First introduced in 1982, the AD Van was intended to replace the commercial delivery vans based on Nissan's other vehicles. Based off the B11 Sunny wagon, it was more squarish and utilitarian: despite being a van, it came with 4 side doors and a liftback hatch in the back. In 1990, the Y10 series appeared in the market: it was based off the B13 Sunny and a passenger version known as the AD Wagon was introduced in order for consumers to avoid the annual inspection in Japan. The Japan market also received a unique version known as the AD Max: it had 2 front doors, an extended height and double doors were fitted on the back in the 'fourgonette' style.
There was a facelift in 1993, where the squarish headlights were now integrated with the front grille and became more rectangular. It was around this time that the car was exported to Thailand and Malaysia, where it was called the AD Resort. The SEA market version had a larger 1.6 litre engine, and units sold in Thailand had many body styles to choose from owing to their love of pick-up trucks. Only the regular wagon was sold in Malaysia by Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd as far as I am aware. The AD Resort in Malaysia was powered by a 1597 cc GA16DE i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 170 km/h with an acceleration of 12.1 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4175 mm long and weighed 1010 kg, with a fuel consumption of 9.5 litres / 100 km.
Production of the Y10 AD Resort ended in 1999, where it was replaced by the Y11 series. Curiously, the AD Resort was never sold in Singapore although it would have complemented the B13 Sunnys that were present here. It was purely coincidental coming across this Malaysian unit: I had thought that it was a Sunny wagon (which was technically not wrong) but some research led me to discover this rarity on the road. There are a small handful of the Y12 series AD wagons here, but they are registered under diplomatic plates.
As to why wagons never really caught on here, it is noted that they were naturally more expensive despite having more storage space. It appears to be more of a status symbol, and the rise of MPVs have made wagons superfluous: what better car to get that could carry a regular family plus furniture from IKEA? Regardless, coming across this little obscurity from across the causeway was a nice surprise: hopefully you may see them when the borders re-open...
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