Serena is the latest model in the minivan fierce battlefield
Speaking of standard family car models, many people will think of minivans. Among the minivans, the most popular category is the 2L class. Representative models such as Toyota Voxy/Noah/Esquire, Nissan Serena, and Honda Stepwagon are regular top-ranked new car registrations.
The latest model among them is the 5th generation Serena, which appeared in August 2016. In addition to the basic performance of a minivan, it is equipped with advanced safety equipment and has been very popular since its release. Here we will introduce the charm of the Serena, which has a strong presence in the 2L class, the most popular minivan.
The 3rd generation, with its large body, made the Serena synonymous with minivans, and the 4th generation inherited it.
The Serena first appeared in 1991, but it became a popular model from the third generation Serena that appeared in 2005. By changing the shift position from a column type to an instrument panel type and setting the wheelbase to 2860mm, the longest in its class, it achieved a wider interior space than rival models and became popular.
The 4th generation Serena debuted in 2010. Although the displacement of the installed engine is the same as the conventional 2L, by adopting direct injection and realizing efficiency improvement, both low fuel consumption and high output are achieved. In addition, a system called Smart Simple Hybrid equipped with a small-output ECO motor is adopted. It contributes to smooth driving and low fuel consumption by providing an assist function when starting and supplying power when idling is stopped.
The 5th generation is also larger than the actual size and looks splendid
The current fifth-generation Serena was launched in August 2016. Superior packaging and design continue to lead the class with interior length of 3240mm and interior width of 1545mm. Furthermore, it is also characterized by securing a wide field of view for the driver by slimming the A pillar and changing the meter design.
The secret behind the popularity of Serena from the third generation onwards is its appearance, which looks larger than it actually is. In this respect, the current model, which is the 5th generation, steadily inherits the tradition. In fact, it’s almost the same size as its rivals, but it has a face reminiscent of the high-end minivans Elgrand and Vellfire, and the rear half of the body is not narrowed down. It can be said that it is a clever exterior design that makes you think.
“ProPILOT” allows you to experience the future in an easy-to-understand manner
And the topic of the current Serena is “ProPILOT” of the same lane automatic driving technology. On expressways and other motorways, the ProPILOT maintains a constant distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle at the upper speed limit set by the driver (approximately 30 to 100 km/h), while driving in the center of the lane. A function that supports steering operation and supports the driver’s driving. This is the world’s first advanced safe driving support system adopted by Serena as a minivan.
When the car in front of you stops, your car also stops, and when you take off, it starts to move along with it. Although it is limited to highways, the steering will automatically move when there are some curves (although it is a must to put your hands on it for safety), which will also impress you at first. There is room for improvement in the area of taking too much distance from the car in front, but I have high hopes for future improvements.
In addition, it is possible to open and close only the glass part, making it easy to load and unload luggage even in narrow spaces, a hands-free automatic sliding door that can be opened and closed simply by moving your foot, and a second row seat that can be arranged in various ways. , It is packed with highly convenient equipment considering the family layer that purchases Serena. The Serena has the largest interior space in its class, but it doesn’t stick to a low floor like a step wagon, and there is a step between the door and the floor when riding. This may be an interesting point for some people.
Will average fuel efficiency become a weak point in the future?
The low-priced Serena S is equipped with a 2L gasoline engine, but the other grades are equipped with an S hybrid system that combines a 2L straight 4 gasoline engine with a maximum output of 110kW (150ps) and a motor. Unlike Toyota’s, this hybrid uses a very small motor and battery, so fuel efficiency and power performance are not noteworthy. JC08 mode fuel consumption is an average value of 15.0-17.2km/L.
In the future, a full-fledged hybrid will be added to the step wagon, so fuel efficiency may be one of the few weaknesses of the current Serena, but it may not be overlooked.
Rival also prepares a follow-up system with minor changes
Now let’s compare the Serena to its rivals. The Toyota Voxy is the best-selling model in its class. The current model that appeared in 2014 underwent a minor change in July 2017, and the exterior design was changed. There are two types of powertrains: a 2L gasoline engine and a 1.8L gasoline engine + motor hybrid system called THSII. As with Serena, we have set up a series with aero parts and 3 number sizes.
Although minor changes have been made, the old design cannot be hidden in terms of advanced safety equipment and interior equipment. However, if you add Noah and Esquire, which are brother cars, it is a majestic sales volume. After all, the good fuel efficiency of the hybrid is supported by users.
The current Honda Stepwagon was launched in April 2015. It features an exciting gate with a sub door that can be opened sideways to the rear gate with a large opening. Only a 1.5L turbo that produces a maximum output of 150ps is installed, but the long-awaited hybrid vehicle will be added soon. In addition to the standard model, you can also choose from two types of step wagons, the sporty Spada model.
It is a pioneer in this class and threatens the Serena in terms of driving performance and interior space, such as low floors and storage under the floor of the third row seat. is not growing. Please pay attention to the future when the hybrid model is added.
Hybrid Voxy is one step ahead in terms of fuel efficiency
JC08 mode fuel efficiency is 15.0-17.2km/L for Serena and 14.8-23.8km/L for Voxy. And the step wagon is 15.0 to 17.0km / L, and Voxy, which has a lineup of hybrid vehicles, is leading. There is no doubt that this is directly related to sales volume. The addition of a hybrid vehicle to the Step WGN may be a bit of a headwind for Serena.
The center of popularity is highway star, professional pilot by all means!
There are two types of Serena: 5 number size Serena and 3 number Serena Highway Star with aero parts installed. There are five grades: S, X, G, Highway Star, and Highway Star G, and 4WD vehicles are available in three grades: X, G, and Highway Star. The difference in equipment depending on the grade is the halogen headlight G / Highway Star G is upgraded to a cool LED headlight. In addition to adopting a special suspension for the Highway Star, 16-inch wheels for the Highway Star G (15-inch wheels for others) are standard equipment. The advanced driving support equipment ProPILOT is available as an option on all grades except S.
Finally, let’s introduce Serena’s recommended grade. A feature of this class is that it is easy to make a difference in the amount of money you can sell over the purchase price of a new car. As a result, considering the resale value, the Highway Star cannot be removed. Then, if you choose Highway Star, we recommend the standard grade Highway Star.
If you choose the high-grade Highway Star G, 16-inch aluminum wheels will be standard. As a result, it looks cool and improves running stability, but the minimum turning radius has been reduced from 5.5m to 5.7m. And the fuel consumption performance will also deteriorate from 17.2km / L to 16.6km / L. Although there are other equipment differences, the price difference is about 330,000 yen.
Can you overcome rough seas with fine appearance, attention to detail, and advanced equipment?
Traditionally, it has a style that looks better than its rivals, an easy-to-use model that has been thoroughly researched for the family, and the advanced driving support equipment “ProPILOT”. The new Serena is a very attractive minivan and is probably the best choice for families at the moment. But in this highly competitive class, especially when it comes to fuel economy, the addition of a hybrid to an equally well-made Stepwgn means Serena is about to make its next move.
*The content of the article is based on information as of September 2017