2023 Nissan Livina VE Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Feb 10, 2023

Editor's: 3.8/5
Not wanting to be left out of the MPV slugfest.
2023 Nissan Livina VE Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2023 Nissan Livina VE Review: Introduction

If you check our review section on our website, you will notice that the most recent ones cover multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs). The probable reason for that is the increasing number of MPVs locally, with the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) reporting a 58 percent sales increase in the said market last year.

Nissan front view

2023 Nissan Livina VE

As a company aiming to finish higher in the overall industry sales ranking, Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) doesn’t want to miss out by introducing the Livina last September 2022. The Japanese automaker is looking to have an even more outstanding year after finishing fourth in 2022, selling 21,222 units.

Joining the battle royale with four variants, does the Nissan Livina has what it takes to garner a significant amount of market share in the growing MPV demand? Particularly this mid-spec VE variant despite lacking top-spec VL-exclusive features? Read on to find out.

3.8/5

Nissan Livina 2023 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.0/5

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology
    3.0/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    4.0/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    4.0/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    4.0/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2023 Nissan Livina VE Exterior Review: A league of its own

The Nissan Livina is based on the Mitsubishi Xpander courtesy of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, hence the similarities of the two MPVs design-wise. I expected the Livina to look outdated considering it is built upon the pre-facelifted Xpander but the vehicle surprised me seeing it in person for the first time.

Nissan Livina wheel

16-inch alloys

To make the Nissan MPV look distinct, the automaker added its signatures on the exterior. These include the V-Motion grille, boomerang daytime running lights (DRLs), and combination taillights with signature LEDs. All of which are standard across the board.

After some time with the vehicle, I started to prefer it over the Mitsubishi Xpander when it comes to styling. One of the design cues that won me over is the protruding headlamp housing with sharp and 3D-looking corners. If you are a fan of LED headlamps, you, unfortunately, won’t get it on the Livina. It has halogens even on the top-spec VL trim.

Nissan Livina rear view

The exterior gets Nissan's signature styling cues

You can skip the flagship Livina if you want sleek-looking wheels as both the VE and VL get a set of 16-inch machine-finished alloy wheels anyway. The design doesn’t look too showy, which I like for vehicles marketed to be as affordable as possible.

It's quite difficult to claim that the Livina can stand out in the design competition, especially now that Hyundai has a new and stylish MPV called the Stargazer. But what I appreciate is the design team’s work to make the Livina a looker even if you don’t opt for the top-spec VL. In turn, the vehicle doesn’t look compromised even with the VE package.

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2023 Nissan Livina VE Interior Review: Fairly modest

While I fancy the Nissan Livina more than the Mitsubishi Xpander exterior-wise, I don’t hold the same sentiments about the interior. The cabin does look premium at first sight. But when you get a hold of the materials used, I barely spotted soft touch points.

Nissan Livina interior view

Interior of the Nissan Livina

Another concern I have is the handbrake, which is placed on the far side of the center console, with the two bottle holders closer to me. When my front passenger put her large AquaFlask on the bottle holder, it got in the way when shifting the gear lever. The reason for the layout is that the Livina is sourced from Indonesia where they have right-hand drive cars.

But apart from those, I think that the cabin is pretty decent. The soft-sounding door thud and white hazard light button are two of the small details I appreciate inside. I commend the looks of the VE as well, which have a combination of faux wood, brown accents, and chrome trimmings.

Nissan Livina third-row seats

The Livina is a 7-seater MPV

Despite not having the VL’s black leather seats, I enjoyed the VE’s comfortable fabric seats. You can get an idea about the Livina’s interior space if you have been in a Mitsubishi Xpander before. Passengers seating in the first and second-row seats shouldn’t have much of a legroom issue. But we don’t suggest adults sitting in the third row on long road trips.

The VE and VL benefit from a 6-way manual adjustable driver seat, which is good if you don’t want to pay top-spec money. A 4-way manual adjustable front passenger seat comes standard across the range, as well as a 60:40-split second-row seat with a center armrest and a 50:50-split third-row seat.

2023 Nissan Livina VE: Tech & Safety Review

Integrated into the center console is a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen for the VE and VL variants. No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto though, which is quite a letdown since its segment rivals such as the Xpander and the Stargazer come with the said feature. So for your audio streaming needs, use Bluetooth.

Nissan Livina infotainment screen

7-inch head unit

I didn’t have an issue using the infotainment system as it was quite responsive. But the lack of tactile buttons made it difficult for me quickly navigate the system. You do get massive rotary knobs for your climate control, allowing me to adjust the fan speed without taking my eyes off the road too much. The infotainment touchscreen's interface or icons look outdated though.

For the next update, I wish NPI adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the equipment list. The two connectivity systems are becoming essential these days as most people have smartphones. Another feature I would love to see is the Nissan Advanced Touchscreen you will find in the Kicks and Almera. It is one of my favorite infotainment systems among mass-market cars due to its easy-to-use interface.

Nissan Livina under-seat storage

The Livina maximizes practicality

When it comes to the safety department, the Nissan Livina is pretty much at par with other MPVs. No need to opt for the VL to get all available safety features, namely two SRS front airbags, a reverse camera, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and Traction Control System (TCS).

But with the Hyundai Stargazer offering Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features such as Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Keep Assist, the Livina might need to step up if it wants to stand out safety-wise. It doesn’t even come with cruise control either, which I was missing during my time with the vehicle.

2023 Nissan Livina VE: Engine & Performance

Under the hood, the Nissan Livina is powered by a 1.5-liter DOHC gasoline engine capable of generating 104 horsepower and 141 Nm of torque. As for the model I drove, it uses a 4-speed automatic gearbox.

Nissan Livina engine

1.5-liter gas engine

Driving the Japanese MPV was a joy. The transmission felt like it understood what I want to do next, downshifting and upshifting in an ideal manner. 104 horsepower might not sound much but it got the job done for me even with seven people seated in the cabin.

The NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) was another driving aspect that impressed me in the Livina. Body rolls were barely felt even when changing lanes on the expressway, while the ride comfort, along with the comfortable seats, was as good as it gets. For a compact MPV, I didn’t expect those characteristics but it was fun to experience.

Nissan Livina rear view

Nissan's MPV uses ventilated discs for the front and drum brakes for the rear

Perhaps the only part of the drive that caught my attention was the steering. Not to say that it was bad but steering the vehicle wasn’t as responsive to my inputs as I thought it would be. To be fair, MPVs are lengthy to prioritize space, hence this type of vehicle isn’t the most agile out there.

But overall, driving is one of the strongest points of the Livina for me. I don’t mind using it on a daily as it gave me a car-like driving experience. If I get to own a Livina someday, I’m sure I’ll work my way around the lack of steering feel after a week or two.

2023 Nissan Livina VE: Fuel Efficiency

The Nissan Livina managed to return 8.1 km/l after driving it for three days in the city at an average speed of 20 km/h. On most days, I have passengers with me so I believe that the said fuel efficiency rating can be further improved. Regardless, I think that is already good enough for a 7-seater vehicle.

Nissan Livina instrument gauge cluster

Mono-tone LCD

As for the highway fuel eco test run, I recorded 18.9 km/l while driving at an average speed of 80 km/h. Although I don’t use cruise control in testing a car’s fuel efficiency, I believe I would’ve gotten a slightly better number if this feature is added in the Livina as I tend to be heavy-footed on highways.

In comparison to one of the Livina’s main rivals, the Stargazer, the Korean MPV returned 9.5 km/l in the city, and 20 km/l on the highway in our fuel eco test runs. The Hyundai Stargazer got the better end in both city and highway tests.

2023 Nissan Livina VE: Verdict

After a week of testing the Nissan Livina VE, I can say that it can go head-to-head with its competitors. By skipping the VL, you only miss black-themed accents, an intelligent key system, push-start button, and leather seats. More importantly, you save Php 60,000 as the Livina VE retails at Php 1,149,000.

Nissan Livina front view

One sleek-looking MPV

Sure, the MPV market is tightly contested more than ever as various automakers have brought in new entries. But even for the mid-spec Livina, it already has a lot of advantages that don’t show up on paper, namely the appealing exterior design, comfortable seats, and well-rounded driving characteristics.

I can vouch that the Nissan Livina can competitively go up against its rivals given I’ve already driven the MPV. But I think without the inclusion of certain features such as cruise control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, the battle for the automaker becomes inevitably more challenging.

NPI is offering the 2023 Nissan Livina with a price that ranges from Php 1,029,000 for the E and goes up to Php 1,209,000 for the VL.

2023 Nissan Livina: Variants & Price

 

Nissan Livina Price & Variants in the Philippines

Livina E 1.5 MT

Php 1,029,000

Livina EL 1.5 AT

Php 1,109,000

Livina VE 1.5 AT

Php 1,149,000

Livina VL 1.5 AT

Php 1,209,000

2023 Nissan Livina: Color Options

2023 Nissan Livina Color Options

Royal Ruby Red, Diamond Pearl White, Onyx Black
Platinum Silver, Moonstone Grey

2023 Nissan Livina: Specs

Overall

Make

Nissan

Name

Livina VE

Body Type

7-seater MPV

Dimensions and Weight

Length

4,510mm

Width

1,750mm

Height

1,700mm

Wheelbase

2,775mm

Engine and Transmission

Type

1.5-liter inline-4 DOHC gasoline

Max Power

104 horsepower

Max Torque

141 Nm

Transmission

4-speed automatic

Chassis and Suspension

Brakes (front/rear)

 Ventilated Discs/Drum

Suspension (front/rear)

MacPherson Struts Coil Spring
with Stabilizer/Torsion Beam

Wheels and Tires

205/55 R16 Alloy

Exterior

Multi-reflector halogen

Daytime running lights

Combination tail lamps with signature LEDs

Interior

Brown fabric seats

Mono-tone LCD

7-inch infotainment touchscreen

Urethane steering wheel

Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

Four speakers

Safety and Security

Driver and front passenger SRS airbags

ISOFIX tethers

Anti-lock braking

Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)

Traction Control System (TCS)

Parking Sensors

Hill Start Assist (HSA)

Reverse camera

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez

Author

Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rexsanchez09

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