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The Nissan Evalia was launched last year with a lot of expectations. The Japanese automaker wasn’t targeting to beat the Toyota Innova but was hoping to create a space for itself by selling 2000 units of the MPV every month. The Evalia failed to shift out of dealerships the way Nissan expected it to. In fact the Evalia has performed so poorly you might not have seen one on the road yet. This is because in the month of April, Nissan sold only 18 units of the Evalia, while last month the vehicle faired slightly better with 117 units being sold.

So why is the Nissan Evalia not selling, is it a bad product? No, certainly not. The Evalia boasts of massive interior space, a decently built cabin and dynamics which make it extremely easy to drive in spite of its massive size. Nissan priced the Evalia quite well too, offering many features standard across the range. The Evalia’s 1.5-litre k9k diesel unit is quite frugal, returning 15 km/l in city driving conditions, which is easily class leading.

However the Nissan Evalia has shortcomings, a few of them. First is the design of the vehicle itself. The Evalia does look boxy and that is something which most buyers can’t ignore. The design is not going to win hearts and we Indians are quite style conscious or at least that is what we at MotorBeam would like to believe. Then there are the sliding doors which immediately induces the impression of a kidnapping van. The rear windows don’t roll down like normal cars either.

Nissan has realised its mistake and plans to address the issue. While the exterior elements can’t be changed so easily, the upcoming facelift of the vehicle is expected to get normal doors at the rear, replacing the sliding ones. This does require heavy re-engineering as the Evalia uses a monocoque body and it’s not an easy task change the door opening mechanism. The new doors will also get big windows which open. These changes might look minor but can have a major change on the buyer’s perception of the vehicle. Hopefully Nissan also adds more features to the vehicle including captain seats, rear seat arm rest and middle row AC vents.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/7753522106/[/flickr]