Kia Sonet for example, whose rear seat is best suited for 2 passengers. During a recent journey of 500 kms in West Bengal, none of passengers, especially the rear passengers, in the car complained of body ache after the long drive. They were very comfortable.

Interior space

Interior storage space & boot space

The Magnite has a spacious cabin. There are a lot of places to store knicks knacks. There is a neat place to store your mobile phones located near the gear lever.

The Magnite's 336 liter bootspace is adequate for those short trips outside the city. The boot is quite deep and the 60:40 split seats aids more practicality.

Magnite's boot with 1 trolley bag, 1 medium size suitcase, 3 medium bags along with 2, 3 packets of stuffs which arent visible here during a recent road trip.

Air conditioner cooling & effectiveness

The Magnite ACC is very effective and cools the cabin in very less time. The speed of the blower automatically increases once ACC button is pressed while in manual mode, one has to set the desired temp and speed of blower. The AC blower speed is quite strong compared to the size of the AC vents. The AC vents look very cool and seems to be inspired from Lamborghini Urus. Another thing which Nissan could have easily provided is rear AC Vents in Turbo XL model for more comfort of rear passengers. However, rear passengers never complain about lack of AC cooling at the back.

Suspension, handling & ride quality (at low as well as high speeds)

The suspension system in Magnite is a bit stiff and firm and as a result the car has very good high speed stability. The car absorbs potholes very well and doesnt feel wobbly. The EPS is not as light and lifeless as we have seen in MSIL cars, it weighs up well at high speeds and gives one a fair amount of confidence. The 205 mm high ground clearance of Magnite helps in going over bumps with aplomb. The Magnite (Turbo XL) is equipped with ABS + EBD, TCS and VDC. The brakes have strong bite and car doesnt feel nervous, handles well when braked hard.

Some Other Points

Rear spoiler inner cover looks neat.

Split tail lamps which gives LED effect. Notice the chrome line detailing.

Good quality full boot door cladding.

Rear View Mirrors are not too small or big. They are adequate as per size.

The car has all around black coloured claddings which extends below the door and also in the rear as well. This not only gives it an SUV-ish look but also very helpful during rainy season as mud and debris hits the plastic part and not the body. (Pic taken at Autorelli Service Center, when car was undergoing its 1st inspection).

Size comparison - Magnite with Grand i10 Nios.

Size comparison - Magnite with Ritz.

Size comparison - Magnite with EcoSport.

Size comparison - Magnite with Baleno and Swift Dzire (old model)

Some external pics of White Beauty:

Your's truly with his White Beauty.

Nissan siblings enjoying time - Magnite with our neighbour & family friend's New Nissan Kicks 1.3 Turbo.

Update

The car underwent its 1st inspection at Autorelli Nissan service center when it clocked 366 kms on 3rd July since it completed little more than 2 months. The CRM at Autorelli Nissan Kolkata service center, Ms. Tumpa Mahato, was very professional and took personal care when the car was inspected and cleaned properly.

Some pics at Autorelli Service Center:

Conclusion

A very satisfied Nissan Magnite owner. Would definitely recommend people to buy it. Its a very good value for money compact SUV.

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