If there’s one model that could do well in the local market, it's the Nissan Elgrand. Our market is particularly receptive to minivans (especially luxury ones) and the Japan-market Elgrand, particularly this newly updated 2021 model, would be a good addition to the local market.
It’s quite hard to see what’s new as the changes on the facelifted Elgrand are quite subtle. Compared to the outgoing model, the exterior styling remains largely unchanged apart from the new grill. The new grille does give the minivan a more upscale look. It gets rid of the body-color, V-shaped trim piece connecting the two headlights for a cleaner look.
Similar to the exterior, the interior changes made to the Elgrand are subtle too. The cabin is still very much upscale, with piano black or wood trim finishes available. Though it’s hard to tell, the driver gets a newly designed instrument cluster. It is paired with a larger 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. To keep occupants safe, Nissan fitted the 2021 Elgrand with 360° Safety Assist which now comes standard across all variants and trim. Some of the features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and lane departure warning.
If you wanted a sportier-looking Elgrand, Nissan also updated the Autech variant. Similar to the standard model, the exterior changes on the Autech model are limited to the grille. It’s the same story inside.
Even though the Elgrand is quite dated compared to other luxury minivans on the market (launched in 2010), it would make for great competition against the Toyota Alphard and the Honda Odyssey. Nissan Philippines president Atsushi Najima thought the same. He even asked Nissan Global Headquarters to bring it in. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely we will get this current-generation model as it is only available in right-hand drive.
Considering that the Elgrand is already 10 years old, we might see a new model in a few years. Hopefully, Nissan does build the next-generation Elgrand in left-hand drive configuration giving us more options to choose from in the luxury minivan market.
Nissan Philippines president Atsushi Najima did mention to us before that the Elgrand is on his wishlist for the local market, so much so that he asked senior management at Yokohama headquarters for a left hand drive model for the Philippines.
If Nissan does offer the Elgrand in left hand drive for us in the future, would you choose it instead of the Alphard or the Odyssey? Let us know in the comments below.