The Nissan Elgrand was a minivan and light commercial vehicle available since 1997.
Nissan Elgrand Design and Introduction
In an effort to compete against the Toyota Alphard and Honda Odyssey, Nissan developed the Elgrand minivan (E50). It was a 4-door vehicle that featured a front-engine design and was available in rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. The Elgrand was sold as both a passenger minivan and a light commercial vehicle with additional rear cargo room. It was sold exclusively at Nissan Bluebird Store dealerships in Japan.
Engine and Transmission
The engine choices for the first generation Nissan Elgrand included two gasoline and two diesel options. The gasoline options were a 3.3L VG33E V6 and 3.5L VG35DE V6. Both diesel engines were turbocharged inline-4, including the 3.0L ZD30DDTi and 3.2L QD32ETi. The only available transmission was a 4-speed automatic. Those who wanted additional traction to deal with snowy or otherwise slick surfaces could opt for a four-wheel drive version instead of the standard rear-wheel drive.
Available Features and Variants
Several trim levels were available including V, VG, X, XL, Highway Star, Rider, and S Edition. Some available options included a satellite navigation system called CarWings in addition to many wheel, stereo, and other interior enhancement options. This generation of the Nissan Elgrand was also modified for use as a large 10-passenger taxicab as well as a paramedic vehicle, which used a high-roof body style in the rear to accommodate the paramedic needs.
Second Generation Updates
In 2002, the second-generation Nissan Elgrand (E51) was introduced. It retained much of the trim level options from the previous generation, but now added cruise control, multi-deck CD, Bose stereo system, and a 7” LCD rear TV. The CarWings satellite navigation was still available, in addition to a backup camera and a 4-view camera technology that provided all-around visibility while reversing. The engine choices were now paired down to just two gasoline options, including a smaller 2.5L VQ25DE V6 and the same 3.5L VG35DE V6 from the first generation. The transmission now was a RE5R05A 5-speed automatic that featured manumatic shifting. Many variants of the second generation Nissan Elgrand were released, include the Elgrand Rider which had a lot of exterior upgrades such as all-around body kit with unique bumpers, lamps, and trim, plus many interior upgrades. The Autech Elgrand VIP was a more luxurious version with leather-wrapped interior components and a rear audio system with electric ottoman.
2010 Third Generation Changes
Many changes were introduced in 2010 when the third generation Nissan Elgrand (E52) was released. It was still a 4-door minivan but now used front-wheel in the standard model but could still be upgraded to four-wheel drive. It was built on the Nissan D platform. The engine choices remained similar with 2.5L inline-4 and a 3.5L V6 options, but now both were paired to a 7-speed Xtronic CVT. The trim levels now changed to the 250/350 (depending on engine size) XG, Highway Star, and many Highway Star variants. A mobility-accessible Elgrand was introduced as the Enchant, providing handicap access to the second row. A power rear lift gate and power sliding side doors are available in many ELgrand models, in addition to 18-inch wheels, navigation system, leather interior appointments, and more. The top-of-the-line VIP trim level was released in 2014, and the Nissan Elgrand received another styling update in 2020. The Elgrand is still only officially sold in Japan, but it has been exported to nearby markets such as Australia and New Zealand for a long time. Demand for this efficient minivan is creeping around the globe, with some imports being noted in Canada, the UK, and Russia.