There was a time when Nissan sold the Serena minivan in many markets across the globe, including Europe.
Those days are long gone, though, and the nameplate is now largely a Japan-only affair. Sure, it’s also sold in a handful of Asian markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, but the bulk of sales comes from its home country.
Actually, the current Serena was Japan’s best-selling minivan in fiscal year 2018, so it makes sense for Nissan to invest in it to consolidate its position on the market – hence the facelift the automaker is introducing for the 2020 model year.
The makeover brings subtle styling tweaks inside and out for the eight-seat minivan, as well as the addition of new safety technologies as standard equipment. At the front, the Nissan Serena debuts the new available adaptive LED headlights, the brand’s latest V-motion grille whose chromed edges run through the headlights, and a sharper bumper with an integrated chin spoiler.
The range-topping Serena Highway Star models feature a larger grille than the regular models, as well as unique LED taillights with chrome details and a redesigned rear bumper. Models equipped with the e-Power hybrid system also feature exclusive 16-inch alloy wheels. The updated lineup adds two new exterior colors to the existing 12: Sunrise Orange and Dark Metal Gray, both of which can be optioned with a Diamond Black roof for a two-tone effect.
Interior updates are restricted to an updated instrument panel design and new seat fabric, depending on vehicle grade. Optionally, customers can get waterproof seat covers.
On the tech front, the 2020 Serena gains more safety systems as standard including Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention and Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Road sign detection function, and Emergency Assist for Pedal Misapplication (for when the driver presses the gas instead of the brake).
The ProPilot semi-autonomous driving system has also been updated to offer more smoother braking in various conditions and optimized speed control for a more relaxing drive.
The Nissan Serena continues to offer a 2.0-liter gasoline engine in front-wheel-drive configuration and 2.0-liter S-Hybrid models available with both FWD and AWD. Seven-seat models can be had with the FWD-only e-Power powertrain which includes a small gasoline engine that charges a battery pack. Prices in Japan start from ¥2,399,760 (approximately $22,500).