Nissan Magnite AMT Review: The Lone Wolf

Pratik RakshitNov 23, 2023

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Nissan Magnite AMT

Nissan introduces a new gearbox for the Magnite SUV, aiming to reclaim market share in the competitive subcompact SUV space.

Nissan India made its mark in the subcompact SUV space with the Magnite over three years ago, selling more than 1 lakh units thanks to its killer pricing. And while Nissan knows it can’t compete with the big boys in the segment, such as the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, and segment leader Maruti Suzuki Brezza, it’s taking the fight to a segment lower. And that's exactly where the Magnite AMT comes in, positioned between the manual and the slightly more expensive turbo CVTs. But to top it all off, Nissan is offering this variant in five trims, starting right from the base model, to give buyers a bit of freedom while choosing an affordable subcompact SUV.

Engine & Transmission

So, why go with an AMT? Well, Nissan already employs a manual gearbox with its turbo and non-turbo, along with a CVT on the former. So, pairing the naturally aspirated engine with an AMT made economic sense.

Displacement

999 cc

Max Power

71 bhp @ 6250 rpm

Peak Torque

96 Nm @ 3500 rpm

Transmission

5-Speed MT/ 5-Speed AMT

Likewise, it employs the same 1.0-litre petrol engine as the manual variant. And that’s understandable with smaller capacity powertrains, that too with a 3-cylinder set-up.

But what’s surprising here is the gearbox. In terms of gear transitions, the AMT exhibits a noticeable lag. Shifting up is generally smooth but downshifts can be a bit sluggish especially when you're out on the highway attempting high-speed overtakes. This necessitates a bit of foresight and anticipation in your driving.

But there’s a way around this. So the ideal way to work this gearbox is to slot it into the manual mode, reach a desirable speed with slightly laggy shifts and then move to the automatic mode. This way, you don’t have to compromise with jerky shifts.

Ride & Handling

Once you move past this, the Magnite feels right at home. But of course, there’s another caveat. The ride quality of the Magnite is clearly tuned for comfort and it handles uneven or rough roads quite well. Big bumps will obviously be felt inside.

However, when it comes to steering, there's a noticeable lack of liveliness that can leave the driver feeling disconnected and lacking confidence behind the wheel. Is there a way around this too? Well, quite frankly, no. Add to that, massive body roll hampers the entire driving experience.

Exterior

The design and styling of the Magnite has always been attractive. It’s retained the muscle to exude a road presence, it’s still generously used chrome all around to keep the premiumness intact and all that cladding around gives it a bold, SUV stance.

So no tweaks on that front. Of course, you get a black roof now instead of a white one and the EZ-Shift lettering at the back. That’s all!

Tech & Interior

Even on the inside, there’s no noticeable change. Ample cushioning on the seats, wireless connectivity for Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, a multi-information display for the driver, and a decently responsive 8-inch touchscreen.

Nissan Magnite AMT

Nissan is offering a good set of features to keep up with the competition. Of course, it lacks a sunroof like the Exter or even the Punch now but that’s not a dealbreaker.

Nissan Magnite AMT

Verdict

So, how exactly does Magnite’s EZ-Shift slot into the bigger picture? Well, Nissan claims to have found a sweet spot under the Rs. 7.50 lakh bracket, with not many options available.

Competition

Hyundai Exter AMT

Tata Punch AMT

Maruti Suzuki WagonR AMT

Prices (ex-showroom, India)

Rs. 8.68 lakh-Rs. 10.10 lakh

Rs. 7.50 lakh- Rs. 10.10 lakh

Rs. 6.55 lakh- Rs. 7.30 lakh

Nissan Magnite AMT

While other OEMs are offering AMTs at a surcharge of Rs. 50,000- Rs. 70,000 over their corresponding manual versions, Nissan is said to charge about Rs. 30,000 more for the AMT versions than for the manuals to keep the pricing very aggressive. With the festive season around the corner, Nissan is hoping that the AMT is a hit and at a killer price, it could be!

Photography By: Anand Malepu

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