Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift: Road Test Review

Saneet Dsilva
How does the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift perform as a daily driver?

When the topic of VFM SUVs comes up, you tend to think about the Nissan Magnite. With the addition of the AMT variant, named the EZ-Shift, the compact SUV further enhances its value proposition. But how does it perform in the daily grind?

In terms of the exterior, the Magnite remains unchanged, save for the introduction of a new blue and black dual-tone colour scheme which we feel, adds a touch of premiumness. The interiors remain unchanged as well and continue to impress with top variants offering features such as wireless charging, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the addition of a 360-degree camera at this price point is good news, the resolution is disappointing.

Beneath the hood lies a 1-litre naturally aspirated 3-cylinder motor, generating 72PS and 96Nm. It comes mated to a 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission. The motor offers adequate performance for city confines and you do have to rev it quite a bit to access most of the power. Thankfully, this gearbox tends to hold onto the gears for a longer duration to eke out most of the performance out of the powertrain. This makes it especially useful for spirited driving. As is the case with most AMT gearboxes, this one is a tad slow to change gears. However, downshifts are smoother and quicker.

The AMT gearbox offers a manual mode that offers better control over gearshifts. If the revs are too low, the Magnite won’t let you shift up and will sound off an alert. Downshifts in manual mode are executed more swiftly. It misses out on on hill-hold assist which is disapointing as the delay between shifts caused the SUV to roll back in steep inclines, necessitating either left-foot braking or the use of the handbrake to safely move forward.

The 3-cylinder motor could do with more refinement. It feels harsh especially while moving from a standstill, and is notably noisy at low revs. The NVH levels considerably drop down in the mid rev range though the motor becomes more audible at higher revs. The Magnite is most content when driven gently. In city driving, we managed to eke out around 14 kmpl.

Where the Magnite truly excels is in its driving dynamics. The suspension strikes an ideal balance between comfort and agility, making navigating the city’s uneven terrain comfortable and holding its line when tackling corners at higher speeds. The brakes work well too, while its light steering makes urban driving a breeze. Although the updated steering wheel feels comfortable to grip, it could do with more feedback.

It’s a no-brainer that the AMT gearbox offers convenience, particularly in our daily urban driving routines dominated by city traffic, that too without a significant price hike. The Magnite has consistently offered excellent VFM besides ample space and features, and fuel-efficient powertrains. With the new EZ-Shift variant priced at ` 6.6 lakh ex-showroom onwards, its value proposition is further enhanced, positioning the Magnite as an enticing choice for budget-conscious buyers looking for an automatic SUV.

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