The Cebu countryside in a Nissan Urvan Premium | Gadgets, Lifestyle Features,


I had a relaxing drive through the countryside of Cebu City a few weekends ago.

The goal was to drive the all-new Nissan Urvan Premium and also to let others take the wheel and experience for myself the comfy ride inside the Urvan Premium.

 “The past year has truly been phenomenal for the brand,” shared Ramesh Narasimhan, president and managing director of Nissan Philippines Inc. “And we have been able to continue this performance, beating our own sales record in March by selling 2,094 units. Our core models have also performed well in the past quarter, especially the sales of our NV350 Urvan. The NV350 Urvan sold a total of 1,651 units, accounting for 31 percent of our sales for the first quarter of the year. And now, we continue to grow the business by entering a new segment with the launch of the Nissan Urvan Premium.”

The high spirits of Ramesh the president set the tone of the four-hour drive ahead.

Cebu, here we are: Media representatives from Metro Manila and Cebu joined by Nissan Philippines Inc. president and managing director Ramesh Narasimhan (standing, first row, seventh from left); general manager for sales Rollie Navarro (standing, first row, fourth from right); senior manager for marketing Dax Avenido (seated, second from left), and PR specialist Therese Sarmiento (seated, second from right) at one of the stops on the way to Kandaya Resort in Cebu.

I had arrived in Cebu at 5:30 on that Saturday morning. The four-hour drive was scheduled for 7 a.m. And, although I only had just a few hours of sleep, I was ready to take on the cool country fresh air and be a passenger for most of the drive.

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Just Drive

I liked the Nissan Urvan Premium as soon as I saw it. It was obvious that much attention has been given to the details of this van. There are design features such as a V-shaped angled strut grille, sharper headlamps, and dynamic character lines on the front and side add to the stylishness of the new Nissan Urvan Premium. The modern look of the vehicle is enhanced by the elimination of the side roof drip channel, as well as the rich surface expression around the wheel opening, coupled with a longer wheelbase and a shortened overhand.

But being a looker from the outside is one thing; the other (and perhaps more important to me) is the bundle of comforts inside. And I was not to be disappointed. For starters, there is the suede-like tricot fabric that covers the new, individually mounted seats. Adding a touch of class to the new Nissan Urvan Premium is the improved headlining fabric that comes in gray, suede-finished material. Complementing these premium design touches is a two-tone dashboard that gives the impression of a wider, roomier front cabin.

A new seating configuration, which features four rows of seats in the rear cabin, also makes the new Nissan Urvan Premium capable of carrying up to 15 passengers, while still having enough space to store luggage. And to keep everything cool and comfortable, 14 individual air-conditioning vents are positioned along each seat of the new Nissan Urvan Premium rear cabin.

And for this drive, it was important that we all were comfy — with yummy snacks and cool drinks thoughtfully prepared for us on that long, hot drive.

As we were told of the Urvan we were assigned to ride, I noticed how easy it was to board my van. Entering the new Nissan Urvan Premium has also become easier as it features an extended sliding door opening height of 1,580mm, as well as a Door Closure Assist. The Door Closure Assist allows passengers to close the vehicle firmly without exerting too much effort. Adding to the convenience are a rear step board, rear ingress/egress grips and a handrail upon entering the vehicle.

Power On

 One of the best ways to test a van is to load it to capacity and see how it performs in the zigzagging, uphill roads of Cebu. I must say that the Urvan Premium passed with flying colors — in spite of first time media Urvan Premium drivers at the wheel. Those of us who wanted to drive were given a chance to do so on this four-hour drive.

I opted to take the last 30-minute part of the drive — the one that would lead us into Kandaya Resort.

As I sat in the middle of the Urvan I noticed just how powerful this van is. No wonder. Powering the Nissan Urvan Premium is a high-torque 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine, the same powerplant used in the award-winning Nissan Navara pick up.  With a torque of 356 Nm, this leads to a faster, smoother takeoff and acceleration and greater power on tap.  Enhancing the ride are safety features such as dual front airbags and seatbelts, load tensioning valve, anti-lock brake system, brake assist, child safety lock, and front fog lamps.

Now, safety is a must. As I sat and experienced that ride of three media drivers before me I noticed how well the Urvan Premium performed on sharp curves and also while overtaking on the smaller country roads of Cebu.

Nissan senior manager for marketing Dax Avenido said that, added to the design enhancements, the convenience of the new Nissan Urvan Premium extends to ownership. The new Nissan Urvan Premium’s cost of maintenance is significantly lower than other vans in the same segment. It is also the first in the industry to offer warranty coverage for business use, allowing customers to have their vehicle serviced for the first three years, or 100,000-kms, whichever comes first, at no additional cost.

It was almost noon by the time I was able to get my turn at the wheel of the Nissan Urvan Premium. I was excited, even if a bit sleepy, because I knew that soon we would be at Kandaya Resort, which I had heard so many good things about.

I liked driving the Urvan Premium and since most of my passengers had fallen asleep there wasn’t anyone to judge what kind of a driver I am. As any driver knows, when in the company of other drivers, passing judgment on a fellow driver’s skills can’t be helped.

Let me just share with you that I really liked being behind the wheel of the Urvan Premium. There was nothing hard about familiarizing myself with the control of the van — and overtaking slower moving cows and lots of tricycles was easy as one, two, three on the Urvan Premium.

As we were told earlier on by Nissan president Ramesh, “Designed with an eye for comfort, convenience and stylish good looks, the new Nissan Urvan Premium promises to take every journey higher.”

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