Will the Nissan Terrano perform as well as it looks? Find out

Oct 13, 2013, 06:16 IST | Amit Chhangani

The new Nissan Terrano is another addition to the increasingly competitive sub Rs 10 lakh SUV segment. But will it be able to keep pace with the Duster, the Eco Sport and other rivals? Amit Chhangani finds out

The Terrano, which shares its platform with the Duster has been given a thorough visual makeover by Nissan. Does it perform as well as it looks? Let’s
find out

Nissan Terrano

Exterior and Styling
To derive a car with a completely distinctive personality from a top-selling model is quite a challenge in itself. However, Nissan have overcome this problem with aplomb. Nissan claims that the Terrano comes with an entirely new outer shell, and we’d agree as deviation from the Duster is easily apparent in the re-profiled hood, revised bumpers, new headlamps, new tail-gate and the doors.

The central consol comes with integrated CD/MP3/FM/AM and bluetooth

In keeping with Nissan’s traditional (and legendary) ‘V’ profile, the Terrano gets chunky chrome V slats type front grill. The beefy wheels arches flow out from the bumpers and continue with a brushed silver mini foot board. The Terrano comes with silver roof rails (XV variants only) to complete the rugged go any-where look. The rear does not disappoint too, with the car getting a new set of tail lamps which extend all the way into the tail gate. This lends the Terrano a subtle ‘X’ pattern. 

The seats are done in leather upholstery

Overall, the Terrano is reminiscent of the internationally popular Pathfinder/Patrol SUVs, which cannot be a bad thing at all. Those SUVs are known to be among the best in the world, and the Terrano, with its rugged looks resembling those legends, is sure to win its own admirers.

The boot space at 475 litres is enough to contain most of the weekend luggage

Interiors and Ergonomics
The Terrano’s interiors have been given a lot of beige treatment along with some black panels, all of which award the cabin with an airy and spacious feel. In the XV Premium trim, it comes with toppings such as leather wrapped steering wheel (without audio controls), leather wrapped gear knob with chrome inserts, leather upholstery, and zebra wood door trim finish amongst others.

Worth a mention here is that despite nice looking interiors, the Terrano suffers from some of the typically French ergonomic inefficiencies of its donor car and hard plastic quality. However, the parts have a built-to-last feel and do not suffer from any rattle despite the pounding the car was put through.

The parts sharing with the Duster is evident, especially with the instrument panel, indicator stalks, door panels and overall dash design. Undoubtedly, the Terrano’s cabin looks smarter due to the squared off central AC vents and a push to release storage compartment atop.

The central console houses the two DIN Audio with integrated CD, MP3 and FM/AM with Bluetooth, Aux in and USB support.

The boot space, at 475 litres, is more than enough to contain most of our weekend luggage and then some more. The tough and recessed parcel shelf spanning the entire boot section is good to dump things on the go.

Engine and gearbox
The Nissan Terrano gives you three engine options to pick from -- the 1.6 litre Petrol, the 1.5 litre Direct Injection Diesel engine with a fixed geometry turbo and the same 1.5 litre Direct Injection Diesel engine but with Variable geometry turbo.

The 1.6 litre petrol unit produces a max power of 104PS@5850 rpm and max torque of 145Nm@3750 rpm. The diesels, in their different states of tune, produce 85PS@3750rpm with max torque of 200Nm@1900 rpm and 110Ps@3900rpm and max twist of 248Nm@2250 rpm respectively. Sky rocketing Petrol prices and the rise of new age diesels mean that consumers will have lesser audacity to opt for the Petrol engine-d Terrano. Nissan has made the 110PS diesel available across XL/XV/XV Premium variants. But which one of these diesel units drives better?

The mildly clattery 110 PS K9K diesel mill produces peak torque from 2,250 rpm. Anything below it and the car feels sluggish. However, once the turbo spools up, the Terrano becomes a zestful performer pulling away with a lot of gusto. The engine pulls clean and strong up to 4,000 rpm after which the power quickly fades off. Overtaking, brisk highway cruising and in-city driving is thoroughly enjoyable when the revs are maintained between 2,500-3,000 rpm. The 110PS version comes with a 6 speed manual transmission with the 6th cog being the overdrive for relaxed highway cruising while the engine spins merrily at -- 2200 rpm and the needle showing 100kph.

The 85 Ps version makes max torque at 1,900 rpm and comes mated to a 5 speed gearbox, however in a true diesel fashion has the typical torquey feel right from the word go. Mild off roading is what we tried with the 85Ps Terrano and it happily obliged. This spec comes with a fixed geometry turbo, however, it outclasses the 110 PS versions when it comes to spike free and lag free drive. Driving the car around in city traffic isn’t a hassle and it manages to drive well on the highways too. 

Coming to the off-road test that we put the Terrano through, it came out with flying colours. The engines drivability impressed us which coupled with well-matched ratios as well as minimal turbo lag, makes this an eager vehicle on the beaten roads.

Ride and handling
The ride and handling package on the Terrano is so well sorted out that it carries only minimal body roll (by SUV standards) while merrily munching away potholes and staying planted at high speeds, all at the same time!

We felt blessed driving the Terrano on a single lane, which had on display monsoon’s relentless wrath. We faced state transport buses and other aggressive local vehicles hurtling down at us, all we needed to do was drop a set of wheels off the tarmac and continue without bothering about the cratered road surface.

The only grouse, if at all we have to talk about one, is the kickback from the steering while going through bad patches, which is highlighted specially on twisty bad roads. Overall, the Terrano exudes un-SUV like balance of ride quality, handling and high-speed stability.

The Terrano has undoubtedly been endowed with a very able platform, and Nissan has done its job very well to lend it a fresh and aggressive look. Check out the front end and the design comes into its own. The front fascia is distinctively reminiscent of some of the best off roaders Nissan sells globally.

Leaving aside some un-ergonomic bits and hard plastics the Terrano is a very able performer. During our flat out and harsh test runs, the 85 PS version returned a fuel economy of around 15.9 kmpl. On the highways, with normal driving styles, we won’t be surprised if this figure approaches 20 kmpl. With a 50 litre fuel tank, it gives the Terrano an astonishing 900+ kms range!

With a starting price of Rs 9.58 Lakh Ex-Delhi, the Terrano is more expensive than the Duster. However, taking into consideration the fact that it looks decidedly better than its donor car and has a better looking interior, the Terrano still represents great value. There is no reason why you should not check this machine out before making a choice.

Price starts at Rs 9.58 lakh ex-showroom Delhi 

Nissan Terrano
Engine -- 1,600cc, petrol
Fuel capacity -- 50 litres
Power --104 PS@5850 rpm
Boot capacity- 475 litres
Price -- Rs 9.58 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

Go to top