One of the top reasons people explore a Japanese Domestic Market import selection is to find some of the many, many people carriers, MPVs and similar vehicles that Japanese companies like Nissan made for themselves and didn’t share with the rest of us. Better yet, because they’re from Japan, they even come ready to drive on the correct side of the road!
The Nissan Elgrand is a particularly good example of a very premium Japanese-market car for a reasonable price in the UK and enjoy the benefits. The Elgrand was often used by the well-to-do in Japan since the dimensions fell outside of the regulations. This is why you’re getting something that’s more premium, because it’s designed for high-income drivers, and yet those restrictions don’t apply in the UK.
Essential Stats for the Nissan Elgrand
Key Stats for the First-Generation Nissan Elgrand (1997)
Curb Weight: 1,940-2,180kg
Key Stats for the Second-Generation Nissan Elgrand (2002)
Curb Weight: N/A
Key Stats for the Third-Generation Nissan Elgrand (2010)
Curb Weight: N/A
Nissan Elgrand: Background
The first-generation models arrived on the scene back in 1997, and ran to 2002. It came in both petrol and diesel variants, and either as a RWD layout or a 4WD layout
Elgrand E50: 1997 – 2002
The first generation is known as the E50 and is among the most popular brands for export to fellow right-hand drive countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand and others, as well as Russia and Canada. The E50 models are popular for conversion to camper vans for travel use.
Elgrand E51: 2002 – 2010
The E51 second generation was released in 2002 and included some pretty smart additions like a GPS tracking system. It was also among the first cars out there to feature a reversing camera with parking lines to guide you into a space. It even had Bose audio, optional cruise control, and a rear TV with 7” screen.
Elgrand E52: 2010 onwards
The third-generation E52 arrived in 2010 and once again represented a significant upgrade in looks and comfort. It was built on the same platform as the Nissan Quest, which readers familiar with the North American market might recognize. The E52 even had a 3.5L V6 engine option for additional power and performance.
Attraction as a JDM Import
There are a number of key factors that drive the popularity of the Nissan Elgrand as Japanese Imports cars for sale in the UK. Some things we have touched on above, but we will expand in more detail below:
Expansive Variation and Choice
Every generation of Nissan Elgrand, from E50 to E52 came with a plethora of choice, so you can really search to find a model that suits your exact taste and needs. To give you just a taster, we’ll look at the E50, which is a favourite in the UK for import given the great prices you can get.
The E50 was originally made with 7 different variations: V, VG, X, XL, Highway Star, Rider, and S Edition. The sheer range of features and details in the E50 is often enough to take UK customers aback. You can get rotating rear seats, the back-most of which can fold up against the side wall to create a huge rear cabin, twin sunroofs, rear DVD screens and more. The exterior even has stylish chrome finishing, which is usually something you don’t find on our local cars until many years later.
Whether you go for the very budget-friendly E50, or the more refined E51, these models have a great deal to offer those who love getting out into the countryside for a weekend of camping. You can easily kit out the cockpit with a new touchscreen for navigation so you can find your destination easily enough, but that’s just the beginning.
E51 models come with pop-up rooftops to make a sleeping space. There’s also “indoor” LED lighting powered by light switches. In the rear, in lieu of a third seating row, you can convert the space into a cooking and dining area. Nifty features like a sliding table (for which you can rotate the second-row seating to face), gas stove, water tank, extra cupboard space and more. The tailgate lifts up nice and high and so you can cook under shelter if the weather turns against you.
Attraction as a JDM Import Continued
Most of the Nissan Elgrand second-generation models, the E52s, were made with the 3.5L V6 petrol engine. It’s actually the same engine that was used in the Nissan 350Z, and also won numerous awards in the US, including being in the Top 10 of Ward’s best engines in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2016. Those are some decent prize credentials.
The truth is that there are potentially endless customized and additional features on these people carriers that make them good for all kinds of occasions and uses. This is the biggest part of their success in overseas markets like the UK. Browse our selection of Nissan Elgrand cars and find your perfect match.