Let’s to back 20 years in time. What did we have then that we could vaguely compare to the MPV? The Kombi? The Hi-Ace? Oh, there was also the Toyota Venture… Things have changed so much so over the last couple of decades, that motoring manufacturers are now concentrating on a totally new, but equally as seriously a competitive market.
The average family has 2 kids and perhaps a dog. Now try and throw all 4 of them in a car, with luggage and don’t forget the german sheppard. You would not have enough room in a Golf 3 for this 15 years ago. Thankfully, they have now made it easy for those of us who have a family and also a pet that occasionally travels with us. The MPV, or as some would like to call it; a Mommy Wagon, has always had to be practical and functional. You won’t find 0-100kph in 6 seconds here – if you need that, spend another R600 000. What you will find is a roomy interior, cloth seats, for when little Paul decides to draw on them and after he’s spilled his cool drink on them, too. This makes for a much easier, less expensive trip to the car wash instead of those pricey car valet centers. If you have the optional 7 seater, you can fit even more little ones in there; perfect I tell you, just perfect.
The Nissan Livinia 1.6 Accenta features a 1.6l engine with multi-point fuel injection, making 80kw and 153nm of torque. This gives the car a brisk acceleration from 0-100kph in about 11seconds. Should be sufficient for most as the car never really feels slow. The 175/70/14 wheels ride nice and soft and, with such a hi profile, you can definitely venture off on to rougher country roads. Slowing down is taken care of by ventilated front disks, with rear drums and ABS, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution as standard on this model. The entry level Visia does not have ABS. 2 airbags seem to be the norm these days and the Livina is fitted with 2; both driver and passenger has their own airbag respectively.
The interior is a little plastic, but feels durable and looks like it should hold up to marks pretty well. It looks pretty good for a car in this class and, as usual, things could be a lot worse. I really like the radio and center control layout. It’s easy to read and also easy to use. Our model was fitted with electric windows all round, with just the driver having the one touchdown option. The Livina also has a remote immobilizer and alarm with central locking, keeping those thieves at bay.
The 6 speaker radio with RDS has good volume and clarity, however, there is unfortunately no USB or Ipod support.
Services are every 15000km with a 3 year 60 000km service plan and a 3 year 100 000km mechanical warranty.
If you are looking for a little-person-hauler and don’t want to break the bank, go drive the Nissan Livina. There are certainly worse ways to spend R172 000