Nissan Elgrand E51: A limousine in disguise
Nissan Elgrand is a luxurious people mover mainly used by celebrities and rich people in Japan because of its high maintenance costs.
The Elgrand isn’t your standard Minivan, it’s a huge eight seater luxury vehicle with ample power to haul whatever. It weighs two tonnes and comes with a 3499cc V6 engine! It’s not for the faint-hearted!
The model we are looking at is the E51. It’s the second generation Nissan Elgrand and was in production from 2002 to 2010. It comes with the looks and you get to pay for them. It’s exactly like that hot high maintenance chic that your uncle warned you about, just with less attitude.
It is bold and from the first glance it speaks and oozes luxury. It’s almost like it’s predecessor, only in a more refined way. It’s aero dynamic design makes it look like it cuts through the wind like a hot knife on butter. I personally love the view mirror design, it’s like they were pulled right out of the fenders, they came a little shot of showing you your whole past in the rear view.
The dash is as bulky as the car itself is. I’m not sure if the designer of the E51 Elgrand designs airplanes as well because, it does look so much like a cockpit. The centre console is awash with scores of buttons to control all kinds of things and it houses the gear lever as well. It has become the norm to have the gear lever right in the centre console. Most of the 90s Japanese cars had the gear lever in the steering column, something I never found interesting! Interesting so kudos to the designers.
First thing to notice about the Elgrand is that it’s quite a huge van. It’s not the type of car that you buy to drive to work everyday. It’s the type of car that you buy to use on those long trips with the whole family. It’s not as easy on fuel as it is on the eye, this is a 2 tonne vehicle with a 3,499cc V6 engine. It can carry your whole family and bags and tow a boat without breaking a sweat but breaking the bank.
It’s driven by the mighty Vq35 3499cc V6 engine boasting of some cool 240 horses. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via an automatic gearbox. You do get an option of a four-wheel drive if you are scared of being stuck on muddy patches. I say muddy because you won’t take this car off road even if you wanted to . . . It’s too pretty and too low but rear -wheel drive cars have a tendency of getting stuck in odd places so a four-wheel drive may do you good.
The E51 Nissan Elgrand seats 7 or 8 people depending on the trim level. As I mentioned earlier, they were made for rich people and they are quite luxurious.
The seats are more like couches which were crafted purely for royalty. Higher spec Elgrands have leather interior, retractable leg rests and centre tables. Middle row seats can turn to face the last row of seats on some models.
Of all the mini vans I have seen, the Elgrand has to be the best when it comes to luxury and space. With things like retractable leg rests, what more would you want when you’ve got a car you can stretch your legs in?
This isn’t just a minivan, it’s a limousine in disguise. It’s not cramped up and even the last row of seats accommodates tall adults with ease.
This model comes with a smart key. Since there are smart phones nowadays, we’ve got to have smart keys! That means it’s got keyless entry and keyless start and that is not all, this car has a power rear door which can be controlled by the driver. You don’t need to curse your ancestors when someone cannot open the door, you just press the button and voila! It’s like magic.
I said this car is a limousine in disguise, I didn’t lie. If you manage to get a high spec E51 you may get the 9 speaker Bose sound system. If you know Bose, you know they don’t play when it comes to audio systems. This system includes a small sub-woofer in the boot area. What more would you want? A TV?
The Elgrand comes with a TV mounted on the roof as well. You would need a chauffeur to enjoy all this luxuries. The TV however, does not work in Zimbabwe as it programmed for Japan, you can however, use the DVD player to watch whatever you wish to watch.
So, watch out for the E51 Elgrand, it has space for Africa and enough power to go with. The only downside is that it drinks like a whale but for the experience, it’s well worth it! — Sunday News