Test Drive: Nissan Grand Livina

The family has been looking into a car upgrade, especially with the kids growing fast, and our most recent addition. We recently had the chance to test drive the Nissan Grand Livina, which was delivered right at my doorstep by the folks from Nissan Mantrade.
Nissan Grand Livina

Creative Commons License photo credit: Auswandern Malaysia

What catches one’s attention most is the Livina’s tagline:

Drives like a sedan, you’ll forget it’s an MPV.

If you’re used to riding or driving MPVs like the Toyota Innova, Mitsubishi Adventure or the Isuzu Crosswind, you’ll be familiar with the less-than-soft ride, due to the body-on-frame construction. These MPVs are meant more for utility rather than comfort. And so, given the high center of gravity, and the fact that construction is body-on-frame, you would expect a harsher ride and a higher than usual level of body roll when riding an MPV. Not with the Grand Livina, though. As advertised, the ride is as car-like as you can get.

That’s the advantage of passenger sedans over most MPVs. The ride is comfortable, so even after extended rides (which is common with traffic in the metro areas today) you won’t feel too stressed and shaken. But the disadvantage with a passenger sedan is most definitely the limited seating and cargo space.

Enter the Nissan Grand Livina. It’s not your usual MPV. Because of its monocoque (or unibody) construction, road vibrations are not as pronounced as with MPVs with body-on-frame construction. Because of the low center of gravity, there’s less body roll. And unlike your usual passenger sedan, it can seat seven people comfortably.

Paultan.org has a lengthier review here, but here are some notes from my experience driving the Livina.

Car-like ride and comfort. From my experience with the family in test driving the 1.8 Liter XL “Luxury” model with automatic transmission, the ride is most definitely car-like. The Grand Livina’s suspension absorbed bumps and humps as if these were non-existent. The air conditioning system was also arctic-cold as with most Nissan cars–the Grand Livina has air-conditioning vents at the second row, and not just the front.

Third row and cargo space. Two folks from Nissan accompanied us during the test drive, so our early grade-school-aged kids had to be relegated to the third row. They were most comfortably seated, and they definitely enjoyed having their own space at the back. I doubt, though, if two adult-sized individuals would enjoy being seated at the back for extended periods of time due to the limited legroom, which is a bit short, but still serviceable. The width of the third row is a bit narrower than the second row, owing to the fact that the sides contain humps where the rear wheel wells are.

I would think, though, that there is a tradeoff between the third row and cargo space. The “trunk” space is a bit limited if you’re using the third row. With the third row folded down, you have ample space for your golf bags, strollers, luggage or groceries. But with the seats in use, you’d have to stack your cargo on top of each other (as recommended by the Nissan sales manager who demoed the unit to us). However, it’s still good to have the option of space vs. seating capacity.

Driveability. The Grand Livina feels light and nimble. You don’t feel as if you’re driving a truck, as with SUVs and some MPVs. The electric power steering is feather-light, and excellent for city driving. What worries me, though, is if one intends to use the Grand Livina for hauling light cargo, or for wading through flooded streets (another common occurrence in many areas in Metro Manila). You don’t have the ground clearance like the Crosswind, Adventure or even the Innova. And you don’t get a diesel option, which can stand flooding better.

Value for money. The Nissan Grand Livina defintely offers value for money. It offers a comfortable ride, and flexibility just when you need it. My only concern would be resale value five years down the road. In this country, only Honda and Toyota cars (as far as I know) enjoy high resale values, mostly because of reliability, ease of maintenance and low cost of parts (with a lot of aftermarket parts available).

I’m not so sure if the Nissan Grand Livina will enjoy this, as well. But if you’re going to enjoy your ride every day for the next few years, then I don’t think “resale” should be a concern at point of purchase.

At the end of our test drive, my kids and wife missed the ride. Even my four-month-old sonwas squealing in delight, seated with the wife at the second row. The Nissan Grand Livina is a good fit for a growing family that needs space, space and more space.

Prices for the Grand Livina are almost at direct competition with most of its MPV counterparts from other brands:

  • PhP 858,000 for the 1.8L XL M/T ELITE
  • PhP 908,000 for the 1.8L XR A/T LUXURY
  • PhP 978,000 for the 1.8L XV A/T ELEGANCE

For inquiries or test-drive requests, you may get in touch with Mr. Elmar Malabriga of Nissan Mantrade at (632) 843-3316 to 23, or email at nissan_mantrade at yahoo.com.

23 thoughts on “Test Drive: Nissan Grand Livina”

  1. can you email me re grand livina elite your terms, i.e. downpayment and monthly amortizations for 5 years, thanks

  2. Thats why its called “grand” , sarap i test drive and u feel comfortable inside. Definetely its my choice, ill have one this june, ngiipon lang ng pang down payment, he he he.

  3. Sir, paki detail lang po kung me mga freebees at ilang years po warranty.
    Marami pong slamat…more power 2 u.

  4. can you email me re grand livina luxury your terms, i.e. downpayment and monthly amortizations for 5 years, thanks

  5. Sir, pki email naman regarding grand livina elite your terms, i.e. downpayment and monthly amortization for 4 & 5 yrs at ska yung dealer sa cebu. Thnks.

  6. Sir, i’m an OFW and interested with Nissan Grand Livina Luxury. please send your terms (all in downpayment), freebies, and monthly ammortization for 4 & 5 years. a brochure enclosed would be appreciated. thanks

  7. PhP 908,000 for the 1.8L XR A/T LUXURY on this Unit can you please refer any bank that will give me best options for three or five years payments program, send details of promo freebies for the month of November.. thanks

  8. I am OFW and I planning to buy a Nissan Grand Livina 1.8L XR A/T LUXURY can we a discount if we buy in cash?Is there any some display in Cebu City?

  9. Good day

    This is a gasoline type vehicle right? How about its consumption? I do like this nissan model but many says “magastos kase gas”. How can I prove them wrong?

    Thanks and more power

    1. Yes, the Grand Livina only comes in gasoline variant. I didn’t have the opportunity to test the mileage figures, but I would guess it’s somewhere in the 8-10 Km/L range.

  10. nmmis ko na ang 2010 grand livina ko, wala kang masabi in terms of riding comport, tsaka di din pahhuli sa bilis ng 1.8 engine, at ang pnakaimportante ang tipid sa gasolina.( Electrical officer of MV Desret Calm )

  11. i bought grnad livina last dec. 2011, test drive this jan 2012 to san pablo city. power engine and riding is very comfortable. 120km/hr is so easy.

  12. … help!!! we are planning to buy for grand livina but then lumabas Ang facelift 2012 highway star mas mura pa din kasi ang deal ng grand livina whereas nothing change sa interior ..more on exterior lang naman ang naiba.
    grand livina: discount of 50k plus free 3 years insurance , LTO reg chattel plus freebies
    highway star: free 3years reg Lang plus freebies

    hope you could help us decide!! thanks in advance

  13. how to schedule for a test drive of nissan grand livina? im from marikina and works at project 4, qc. which is the nearest nissan car dealer from the mentioned locations? thanks

  14. Wow, thanks for this review.

    I’m purchasing a car soon, and this is my best candidate so far. I like the fact that it’s 7-seater and doesn’t look to bulky or boxy like the innova. And the price, not bad for an mpv. I’m going for the 1.8L Elegance A/T model.

    Actually I was worried on the riding comfort, but the review here seems to tell otherwise. It’s great then. I’d like to encourage some more reviews on Grand Livina – pain/minus points and how it compares to others.

    1. I tested a GL and was surprised on its performance. Its very nimble and quick and feels so light to drive. I’m a previous owner of a Toyota Innova. TI was so good but GL is a lot better. Size, looks and comfort, fuel consumption and of course most importantly POWER. The 1.8 Liter engine feels so powerful plus it gives the feeling that you are in control of the car. I used my innova for 5 years, sold it and satisfied with it but now I’m pretty sure I will enjoy the Livina more. I’m getting the Luxury A/T version.

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