The Nissan Magnite has arrived in South Africa among a horde of compact SUVs, and there are more to come. First, we saw the Suzuki Vitara Brezza, then the matching Toyota Urban Cruiser and now it also sits alongside the Kia Sonet and Haval Jolion, and will soon joined by the Volkswagen Taigo and Renault Kiger.
WHAT’S IN A LOOK?
In a segment that is now almost bursting at the seams, manufacturers need their products to stand out. The Magnite’s looks has me torn. In one way, it looks a little too budget for my liking, but this is probably down to the fact that it resembles the Datsun Go Cross. To be fair, the Magnite was in fact meant to be branded with the Datsun badge, but it ended up with Nissan’s badge up front instead.
It does have that cutesy SUV look with the roof rails (which are functional and can carry up to 50kg), the square wheel arches, front and rear silver skid plates, and integrated bodyside cladding. There are even dual-tone options available.
There are two trim levels to choose from, the Acenta and the Acenta Plus. Either way, you are met with a cabin that won’t divide opinion quite as much as the exterior does. It looks pretty good, even if the fit and finish might leave you a little underwhelmed. But if you can look past the perceived quality issue, you will be met by a host of standard features. Especially on the range-topping Aenta Plus. To name but a few; an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 360-degree Around View Camera, multifunction steering wheel, six-speaker audio system, wireless charging and seven-inch TFT instrument cluster. Space is quite ample with a boot capacity of 336-litres.
Not only is the Magnite feature-heavy, but safety features have also not been spared with dual airbags, vehicle dynamics control, hill start assist, traction control, ABS with EBD, and an anti-roll bar as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.
There is one engine on offer for the Magnite, it is a 1.0-litre turbocharged motor producing 74 kW and 160 Nm of torque. It can be mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. This car is best suited to city-dwelling where it feels rather sprightly. But that is not to say it doesn’t perform well on the open road too. Remember that a CVT can be rather drone-heavy and if the whine is going to bother you and you don’t require the convenience of it, I’d stick to the manual option. Nissan claims a fuel consumption of 6.0l/100 km.
PRICING OF THE NISSAN MAGNITE
- Magnite Acenta MT – R256 999
- Magnite Acenta CVT – R280 100
- Magnite Acenta Plus MT – R282 600
- Magnite Acenta Plus CVT – R305 700
The Magnite comes with a six-year/150 000 km warranty and a three-year/30 000 km service plan. With the standard features list and competitive pricing, the Magnite makes for an appealing offer. The rivals are really good, so my advice would be to test drive them all before making your final decision.