In addition to the facelifted Proton Iriz and Persona, ASEAN NCAP has also conducted its assessment on the Nissan Magnite, the Japanese carmaker’s new budget crossover. The agency has awarded a four-star rating, with details to be announced soon.

The fact that ASEAN NCAP has tested the car raises the possibility of it being introduced in Southeast Asia. That’s to be expected, given that the car was designed first as a Datsun, which has pulled out of Thailand and Indonesia as part of a global restructuring move (the car has already been launched in Indonesia). Don’t hold your breath for this car to come to Malaysia, however, given that we’re a more mature market – the larger, more upmarket Kicks is a more likely offering.

Designed to suit the Indian market, the Magnite is a sub-four-metre SUV with a distinctive hexagonal design inside and out. Available features include a seven-inch digital instrument display, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Qi wireless charging, JBL speakers, a 360-degree camera, two airbags and stability control.

Power comes from a 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine in either naturally-aspirated form with 76 PS and 96 Nm of torque, or a turbocharged variant with 100 PS and 160 Nm. A five-speed manual and front-wheel drive come as standard, with a CVT (and a downgraded torque output of 152 Nm) available for the turbo version.

Like the Iriz and Persona, the Magnite was tested before the new year, meaning that it was one of the last cars to be assessed under ASEAN NCAP’s 2017-2020 protocol. The new 2021-2025 protocol places greater importance on “head protection technologies” (like curtain airbags) and introduces a Motorcycle Safety category for features like blind spot monitors and cameras.