The Japanese automaker, Nissan Motor Company Ltd began production of Nissan Serena as a small passenger carrier which grew in size over generations. Initially, it was based on FR layout featuring live axle mounted on leaf springs. However, in later versions, a multilink independent rear suspension was introduced with FF layout (4WD). The most sought-after version was the 2.3-L diesel with eight passenger seats rather than traditional seven-seater.
MkI C23 Series (1991-2001)
The first generation Serene designated as MkI C23 was available with 1.6-L or 2.0-L petrol and 2.3-L diesel engines. Different trim levels offered include: LX, SLX, SGX and SGXi.
The Serena came with standard SR20DE petrol engine up till around 2002. However, in 1990s, Nissan also added a turbocharged SR20DET version. The models produced after 2002 were equipped with QR20DE and QR25DE engines. There were certain other engines introduced in the range over the production years including: the CD20 diesel (used in commercial vans), CD20T (1973 cc) Diesel Turbo and CD20ET.
The production of Serena began in 1991. It was also exported in Australasia and United Kingdom. Full-Auto (Full time) 4WD version was also released to that offered improved handling and greater stability. In the export market, 2.3-L non-turbo diesel version was also introduced which was distinctive from other 2.0-L petrol (SR20DE), 2.0-L Diesel CD20 and Turbo Diesel CD20T models offered in Japanese market in terms of its seating arrangement and interior designing.
The Serena was once ranked the slowest passenger car by Auto Express in the standard 0-60 mph test as it reached the top speed in 27.8 seconds with 2.3-L diesel engine.
During its production, the C23 received several facelift models with minor modifications and additions such as introduction of airbags, bench seats for second and third rows. However, the interior and body styling normally remained identical in all the models. Front grille design was a characteristic feature of all the facelifted models.
MkII C24 (1999-2005)
The second generation Serena designated as MkII C24 was launched in 1999 with several engine and color options. It was manufactured by Yulon under Nissan label in Taiwan. In Malaysia, it was manufactured by Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd located in Kaula Lumpur, while in People’s Republic of China it has been built by Nissan subsidiary Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile as Dongfeng Yumsun since 2007. The MkII C24 was available with 2.0-L engine, while the facelifted model was equipped with 2.5-L engine.
MkIII C25 (2005-2010)
The third generation Serena designated as MkIII C25 was introduced 2005 and remained in production until 2010. It is ranked as the best selling minivan in Japanese market. The third generation Serena is also marketed under Suzuki Landy in Japan.
MkIV C26 (2010-present)
The fourth and current generation of Serena was introduced in November 2010 in the Japanese market. It is powered by a new 2.0-L MR20DD L4 direct injection gasoline engine mated to Xtronic CVT transmission.
All generations of Serena feature Xtronic CVT transmission.