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Sunday September 9, 2012
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grand Livina sings a new tune, thanks to Impul.
THE Nissan Grand Livina is arguably one of the most popular multipurpose vehicles (MPV) in the country, and not surprisingly, is distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s (ETCM) best-selling vehicle.
Traditionally, MPVs are usually snapped up by individuals with either large families or young couples that are expecting to start a family of their own.
When ETCM first launched its Grand Livina tuned by Impul in 2009, its objective was simple – to target a younger market or those looking for an MPV with a sportier look, style and handling.
Those looking for an upgrade would be pleased to know that the company just unveiled a new variant of the Grand Livina tuned by Impul earlier this year.
The new Grand Livina comes in two variants, the 1.8-litre (available in automatic transmission only) and 1.6l (available in both manual and automatic transmissions).
We got to test drive the 1.6-litre manual version. For the uninitiated, Impul is a well-known Japanese after-market tuning house. Those familiar with Impul will know that the additions to this new MPV (versus the standard version of the Grand Livina) are mostly aesthetics changes.
Fans of this MPV will immediately notice the new aerokit, especially the front grille, which incorporates the new Impul logo and adds to the attractiveness of the vehicle’s front fascia.
To add to its sportiness, the suspension system consists of upgraded shock absorbers and springs that are fine-tuned with a 25mm lowered ride height to reduce unwanted roll and pitch for optimised ride handling.
Thanks to the stiff, lowered suspension, however, the impact of driving into holes and bumps in the road felt more apparent in the cabin. Nevertheless, the damping helped make the Grand Livina more stable when driven on unevenground.
The lower ride height is complemented by Impul Aura SX-10 17-inch alloy wheels, which, according to ETCM, are 20% to 30% lighter than conventional alloys thanks to Impul’s New Super Cast manufacturing process.
Meanwhile, a stainless steel exhaust muffler etched with the Impul logo tail pipe is integrated into the newly designed rear section.
As you might have guessed, thanks to the muffler, the Impul Grand Livina is louder than its standard counterpart.
The mild growl is especially apparent when driving in the still of the night – although it’s not so loud that it would bother occupants looking for some shut-eye in the back.
Speaking of which, there were no complaints about the head and legroom of this seven-seater during the test drive. Even passengers in the third row were comfortable enough. The spacious interior is finished in dark grey material.
Boot space is a little limited, though for added room, the second and third row seats can be folded down.
The air-conditioning vents for the second row remain in the Impul variant and are indeed a blessing, especially when driving with a full load and in blazing weather.
Powerwise, the 1.6-litre, five-speed manual Grand Livina Impul is powered by a double overhead cam (DOHC), 16-valve, four-cyclinder HR16DE engine that produces 105 hp at 5,200 rpm with torque figures of 150 Nm at 4,400 rpms.
Purists might feel that this variant could be a bit wanting in terms of power. However, during our test-drive, even with a full load (seven people in the vehicle), the MPV did not disappoint with its hauling ability, even when driven uphill.
The new Grand Livina comes in four colours: tungsten silver, sapphire black, twilight grey and brilliant white.
I personally liked the “Impul” word that’s etched on both the sides of the MPV. It somewhat resembles the zig-zag pattern of the dot on a heartbeat monitor – which I feel is appropriate for a facelift vehicle that’s meant to invigorate life to owners with its sporty look.
This Tuned By Impul version is offered at only RM10,700 above the standard version.
On-the-road price (inclusive of insurance, road tax, registration fee and ownership claim fee) for the 1.6lmanual is RM97,500 (Peninsular Malaysia).
It comes with a three-year or 100,000 km warranty (whichever comes first) and after-market purchase of Impul performance parts will also be available to existing Grand Livina owners.
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