Sunday drives with the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift AMT

We head out on a quest to find the best burgers in Pune in the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift AMT
Simran is loving her new Magnite!
Simran is loving her new Magnite!Shot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

Sundays are for rest and recreation. So, when Lenny and I finally found ourselves free on a Sunday, we decided to make the most of it and treat our palates to some of the best burgers Pune has to offer. This was not going to be an easy task – Pune is diverse, and so is its food culture. It offers vibrant cuisine, mixing traditional and modern incredibly well. Plus, it's a big city, so we had to call for reinforcements. We enlisted Simran to join us in our quest. She recently got herself the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift AMT, and that seemed like the perfect choice to tackle Pune’s deteriorating road network during our task to find the best burgers that would take us across the city.

The plan was simple: each person suggests their favourite burger joint, and we visit each of them one after the other and pick our favourite at the end of the day. Lenny’s choice was first, taking us to Good Flippin’ Burgers in Koregaon Park, or KP, as the locals call it. As a cultural hub, KP is packed with traffic throughout the week. Fortunately, the Magnite’s EZ-Shift with its intelligent traffic mode made dealing with the bumper-to-bumper traffic a breeze, which was much appreciated as our tummies had started to grumble. We made it to Kopa Mall, parked the Magnite, and seated ourselves at GFB, waiting for our order to arrive. Lenny suggested something called the ‘Bhoot’. While I have a notoriously bad tolerance for spice, I decided it was only fair that I tried his suggestion. I was expecting my tongue to split in two with the spice, but it was surprisingly nice. The three of us enjoyed our breakfast burgers and then plotted our route to the next burger joint, which was in Camp. This was Simran’s suggestion, which meant it was her turn to drive.

Having recently learned to drive, tasks like parking the car in tight spots and navigating tight turns in malls and even on steep slopes were daunting. This is where the EZ-Shift AMT and its wide gauntlet of features came in handy. The AMT means not needing to feather a clutch pedal, the Around View Monitor allows you to place the car perfectly, and finally, the Hill Start Assist allows you to take a breather in case you get overwhelmed on a slope.

Our next stop was ‘Burger Since 1989’ in Camp, one of the oldest and most affordable joints in Pune. One jumbo burger here is enough to feed three starving supermodels breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Oh, and did I say that this burger will cost you less than Rs`150? This low price doesn’t come at the cost of flavour. Lenny, Simran, and I stuffed our faces and our stomachs. We ate way more than we should have, and then it was time for me to take the guys to my favourite burger spot.

This, however, was on the other side of town, and that was a blessing, to say the least. One, we got a breather before it was time to start eating burgers again, and second, it was my turn to drive. Not that I was unhappy sitting behind, because there was plenty of space for me to relax there. But I wanted to get behind the wheel and see exactly why Simran chose this as her first car. Yes, it does boast a plethora of creature comforts, and the fact that this is a four-star G-NCAP-rated car and has a bunch of other safety features like dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), vehicle dynamic control (VDC), and traction control (TCS), adds peace of mind, especially for a first-time car owner. Then there's also the three-year pre paid maintenance programme that adds an extra safety net.

What I was curious to find out was just how much fun it is to drive. The Magnite EZ-Shift AMT is powered by a 1-litre nat-asp engine that makes 72bhp and 96Nm, and it's mated to the five speed AMT gearbox. Plenty for a newbie. That aside, the chassis is what impressed me the most. It feels robust and handles bad roads with the sort of composure and sophistication you expect from high-end cars. The steering is light but responsive, and the 205mm of ground clearance makes it really easy to drive. All this, plus the sharp styling, makes it a no-brainer purchase.

Halfway to the location, I revealed to the two where I was taking them. A place called Burger Craft that, in my opinion, serves some of the most soul-satisfying burgers in Pune. With plenty of options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, the preparation is that of a proper gourmet burger, not one that was just slapped together. They do justice to the ‘artisanal burger’ sign that hangs at the place. Both Lenny and Simran enjoyed these burgers, but all of us were way too stuffed to eat any more.

I felt like I hadn’t spent nearly enough time behind the ’wheel and suggested the perfect spot to end this tasty Sunday. Little did the guys know that the spot required a trek and was yet another hour away. But given how comfortable the Magnite is and more importantly, the view they were treated with, spirits were high. Time to feed in the coordinates into the wireless CarPlay-enabled infotainment screen, set the gearbox in manual, and watch the revs climb on the driver's TFT screen as we set off. The spot I was taking them to took us through the ghats, allowing me to enjoy chucking the car around in the corners as well. Proving just how capable and well-rounded the car is.

While Simran certainly made a wise choice with the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift AMT, I’m not sure the same can be said about our plan to eat so many burgers in a single day. We reached the spot, ambled out of the car, and dawdled up a small trail with filled tummies. It was time to pick favourites. While everyone picked the burger they suggested, we all agreed that the Magnite is a little like all three spots — very flavourful and power-packed, great to look at, and most importantly, it does it while offering stellar value for money. It truly is big, bold, and beautiful.

Once the sun set, we all stopped feeling like bloated pythons that had just swallowed their prey whole, got back to the car, and vowed not to meet for a meal for a while, unless it involved a smooth drive in the Nissan Magnite EZ-Shift AMT.

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