The Nissan Serena S-Hybrid has been a modest sales success for Nissan, and the new fifth-generation C27 hopes to continue finding favour with large families, with competitive pricing and a bunch of new features. As it happens, we’ve got a comprehensive photo gallery of the new car right next to the previous C26 to lay bare all the changes between the two generations.

Let’s start with the most important information of all, pricing. Offered in locally-assembled (CKD) form and in the same two variants as before, the new Serena is priced at RM135,500 for the Highway Star variant and RM147,500 for the Premium Highway Star, on-the-road without insurance. That means that the new models are between RM2,500 and RM4,500 more expensive, which isn’t too bad considering the extra kit on board.

Although the new car’s slab-sided body appears to be an evolution of its predecessor, put both together and you can really see the design differences. While the old car sports a face that apes the larger Elgrand, the new one has a more striking maw, with dual-tier LED headlights that are reminiscent of the Toyota Vellfire. There’s also a V-motion front grille, a more aggressive front bumper design and rectangular fog lights.

The upswept beltline along the side remains, but on the new car it’s complemented by a downwards-sweeping character line that adds some pizzazz to the styling. The blacked-out D-pillars and shorter tail lights give the new Serena a trendy “floating roof” look, emphasised here by the two-tone colour scheme on this range-topping Premium Highway Star. The variant’s 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels are the same as before.

No such luck finding carryover components on the inside, as the new Serena has a thoroughly modernised cabin, with its floating centre console and flat-bottomed, three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel. What’s more, while the old car’s dashboard was made with hard-wearing hard plastics, the new one gets plusher soft-touch materials with real stitching.

Then there’s the level of technology on board, starting with the digital instrument cluster – now featuring a seven-inch full-colour multi-info display that shows the rev counter, trip computer information as well as the around view monitor with Intelligent Moving Object Detection (i-MOD). There’s also a new Clarion head unit with a 6.75-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

One big change is the move from eight seats to seven, with second-row captain’s chairs with armrests. Local distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor says that this increases the feeling of luxury, but it also means that the outgoing model’s second-row centre seat, which could be folded and slid forwards to double as a storage console in front, is now gone.

New C27 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid (left) versus old C26 (right)

On the plus side, the first- and second-row seats feature Zero Gravity technology for improved comfort, and there are also seven USB ports all around the car – one in each of the front dashboard storage bins, one on the head unit and two each for the second and third rows. The third row can now be slid forwards and back for either increased legroom or a larger boot.

Access is improved though a new hands-free opening function for the twin power-sliding doors, operated using a kicking motion under the doors, while opening and closing buttons have also been fitted for the third row. A split-opening tailgate provides easier access to the boot in tight spaces.

An increase in space is claimed for the new Serena, with interior length extended by 180 mm, while height and width has been increased by 20 mm and 65 mm respectively. This is despite the exterior dimensions remaining largely identical, measuring 4,770 mm long and 1,865 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,860 mm also retained. Only the width of the car has been changed, growing a measly five millimetres to 1,740 mm.

New seven-seat layout (above) versus old car’s eight seats (below)

As standard, the new Serena comes with front and rear fog lights, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-button start, single-zone auto climate control and new digital rear air-con controls. Safety wise, there are now six airbags instead of two, joining the existing ABS with EBD and brake assist and stability control. There’s also a new Intelligent Driver Alertness (i-DA) feature.

The Premium Highway Star variant adds the aforementioned 16-inch alloys, door visors, combination leather upholstery in either black or two-tone Truffle Brown and Chestnut, a 10.1-inch roof-mounted LCD rear display, a Tech-On tray mat on the second-row picnic table for holding tablets or other devices, an LED interior room light and V-Kool 4Mil security film tinting.

Powering the new car is a carryover MR20DD 2.0 litre direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine, now making slightly more power at 150 PS at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,400 rpm. It’s fitted with a new dual-arm tensioner to reduce tension on the arm belt and improve fuel efficiency, and is mated to an Xtronic CVT.

New Serens’s split-opening tailgate makes it easier to load smaller items in tight parking spaces

Working alongside it is a 2.6 PS/48 Nm ECO electric motor that replaces the starter motor, controls the Idling Stop System and and energy regeneration. The motor also offers acceleration assistance to the MPV, providing a 50 Nm torque boost for up to one second when moving away from a standstill. As for fuel consumption, Nissan claims the Serena is good for 14.2 kilometres per litre on the European NEDC cycle.

While the new Serena rides on the same platform as before, it comes with a few upgrades to improve refinement, ride and handling, such as a sound-absorbing wheelhouse liner, a speed-sensitive electric power steering system with a quicker ratio, stiffer front and rear suspension mountings, as well as high-performance valves in the dampers for a more stable and comfortable ride.

So what do you think of the new Nissan Serena S-Hybrid – is it a good improvement over the previous model? To help you make up your mind, you can watch our in-depth walk-around video of the new car below, and browse full specifications and equipment on CarBase.my.



GALLERY: C27 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid
GALLERY: C26 Nissan Serena S-Hybrid