1 Oct 1992
Remember the Serena? As people-mover sales seemed like the next big thing in the early ‘90s, Nissan took a chance with a Euro-centric rear-wheel drive Toyota Tarago rival.
Sourced from Spain, the small, van-based seven-seater shrouded its commercial vehicle DNA with bubble-like styling featuring deep windows, a very car-like cabin and driving position, and a Pulsar-based 96kW/172Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve SR20DE four-cylinder powerplant.
Equipment levels were good with the Ti adding dual air-conditioning, an auto-sliding side door, alloy wheels and a sunroof to the base ST’s power steering, central locking, power windows, electric mirrors and limited slip differential.
A variety of seating, bedding and luggage solutions were possible. But tall, narrow dimensions and basic leaf spring rear suspension made the unsupple sprung Serena seem van-like in corners and limited shoulder room, while its hefty mass marred performance.
The Nissan just couldn’t match Toyota’s revolutionary 1990s Tarago.
And to top it off, high prices, goofy styling and pint-sized proportions kept people away. So, by late ’95 Nissan said sayonara to the here-nor-there Serena.