Nissan Elgrand E52

Nissan Elgrand Car Review by Phil Lee from Sun Rise Cars

The E52 Elgrand Model has now been approved: Importation Now Available! Compliance now available @ Sun Rise Cars – We are the first in Australia to be able to comply this Class Leading Machine…

The mothership has landed!

This is the one I have been waiting for since I was wowed by the E51 when we imported the first one to Australia a few years ago – Well I’ve been waiting with baited breath for the New E52 current shape Elgrand to arrive for some time now….. my secret thoughts were “they’ve made it worse, it’s front wheel drive, it dosen’t look as cool” –

BUT Hallelulia – I was wrong….!

The first Elgrand E52 test cars have arrived in Australia – our sample cars were a 3.5 litre top spec and a 2.5 litre almost top spec edition.

Here is my first impressions: I walk around the sexy black 3.5 litre and it does look beautiful – it’s gone from “Pimp in a Box” to “Classy smooth lines”. They have refined this car. The chrome highlights and beautiful finishes are as good as anything out of Europe – in fact – better. Every button or lever you touch feels solid, well-made, expensive and easy to use. The materials are beautiful. It’s not quite as big as the E51, but the clever rear seats mean there is still plenty of room in the rear seats (read:”kills a Tarago or Estima or Odysey or Voyager for space”)…

The level of luxury and and equipment is second to no other offering I can think of in a people mover. My opinion – it’s the best people mover in the world today. Better I hear you ask than a Toyota Vellfire or Alphard? – In my opinion – yes (with a a few conditions attached…!) The Toyota Alphard and Vellfire is a bit what the E51 was – they are more Pimp / Sexy to look at – styling wise – but for me the distinguishing factor that sets the E52 ELgrand ahead of the Toyota competition is the driving experience. The E52 feels better to drive – it feels more cosseting, more luxurious, more like a magnificent expensive limousine that fits in the whole family plus a few extras and luggage! The Toyotas are excellent – but as good as they are, as sexy as they are – they still feel like a very good, very efficient, very well made Toyota, whereas the new E52 Elgrand feels special to drive. Beautiful to drive – it feels like you are driving something quite special.

Check out my E52 Rider 3.5 video review here:

Contrary to my fears – it doesn’t feel like a front wheel drive car. There is no perceptible torque-steer when you push it hard (for the same aggressive driving in the Toyota Alphard/Vellfire – you can feel the steering wheel want to move around under heavy acceleration) – and it wants to really go hard. The 3.5 litre V6 is very responsive – beautiful usable acceleration. This is a great highway long-distance car with an abundance of power for overtaking at speed with a full load of passengers. The gearbox is special too. The new improved gearbox called an “X-tronic CVT” is absolutely seamless, with no perceptible gear-changes – it’s just pure smooth acceleration to the red-line. Nissan have been perfecting this gearbox since 2002 – and with this generation of current cars they have perfected it. This also gives the Nissan “the edge” over the Toyota competition in this class. (By the way – I am not biased here as we have also just started importing the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire – and they are magnificent cars too).

The other area where Nissan is the clear winner is the design of the last row of seats – this absolutely rocks! – the rear seats split-fold and fold away into the floor – and there is a deep storage well in the back as well. The space created in the back with the seats folded away is massive and more than makes up for the slightly smaller dimensions of the new design. (And many potential buyers will also prefer the slightly smaller dimensions of the E52 – I say this as I have heard many women with growing families look at the size of an E51 and take three steps backwards as they imagine maneuvering it in small parking spaces. The E52 is easier to park and also comes with the latest “Sky-view 360 degree park Assist Camera”: and parking sonar as well. Ladies and Gents with size concerns – this is your car. It’s lower roof line as well makes garages a breeze.

Also check out the new treatment of the rear windows (in this area Nissan has finally caught up with Toyota) – gone is the feeling of claustrophobia at not being able to wind down the back widows – these are back to the future and do what car windows are meant to do….!

Here are my video reviews of the 2.5 litre V6 Highway Star and the 3.5 litre Rider model

The Rider Top of the Range 3.5 litre V6:
The Highway Star 2.5 litre 4 cylinder:

Call Sun Rise Cars to place an order for the new E52 Elgrand – We deliver Australia-wide. Established 1971:

Call Phil on 02 9744 0539 or on 0416 285 333

What OPTIONS do you want??????

There are too many to choose from…..Here are some of the options that I do know about that you must consider when ordering in an E52 from Sun Rise Cars:

Seat material: Base models come in velour. Many Highway Stars have half leather, but some have full leather. Many dark leather interior cars I assumed were black but they are in fact very darl chocolate brown (a bit trendy – and looks good!)

Sun-roofs or none… a large number of E52 Elgrands don’t have sunroofs – expect to pay more in Japan for one with sunroofs….

4WD is an option – once again – add $2-$3000 extra for a used car with this option (It added $5000 to the new price)

Strangely the 2.5 litre models do not cost much less in Japan – contrary to what us Aussies would expect because the more economical variant proved to be more popular with JDM buyers… used prices are usually up there with the 3.5 litre versions – fuel savings will however be quite considerable as the smaller 4 cylinder is fantastic around town and sips fuel… For highway driving the savings are not as big…

As per the E51 there are 7 seater or 8 seater variants. Sun Rise Cars can add a seat to any of these variants once the car is in Australia – so we can make a 7 seater into an 8 seater – or make an 8 seater into a 9 seater…

There are a myriad more options that do not seem to be standard equipment on any particular model, be it a Highway Star, Rider or GT model. These can include:

  • Cruise control (very rarely fitted)
  • Heated Seats (front))
  • 5.1ch Premium surround sound)
  • Rear sunshade blinds)
  • electric rear hatch / door / tailgate)

I will add more to this list as I become familiar with this new model

Phil Lee

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