Nissan South Africa have just introduced the motoring media to their Livina, a 5-door hatch, and the Grand Livina, a 7-seater, that are built on the same platform at their Rosslyn plant, just outside Pretoria ….. and as they say ‘local is lekker’.

A smart option for a young family

In my opinion this is a smart option for a young family car as the range boasts a 1.6 engine with a 5-speed manual transmission and will be ideal for a ‘mom’s taxi’ during the week. This is a good looking compact car with the versatile space required for an active lifestyle.

Nissan Livina Hatch

Nissan Livina Hatch

Nissan Grand Livina

Price: R115,550 to R155,950


Available soon in SA

Nissan dealers will be selling the Grand Livina’s two 7-seater derivatives, the Acenta with fabric interior (R146 950) and Acenta+  with leather interior (R155 950) as from November, whilst the hatch derivatives (Visia (R115 550), Acenta (R129 950) and Acenta+ (R136 950)) will only be on sale from January.

Although Nissan SA made it quite clear that the Livina is not a ‘baby’ Murano, one can clearly see its resemblance to the muscular silhouette of its bigger brother. One can compare the Livina  hatch to the Honda Jazz whilst the Grand Livina with it’s seven seats will compete with the Opel Mariva and Toyota Avanza.

Great interior

The interior of a car is what is important to us ladies and I am sure the Livina will well here as the two-tone trim and big windows create an open feeling. The contoured seats are comfortable and supportive and there are useful storage areas and cup-holders for every passenger. Comfort and convenience features include an in-dash radio with CD player and six-speakers on all except the entry Visia model, as well as electric windows and an air-conditioner.

The Livina’s rear seats split 60/40 and the front passenger seat can be tilted to transport a bulky item of up to 2.4m long. The Grand Livina offers two extra rear seats, a third row, which are easy to fold flat and create a huge boot space for sports gear, a twin baby pram or a BMX bike.

Lots of standard safety features

Driver airbags come standard on all Livina models, and the Acenta and Acenta+ derivatives also have a passenger airbag. Other safety features include a high mounted stop lamp, front seat belt pretensioners and ABS brakes with EBD and Brake Assist on  both the Acenta and Acenta+ models.

Handles like a real luxury car

The launch ‘ride&drive;’ took us journalists on a route that included all types of road surfaces and conditions, including several passes in the Fransch Hoek area. Nissan’s attention to the suspension and the high rigidity of the Livina ensures it handles like a vehicle in a higher segment. Without going into the technical data about the suspension and shock absorbers, I can say I was quite impressed with the Livina’s handling and stability at all speeds on any type of surface.

As much as I prefer to hear a car ‘brom’ I was astounded by the quietness of the Livina’s engine which, according to Nissan, is a ‘healthy/green’ one with clean emissions through a straight exhaust system.

A 52-litre fuel tank provides substantial cruising distance and electronic power steering ensures brisk control and secure handling. The combined cycle fuel consumption is 7.2-litres per 100km for the Livina hatch and 7.4-litres for the Grand Livina.

Sophisticated anti-theft system

All models come standard with Nissan’s anti-theft security system (NATS), including remote keyless entry, immobiliser and panic alarm. The Livina range also benefits from Nissan’s Microdot security system where each vehicle has its own identification in the form of myriad dots etched onto various parts of the vehicle, making it difficult for would-be thieves to alter the car’s identity. It also makes the car a less desirable target for criminals, which in turn enhances the personal safety and security of the driver and occupants. Microdot technology is endorsed by the SA Insurance Association.

The Livina Visia and Acenta have 14-inch steel wheels while the Livina Acenta+ and Grand Livina are equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels.
Service intervals are 15 000km. All Livina models have a 3-year/100 000km warranty and all except the entry model have 3-year/60 000km service plans included in the price.