Look! A spaceship. No, it is just the Nissan Evalia
The French tend to think just because they invented something – say, wine and cheese, among many other things – they will always make the best of it. Like the Renault Espace, which was the best MPV – in 1984. Now, the Germans aren’t known to hear a joke and roll over the floor laughing. But they tend to do that when they hear the French talk about MPVs. Because Volkswagen was out with the Microbus in 1950.
However, while the First World is still sorting out the origins of the people mover, well before any of that, we Indians had made the entire concept of an MPV utterly redundant. We’ve been fitting eight people – 10 at a squeeze – in an Ambassador (or six inside a Maruti 800) for decades now. Who cares about people movers? You see, we are very stylish people. We’d rather carry all the people we wanted in classic sedans and cool hatches without enduring the dread of being seen in a box with four wheels. But those were the days when the cops never bothered with seatbelts and overloading. McDonald’s hadn’t arrived here yet and Udipi restaurants hadn’t yet dreamed up the Amul cheese Spl Dry Fruit Pizza.
The modern, mall-food-fed, generously dimensioned Indian can’t fit his family of eight into a modern day Skoda Fabia or Tata Indigo XL even if he wanted to. Which is why Nissan has the Evalia. It’s built on the same platform as the Sunny and the Micra. It has three rows of seats. And it has just hit showrooms.