So the van-like design does not leave any parting influence on the onlooker, but the boxy design has its own benefits such as the space and comfort of a living room. Remember, the Evalia derives its DNA from the NV200 which was the International Van of the Year for 2010.
You must also know that the Indian Evalia is not targeted at the fleets. It is targeted at personal buyers like you and me. Thus, it needs to offer utmost practicality and some really good tech to keep our families happy.
Does it deliver?
The Nissan Evalia is easily the most spacious car in its segment. Owing to the front wheel drive architecture, a flat floor, and a cab forward design, you can pack up a small battalion with all their armour.
Thanks to the smart key, you can open the door of the Evalia pressing a small button on the door handle.
Immediately, you will notice a small side step on the driver side for easy ingress. The Evalia’s floor is very high above the ground making a side step a very important accessory. The dead pedal makes sure that you don’t feel tired on long journeys
The interior is a combination of a two tone beige and grey plastics of the same quality that we have seen on the Micra and Sunny. In fact, there is a lot of component sharing between the Evalia and its siblings. There are no soft touch plastics but the fit and finish is good.
Once you strap yourself into the buckets seat, you notice the steering wheel is below your arm’s length. It takes time to get used to the driving position of the Evalia simply because the seating position is unlike Innova and Xylo. The glass house provides awesome visibility and a great view of the road ahead.
The steering wheel is taken from the Micra which can be adjusted for height but not for reach. The indicator and wiper stalk are on the expected side, like in most Nissan cars. A digital tachometer with cool graphics is present on the instrument panel. It doubles as a small guidance screen to help you with parking. It has a MID that gives average FE, real time FE, digital fuel gauge, distance traveled, vehicle door warning light distance to empty.
It also has a shift indicator to make sure you are driving fuel efficiently. The OVRM adjustment switches are easily reachable. There is also a small card holder next to the OVRM adjustment switch, which is a practical addition.
The center console is simple with very few switches.
Above the console, you find a small space to store regular knick-knacks. The center console wears an aluminum-like trim, which is a nice touch.
The Evalia comes with a factory fitted two-din music system. with CD and Aux functionality but no USB. The four speakers provide a quality listening experience.
The gear level is fixed not on the floor but on the center console like a Hyundai i10. It is easily accessible and frees up a lot of space on the floor. The glove box is very wide and big but has a peculiar problem. It has no lid, leaving contents exposed
This becomes a big problem if you brake heavily as objects slide out. More importantly, it is also a security concern owing to prying eyes. There is a small flipbox compartment below the hand brake that pops out which can store stuff is secrecy. Storage solutions are plenty otherwise.
Coming to the middle row, the ingress and egress is not that easy as the front row. The seats have a 60:40 ratio but it’s a bench and not captain chairs.
The second row folds flat and gets dedicated parcel trays with cup holders and grab handles.
As one can see from the from the image, the second row and third row passengers might feel claustrophobic after some time especially if the air conditioning is not on. There is no dedicated AC vent or a blower for the second row.
The last row is comfortable for average-size adults and is a brilliant seating solution for kids. They get a dedicated AC blower and cup holders in a very neat arrangement. They also have a reclining function for a leisurely drive.
The flat floor of the Evalia is easily visible when you fold away all the seats. In this state, the Evalia frees up 2,900 litres of boot space, perfect to load a bicycle for a cycling trip. The loading height is a very comfortable 540mm above the ground. The spare tyre is situated below the rear passengers.
An extremely important USP of the Evalia is the massive headroom. The Evalia’s tall structure provides a lot of space to move around within the car. The follow-me-home headlamps help if you park in dark areas. Another practical feature is the incorporation of a 12V power socket in the bottom of the center console to charge your mobile phone.
Things that I did not like about the Evalia’s interior:
- No armrest anywhere in the cabin
- No steering mounted controls
- No reading lamp for the driver
- No vanity mirrors for driver or passenger
- No premium features such as leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, cruise control, sunroof, etc
- No start-stop button
- No sliding seat for the second row
- No rear de-fogger or a wiper
To sum up, the Evalia is a brilliant combination of space, comfort and practicality. There are some basic things missing from the equation such as sliding windows and glovebox lid, but you will have to look beyond them to understand the Evalia.