The fifth-generation Nissan Serena MPV has been spotted undergoing testing in Malaysia, thanks to reader Kenneth Lee who spotted the vehicle in Cheras recently. The MPV first made its debut in July last year, bringing with it a revamped design and equipment list.

You can tell this is the new Serena due to the distinctive character line along its sides, which originate from the middle of the headlights, progressing below the door handles and towards the rails for the sliding doors. This cue isn’t present on the current Serena on sale here.

Naturally, the test mule seen here is wearing some camouflage to hide its true guise, where the front end features the brand’s V-motion two-slat grille. Below it is a more sculpted apron that accommodates a smaller intake as well as the fog lamps.

Other exterior cues found on the latest Serena include the additional trim around the rear nameplate, a more aggressive-looking rear bumper and shorter headlights. As these photos clearly show, all the areas mentioned are covered, although the new roof-mounted spoiler is still shown in all its glory.

Though we didn’t get any shots of the vehicle’s interior, the all-new Serena is known to receive a more upmarket cabin. Highlights include a new top dash with a wider instrument cluster and displays within, a new centre stack with a touchscreen infotainment system and a sportier-looking steering wheel.

For the Japanese market, the Serena is powered by the S-Hybrid powertrain, which consists of 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.

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.

The MPV also boasts a host of driver assistance features like Intelligent Park Assist and ProPILOT. The latter is 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.

With the current Serena S-Hybrid on sale in Malaysia being a locally-assembled (CKD) model, could the new one follow suit? Other models in Nissan Malaysia’s pipeline include the second-generation, all-electric Leaf – to debut here in 2018.

GALLERY: Nissan Serena (fifth-generation)