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The latest Nissan Grand Livina facelift has landed in Malaysia, introducing a timely update for the country’s best-selling non-national MPV. Over 65,000 units of the seven-seater have been sold here since its initial launch in 2007, including the lightly revised version that was released in 2011.

This second facelift is a major one, at least in terms of aesthetics. While the previous nip and tuck only added a new grille design and wing mirror indicators to the otherwise unchanged original form, the Grand Livina undergoes a heavy refresher here, incorporating “more than 50 new enhancements,” according to Nissan.

The most obvious of which are the completely new front and rear ends. Gone is the simple, blunt, yet friendly face that’s all too familiar by now, replaced by a much sleeker front treatment. A V-shaped grille with chrome highlights now dominate the front fascia, and is flanked by new headlamp units that are much sharper and classier than before.

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The bumper is brand new too, now looking shapelier and more organic, in line with the characterful profile and rounded front fenders that house new design 15-inch wheels. The reshaped wheel-arches significantly change the visual silhouette of the vehicle, introducing a more complex character line compared to the older model.

Adding to the sophistication are new wing mirrors with LED indicators (only for the 1.8 litre) and body-coloured side mouldings running across the doors. The latter provides protection from minor dings, while also serving to break up the visual mass, making the whole car appear closer to the ground and more planted.

There are more changes to the back than is obviously apparent, too. The light clusters now sit horizontally rather than vertically, emphasising the Grand Livina’s width. Easily missed is the new tailgate, which eschews the round bulge above the Nissan crest, with the rear wiper now sitting within the window panel.

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Inside, the colour palette has been changed again. The original Grand Livina launched with a grey/beige interior, which was then replaced by an all-black cabin in the 2011 update. A nice middle ground has been chosen for the latest model – a black upper portion for a younger, sportier feel, with a cream lower half to aid the impression of space and airiness.

All new is the three-spoke steering wheel, similar to the one used in the more upmarket new Sylphy. It incorporates multi-function controls too, with backlit buttons for the audio system and instrument display. Speaking of the instrumentation, there’s now a Fine Vision Cluster on all models, as seen on top-spec Almeras.

Another premium feature offered is Nissan’s i-Key keyless entry and engine start system. Available only on the 1.8 litre model, it adds lock/unlock buttons on the driver’s and rear doors for a seamless, keyless operation, while a small plastic turn switch is placed over the usual keyhole to start the engine.

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Standard across the range is a revised seat fabric – in beige rather than black this time. Leather upholstery (beige or black) is available as an option, which we’ll get to in detail later. The brown leather option previously offered has been deleted.

As before, Nissan claims best-in-class comfort for the seven-seat cabin. The last two rows can be folded flat if needed, opening up a spacious cargo area and making the Grand Livina truly worthy of the term Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV). The rearmost seats have a single-action release for easy access.

The drivetrain options have been left well alone. The tried and tested all-aluminium HR16DE 1.6 litre engine with 105 PS and 150 Nm of torque forms the base offerings, with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission to pick from. As before, the MR18DE 1.8 litre motor is only available with a four-speed torque converter.

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Neither the new HR15DE 1.5 litre engine with dual injectors and twin CVTC nor the X-TRONIC CVT transmission already available in the Indonesian market are to be seen here.

Safety-wise, the new Nissan Grand Livina has been upgraded with seat-belt pre-tensioners and load limiters for the front passengers, along with compliance with the latest UNECE crash test regulations. Dual front airbags are standard, along with Nissan’s Zone Body Construction, collapsible steering wheel, EBD, BA and ABS.

Three variants are offered: 1.6 litre manual for RM86,880, 1.6 litre auto at RM89,880, topping out at RM99,880 for the 1.8 litre automatic model. All figures quoted are on-the-road prices, inclusive of insurance. Order books are already open for the new Nissan Grand Livina facelift, with monthly instalment rates as low as RM599 to be had.

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That’s not the end of it though, as there are various optional accessories and Impul packages available for the new MPV. For an extra RM4,000 (on the 1.6L, RM3,700 for the 1.8L), the Navi Package adds on a LED kicking plate, LED wing mirror signals and door visors.

An integrated 6.5-inch multimedia system with navigation, rear-view camera, DVD player and USB, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity is also included in the Navi Package, as is a 10.1-inch roof-mounted LCD panel for the rear passengers.

Next up, the RM3,800 (for 1.6L, 1.8L RM3,500) Luxury Package replaces the above-mentioned head-unit and rear screen with a combination leather upholstery and door panels (available in beige or black), as well as Solar Gard window tinting (upgradeable to V-Kool Elite for another RM1,500).

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The Family Package combines the Navi and Luxury packages for RM7,000 for the 1.6 litre models, and RM6,700 on the 1.8 litre variant. LED wing mirror signal repeaters are already fitted as standard on the range-topper, which accounts for the model’s lower prices for each optional package.

If you like a little more zing on your Grand Livina, there are also various Impul add-ons that you can specify. These are: Impul complete aerokit (RM3,500), sports suspension system (RM2,800), Blast 2 exhaust muffler (RM1,800) plus 17-inch Impul Aura SX-20 alloys (RM4,500) and Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5 tyres to go with them (RM1,800).

Edaran Tan Chong Motor offers a standard three-year or 100,000 km warranty on the new Nissan Grand Livina facelift. Five colour options are available: Graphite Blue, Diamond Black, Bronze Gold, Brilliant White and Tungsten Silver.

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