2016 Nissan Serena 4

The all-new, fifth-generation Nissan Serena has been officially revealed, following several spyshots and leaked brochure images of the large MPV. As you’d expect, the Serena receives not just a visual overhaul, but also a bump in equipment and tech as well.

Starting with the looks, the base variant Serena’s front fascia features the carmaker’s signature V-motion two-slat grille, which meets up with the lines of the sculpted hood. Two-tier headlamps have also been installed here, which are fitted neatly alongside the new grille and hood, along with new fog lamps.

Elsewhere, the Serena also gains a two-tone body colour scheme and a “floating roof” look thanks to the black-painted D-pillars. Nissan also adds that the MPV’s A-pillars are thinner than before which doesn’t result in any compromise to the vehicle’s structural rigidity. A prominent line also runs from the headlamps, down the sides of the MPV and into the rear door rails.

At the rear, the tail lamps are now shorter than before, so as not to mess up the Serena’s “floating roof” look. Between the redesigned tail lamps is a blacked-out section of the rear hatch for the Nissan logo, and just below that is a large chrome accent positioned just above the nameplate and number plate holder.

2016 Nissan Serena 6

Keep in mind that the aforementioned design cues are for the base Serena variant (blue car). On the Highway Star variant (red car), the Serena gains a bodykit consisting of a more visually aggressive front bumper with extra chrome to make the V-motion grille even more prominent. The Highway Star also introduces side skirts, new wheels, new rear bumper and black-painted side mirrors.

Moving inside, the Serena’s cabin has been made more upmarket than before, similar to what we saw in earlier spyshots and leaked brochure images. For starters, the top dash now has a wider instrument binnacle that feature new digital displays within. Additionally, the driver now grips onto a less chunky and sportier steering wheel than before.

Moving on, the reshaped air-con vents are positioned alongside the newly-designed centre stack, which features a silver surround. Within its perimeter, the centre stack hosts the car’s new air-con switchgear, gear selector, electronic parking brake, the push-start button and the large touchscreen infotainment unit.

According to Nissan, the new Serena “possesses the widest interior in its class,” and the majority of that space is found in the rear of the seven-seater MPV. Accessing said space via the powered rear doors is now a hands-free affair on the Highway Star variant, as you can now open the doors by simply sliding your foot under them with the Intelligent Key in your pocket.

2016 Nissan Serena 5

Other interior highlights include the “zero gravity” seats from the Teana sedan, which makes its way into the first and second row of the Serena. The third row seats are also claimed to be designed for maximised comfort like the front seats to help reduce fatigue during long drives.

In terms of safety, Nissan’s emergency braking system, Lane Departure Warning, Around View Monitor and Smart Rearview Mirror are standard here. As for driver assistance features, Intelligent Park Assist and ProPILOT are available. The latter marks the debut of Nissan’s autonomous drive technology, which can automatically control the accelerator, brakes and steering when driving on the highway, in both heavy and flowing traffic.

For power, the Serena soldiers on with the S-Hybrid powertrain from its predecessor, which in this case, involves a MR20DD 2.0 litre direct-injected twin-CVTC four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 147 PS at 5,600 rpm, while torque output is 210 Nm at 4,400 rpm.

2016 Nissan Serena 7

The mill is mated mated to an Xtronic CVT, and is supplemented by an ECO motor that controls the car’s Idling Stop function and serves as an alternator during deceleration. The 1.8 kW/200 A motor also allows for a “torque assist” function, providing a 50 Nm boost for up to one second when moving away from a standstill.

Other drive-related upgrades include reinforcing the structure around the rear door and improving certain components of the suspension system like larger shock absorbers, which Nissan claims allows for “sharper reflexes during lateral transitions,” such as when making quick lane changes.

The new Serena is manufactured at Nissan Motor Kyushu, and will go on sale in Japan in late August with a base price set below the three million yen mark (RM114,463). For a fun fact, more than 1.5 million Serenas have been sold since it first went on sale in 1991.