When Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) introduced the all-new NV350 Urvan standard variant, it immediately raised speculations as to when a dressed-up version would come out.
A couple of years after, those assumptions were granted when the Urvan Premium edition finally came out in April this year. While the standard model is hauling up unit sales from transport providers, the newest top spec is deemed to set the bar for a first-class yet affordable people carrier.
“The NV350 Urvan sold a total of 1,651 units, accounting for 31 percent of our sales for the first quarter of the year. And now, we continue to grow the business by entering a new segment, with the launch of the Nissan Urvan Premium,” NPI President and Managing Director Ramesh Narasimhan said.
In order to experience the new van’s premium offerings, NPI flew in select members of the motoring beat to the majestic island of Cebu. The sojourn was a four-hour drive all the way to an exclusive resort at the northern tip of the peninsula. Seeing the new Urvan Premium for the first time, the imposing massive frame is clearly indicative to the larger dimension versus the standard variant. But the right amount of delineations with smooth-edged corners all over managed to provide that first-class look. And the frontend’s chromed V-shaped angled strut grille along with sharper headlamps utters the Nissan design language. Even the 15-inch steel rims with multispoke designed covers (with 70R/195 series tires) complements the large frame. More so, the dark Tiger Eye Brown body color provided more sense of sophistication.
When we finally boarded this premium van, the cabin greeted us with infinite expansiveness in every sense of the word—tall headroom with enough paths to walk around, to name a few. With combined utilized materials, such as suede-like lining for the ceiling and molded plastics on the sides, you are certainly shrouded with class. As for the seats, its nothing short of relaxing, thanks to its ergonomic shape with soft paddings and wrapped with silky velvet fabric similar to a passenger car. Moreover, every seat (except for the last row) can be reclined and fitted with cup holders. The sliding door, with its combined broad opening and convenient closure assist, ingress and egress are now more convenient. Having a rear cabin this dainty, wherever you choose to settle makes no difference at all. And, of course, there’s enough ceiling air-con vents for each passenger emitting that Nissan’s trademark artic-cold air. In fact, the entire trip was so blissful and cold, dozing off became that difficult to avoid.
Meanwhile, behind the wheel was equally pleasurable. The elevated seating position provides a great vantage point aside from being snug and adjustable. Delivery-wise, there’s no question in terms of the acceleration coming the potent 2.5-liter, turbodiesel motor dishing out 356 N-m of maximum torque between 1,400-2,000 rpm. Despite the load, it effortlessly picked up cruising speeds swiftly and made overtaking easy. The coupled five-speed manual, on the other hand, has a close ratio, which can handle lower speeds at higher gears. It lessened downshifting, except during engine braking on downhills. Steering is also good, not to mention, the smaller diameter size that provides a car-like feel aside from being responsive and accurate. One noticeable aspect was how the load sensing valve (LSV) works with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and brake assist in controlling the force to deliver that powerful yet steady deceleration.
About four hours after, we reached the exclusive Kandaya Resort in Daanbantayan, Cebu, well-relaxed and composed. Then we all settled and capped the night with dinner and socials.
Nissan expands Cebu network with two more ‘NREDI’ dealerships
WHAT’S visibly evident in Metropolitan Cebu is the significant number of Nissan vehicles, particularly the Almera, roaming around the city. Since the private transport service became available, testaments of reliability and fuel efficiency paved the way for the subcompact sedan to be the best-selling car for the job. Other models also have contributed to the whopping 124-percent total sales growth in Region 7 alone—equivalent to 8 percent contribution to the overall.
“In the past year, the Nissan brand has grown significantly in the region of Cebu. And to continue to support this growth, we are very excited to be opening not just one, but two new NREDI-compliant dealerships, allowing us to enhance our Cebuano customers’ experience with the Nissan brand,” Narasimhan said.
Bringing the brand closer to customers in Talisay area is the newly opened Cebu South showroom situated along Highway Linao in Talisay City. This dealership is owned and operated by the Gateway Group, which is also involved with other premium auto brand franchise.
At the heart of the Metro, another showroom opened its doors to fortify Nissan’s presence in the central district. The new Cebu Central showroom is situated along A. Soriano Avenue, which has become an auto hub for having numerous car dealerships along the stretch. More than the business expansion and opportunity, dealership operator Autocentral Group has a deeper attachment to the brand. The family treasures the fact of owning several vintage and iconic Nissan vehicles in the past.
Both newly opened showrooms are NREDI 2.1(Nissan Retail Environment Design Initiative) compliant—the brand’s newest retail visual design, developed and implemented by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to its global dealership network. It boasts a number of stand-out features, including a spacious interior layout and leading-edge styling along with Nissan’s iconic Red Tablet, a signal to visitors and customers of the exciting vehicles and technologies on display inside. The new design was made with the customers as the priority to enhance their experience with the brand while in the showroom. Also, passersby will enjoy the view into the dealership through its clean, open and expansive glass walls.