Nissan Evalia

Of late, we have seen a sudden proliferation of 'segment-breakers' in the Utility Vehicle category. As car buyers have become more demanding and discerning about where they spend their money, the level of choice and abilities of vehicles have improved. When Maruti's LUV Ertiga and Renault's Compact SUV Duster took the market by storm, Nissan also launched what the Japanese call the 'Urban Class Utility Vehicle'. On the face of it, the Nissan Evalia is a conventional people mover. Though upright and boxy in design, the Evalia has an exquisite and aerodynamic frontal design, but side and rear profiles are van-like and less aesthetically pleasing. However, space, not the design, is what matters for a utility vehicle and Nissan has managed to pull it off with the Evalia. It's enormous inside, capable of accommodating all the clobber your kids bring with them. One of the strongest USPs of Evalia is the luggage space, which is expandable up to 2900 litres with middle and third rows folded up. The sliding doors are very practical, too. Renault's familiar 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine fires up smoothly, delivering 200 Nm of torque. The 85 bhp on tap is abundant to ferry Evalia along nicely. The body does lean considerably in corners, but not in an unsettling manner. The ride is supple enough and the suspension absorbs the punishment handed out by all but the worst road surfaces. However, the third row passengers were not really happy with the overall ride quality; blame it on the leaf spring suspension set up at the rear. The engine lacks refinement, so expect an irksome amount of engine noise sneaking into the cabin. The Nissan Evalia may not be a fun-to-drive vehicle like the Innova, but it is a very practical and spacious people mover offering nimble maneuverability.

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