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Coming in six months after the updated Grand Livina MPV arrived in Malaysia, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has just launched the Nissan X-Gear facelift. It has been a long time coming, as we’ve seen this car on test here as far back as February 2013. So is it worth the wait, then?

The SUV-style five-seat hatchback with SUV-inspired looks (labelled as a crossover by Nissan) gains a fresh new look for 2014. Like the Grand Livina before it, the new X-Gear features a completely reworked front end. The lights are now much larger, placed within shapelier front fenders and engine bonnet for a more modern appearance.

Clear to see, the chrome grille with smoked horizontal elements is all new as well, as are the bumpers, roof rails, side mirrors and 15-inch V-spoke alloy wheels. Round the back, the whole tailgate is new, while the horizontal tail lamps stretch out the vehicle’s perceptible width. Five colour options – Garnet Red, Diamond Black, Bronze Gold, Brilliant White and Tungsten Silver – are available.

The visual makeover continues inside too. The new three-spoke steering wheel sports a much more contemporary design than before, and now holds audio buttons to control the updated two-DIN head unit. Behind the helm, you’ll find the distinctive Fine Vision Meter cluster with Multi-Information Display (MID) that replaces the outgoing model’s simple amber-on-white instruments.

A new seat fabric design completes the enhancements to the cabin, which stays unchanged otherwise. That’s no bad thing, though, as the X-Gear has always had a flexible interior. The 60:40 split-folding rear seats open up the boot space from 383 to 769 litres. And if that’s not enough, the functional roof rails are rated for a 25 kg load.

Under the hood, the familiar aluminium-block 1.6 litre HR16DE making 105 PS and 150 Nm of torque stays, paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. The newer 1.5 litre HR15DE and CVT gearbox eludes us again. Safety wise, the front seat belts now feature pre-tensioners and load limiters, and dual airbags, ABS and EBD are standard.

The new Nissan X-Gear 1.6L Auto is priced at RM89,800 – on-the-road with insurance, including a three-year or 100,000 km warranty. To recap, the 2011 X-Gear was sold at RM82,800. ETCM currently offers an attractive monthly instalment package of just RM599 for the new model (subject to terms and conditions).

As always with Nissan models here, there’s an extensive options list available on top of the standard vehicle. The Impul Complete Package menu consists of an Impul rear roof spoiler (RM700), 17-inch Impul Aura SX-20 wheels (RM4,500), matching Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5 tyres (RM1,800) and a set of Impul sports suspension system (RM2,800).

Also offered as cost options are window tinting (RM950-RM2,600), door visors (RM320), leather upholstery (RM1,800), 6.5-inch multimedia navigation system (RM3,300) and LED wing mirror indicators (RM400).

The Nissan X-Gear Roadshow is currently on-going at Ground Floor, One Utama (New Wing) until March 30. Test drives, activities and refreshments are also available at all Nissan showrooms nationwide this weekend.