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Japanese Party Van in Finland: 2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star

Antti Kautonen March 31, 2016 Finnish Line 11 Comments


Japanese vans are pretty commonplace here, as a lot of stuff is still moved from place A to location B with a Toyota Hiace, or a Nissan Vanette at the very least. This narrow and tall, totally JDM-weird RHD people carrier immediately caught my eye, and at first I took it for a Toyota Granvia, as those are the Hiace equivalent.

But no, this was a Nissan!


The 2002-built van is the kind of vehicle I imagine Japan to be filled with, alongside little kei-cars and anonymous taxicabs. It’s definitely not all R30-R31-R32-R33-R34-R35 from one street to another.


The sturdy wheels look similar to Mercedes ones. I especially like the folding mirror integration.


The “Highway Star” spec Elgrand uses a 3.5-litre VQ35DE V6, said to produce all of 243 horsepower.


Elgrand vans like this are very rare anywhere outside Japan, I guess. Finding one in broad daylight in smalltown Finland is definitely weird.

  • ramLlama

    Maybe it’s because the Nissan design language seems so tired and old to me now, but that van is one of the smartest-looking Nissan’s I have seen in a long time.

  • Batshitbox

    Another Highway Star, also from Japan (Budokan)

    • mve

      Came here to post this. (y)

  • mve

    That looks totally out of place in Finland. I’m not sure it wouldn’t look out of place everywhere except Japan.

    • Manic_King

      I just went to japan for the first time (always wanted to) and IMO it’s fair to say even in Japan these seem slightly too futuristic and a bit out of place.

      The rest I saw where Toyota vans, I think:


  • smokyburnout

    Highway Star is on my JDM badge collection wishlist but they run like $10 even used

  • Van_Sarockin

    Hellaflush, with M-B rims? Tight enough.

  • Krautwursten

    If only those vans came in LHD! They’re actually quite well equipped.

  • I’ve often thought Nissan should do a GT-R edition of this.

    Some of these are quite ridiculously opulent inside.

  • jim

    How many ugly trees had to die for it to look like that ?

  • spotarama

    they’re all over the place here in australia, great looking people mover (especially in black with serious tint) though i don’t think they knock ’em out in 4WD which i’m looking at in the near future as we’re looking at heading out to the gravel road clad hills to live soon. my 2006 Holden Rodeo pick up ain’t going to cut it in winter out there
    the other good thing about these Elgrands is if you pull the back rows of seats out you’ll fit a couple of motorbikes in there (or great danes/wolfhounds which is why i need a vehicle this size as i’m already equiped with these particular beasts, hence the current oversize crewcab ute)



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