Nissan Elgrand Highway Star 2.5 Review

Story by Raymond Lai, pictures by Azfar Hashim
16 Mar 2009

If size is of utmost importance, then Nissan’s Elgrand should meet your needs

Nissan Elgrand

Up front, the Nissan designers tried to spruce up its looks a tad by the extensive use of chrome on the front grille as well as upswept headlamps.

Japan is a country obsessed with space...or the lack thereof. Check into a budget business hotel in Tokyo and you'll know what I mean - you hardly have any floor area to put your large Samsonite flat. Or the washroom is so puny, there's no space for you to move about when taking your shower!

Blame the extreme prices of land in built up cities like Tokyo for this "obsession for space" then.

So it comes to no surprise that the Japanese love cars that can maximize interior space for a given size. To maximize a car's cabin space, logic will tell you that it will have to be (a) squarish and (b) cube-shaped on the outside. Well, this is what the Japanese have done for their JDM models - conjure up JDMs like the Nissan Cube, Toyota bB, Honda Stepwagon and you'll know what I mean.

And among the most spacious of Japanese models are the large people carriers like the Mitsubishi Delica, Toyota Alphard and the Honda Elysion, all of which are currently available here.

Now, there's a new XXL-sized people carrier from Japan that has gone on sale here - the Nissan Elgrand. The Elgrand has been around for a couple of years in overseas markets, but local Nissan dealer Tan Chong finally decided to offer this model here thanks to factors like the expected demand for VIP transportation once the integrated resorts are fully functioning.


In terms of styling, the Elgrand is, simply put, a "box on wheels". Up front, the Nissan designers tried to spruce up its looks a tad by the extensive use of chrome on the front grille as well as upswept headlamps. Despite the designers' efforts though, there's no hiding the Elgrand's large frontal area and minivan-like proportions.

On the upside, the upright front gives the Elgrand an imposing stance.

Along the sides, the Elgrand's slab-sided stance is broken by the strong crease that runs below the window line. While the upright rear is brightened up by a chrome number plate surround and a red reflector that runs across the tailgate, the tail lamps somehow look suspiciously like the ones on the March though.

As a whole, the Elgrand isn't exactly pretty or stylish, as after all, it's more function above anything else.


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