Nissan Serena Named 2023 Technology Car Of The Year In Japan

The Serena follows on from the X-Trail that won this particular Japan COTY category last year. 

While we in Malaysia are still saddled with the prior generation Serena, a new iteration of this has already been out in Japan for over a year already. And in recent months too this minivan has been steadily sweeping up the automotive awards in its home country, with the most recent of which being the Technology Car Of The Year gong as part of 2023-2024 Japan Car Of The Year (Japan COTY) contest. 

The Serena currently carries on Nissan’s winning streak in the Technology Car of the Year category at the Japan COTY for the second year running, with the X-Trail having taken the gong last year. This Japanese minivan has incidentally been awarded a similar award by the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC), with it taking home the RJC Technology of the Year and more significantly too the overall RJC Car of the Year titles this year. 

In line with its product pledge of “Serena is more than a thing, it is a memory” Nissan touts that a number of supporting technologies have been highly rated by the Japan COTY committee for this minivan to take home the prize. The adjudicators were apparently impressed by the top-grade variant’s ProPILOT 2.0 active safety suite, which enabled hands-off single-lane driving on highways (at speeds above 40 km/h)

Nissan is also keen to point out that the top-spec Serenas are also available with ProPILOT Remote Park and ProPILOT Park memory, which records and recognises parking space lines. Though what the judges were apparently more impressed was the power and refinement from the second-generation e-POWER powertrain that featured within this massive MPV. 

A powertrain setup that has its wheels driven entirely by an electric motor that is then powered by a newly-developed 1.4-litre three cylinder acting as its generator, Nissan claims for this improved drive system delivers more powerful and smooth acceleration with less engine noise. The Serena is also equipped with a world-first, energy management technology that controls when the engine turns on and off in accordance with vehicle speed, traffic conditions and the navigation system, which in turn increases its fuel efficiency. 

Other key areas of praise offered to the Serena were regarding its crosswind-resistant aerodynamic profile, which is complimented on the outside by what Nissan touts to be the widest windshield in the minivan category and an equally-wide front grille design. As for interior highlights meanwhile, this MPV features a new seat design that dampens occupant movement and an optional 100 V AC power source (1500 W) that can provide power to electrical appliances when outdoors. 

The Serena is currently available in 7 grades that encompasses 7- and 8-seater configurations in its home market of Japan. Two powertrain choices are available too over there, with a more conventional 2.0-litre petrol four-pot complementing the aforementioned e-POWER option. 

Prices in Japan for the Serena currently range from ¥2,768,700 (RM 90,000) to ¥4,798,200 (RM 155,000) and as of the end of October, the total number of sales received in Japan exceeded 60,000 units. Unfortunately however, there has yet been any word from Edaran Tan Chong as to when exactly these hot-selling and award-winning Nissan minivans will be available over here. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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