Monday, March 5, 2018

Nissan Serena C27 e-Power

Two years ago, Nissan introduced the world with the revolutionary hybrid powertrain known as e-Power on the Note minor change and because it works like it should be, they made the Note as one of the best-selling compacts in Japan and looks like they're onto something here. With the Note e-Power's success, their revolutionary hybrid powertrain has expanded to the Serena minivan, making this people mover going the distance for more while your kids behind you are napping with their pillows on their heads.

2018 Nissan Serena e-Power

So, if you need a refresher of how e-Power works, better listen carefully and don't snooze off, okay? e-Power features a full electric-motor drivetrain in which the wheels are completely powered by the electric motor, and its 1.2L HR12DE engine simply charges the batteries. The way how electricity is made is what differs it from an electric vehicle or conventional hybrid and with e-Power, the 1.2L HR12DE engine and the wheels are not connected similar to an electric car as the power is sourced from the petrol engine, allowing it to run without having to charge the battery from an external source. Because the batteries are 1/20th the size of the ones from the Nissan LEAF, its compact sizing made it to fit under the front seats without cramping the interior space.

As a result, the e-Power powertrain delivers 26.2km/L of fuel economy under the soon-to-be-defunct JC08 Mode standards, meaning that this is the most fuel efficient minivan in its class. A recently launched Honda StepWGN Spada Hybrid can only do 25km/L and that's it. That all sounds nice but sadly, the e-Power variant is offered exclusively in front-wheel drive only.

The Serena e-Power can be operated in different driving modes at the switch of a button. In normal mode, the 1.2L petrol engine is only active while in EV mode, it uses some of the energy from the batteries to continue the journey for more, and in S mode, both the engine and the electric motor are all out, making it more responsive and more dynamic. Of course, there's also other stuff in the Drive mode such as Manners Mode for some silent running while driving on the subdivision and then Charge Mode that lets the drivetrain charges the batteries.

Of course, to help differentiate the Serena e-Power to other Serena variants, they have been given some blue accents to the front grille but still, it works just like a normal Serena. You still have some of the goodies such as the the same two-way tailgate that can be opened either the whole door or the rear window, the same ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving tech, and the same Hands Free Auto Slide Door. This is a family mover that while it was not meant for enjoyable driving purposes, it works for family trips like going to grandma's house and then back home without stopping for fuel, I hope.

2018 Nissan Serena e-Power AUTECH
The Serena e-Power starts at 2,968,920 Yen (around $30,000/1,500,000 Php) and by pricing standards, that sits between the StepWGN Spada Hybrid and the hybrid variants of the Toyota Noah/Voxy vans. If the normal Serena e-Power is too bland, consider the AUTECH variant featuring a specially-made front face (including that fancy looking grille), LED fog lamps, side slip protector, special rear bumper, special rims, and suede interior, not to mention the special Shining Blue exterior paint. It costs 3,821,040 Yen (around $39,000/1,950,000 Php). Almost a million yen more than the normal one.

So, there we are. When you wake up in early morning, trying to wake the kids up, pack some stuff, and heading off to granny's house for a weekend drive, consider the new Serena e-Power as your best bet.

Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

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