Nissan Terrano is the latest entrant to the entry-level utility segment. The new model is based on its French sibling, the Renault Duster, but looks a lot different with Nissan’s SUV design philosophy. The Terrano enters one of the fastest growing segments with not only decent looks and features list, but also with one of the most dependable platforms.
Nissan has concentrated mainly on the looks of the Terrano to distinguish it from the Renault product. Almost every body-panel is different from the hood, to the doors and the tailgate. Unlike the Micra/Pulse this one looks a lot different and one from Nissan’s own SUV range. The grille consists of a lot of chrome with trapezoid chrome strips on either side of a bold logo and dual-barrel square headlamps with blacked-out insides flank the grille. The creases on the bonnet start from the front grille, which also has a silver bash-plate on the other side adding to the overall masculine look. The overall design of the Terrano is similar to that of the new X-Trail and Pathfinder.
The side profile also has bold lines but unlike the Duster’s these don’t curve but are angular. The flared wheel-arches make the Terrano look aggressive, distinguishing it from most of Nissan’s models in India. The doors have two horizontal creases in them that help with the butch look, but it isn’t enough to alleviate the organic lines of the rest of the car. The rear end bears no similarity to any of the Nissan SUVs and it is evident that Nissan has developed a new tail lamp cluster without fiddling too much with the Duster lamps. It gets a chrome garnish to add a premium feel, but the overall appearance is rugged with roof rails and silver skid plates.
The top-end version of the Terrano gets 10-spoke machine-finished petal shaped alloy-wheels, they feel premium but somehow look a little out-of-place on the muscular car. They will probably suit the Duster which is softer of the two cars.
The interiors of the Terrano also look familiar to that of the Duster, but there are a few subtle yet important changes when compared to its predecessor . Nissan has worked a bit on the interior quality and the cabin now feels premium. The music system is also different and this one is more ergonomic and user friendly. However the ORVM adjustment switch is still not easy to use; positioned under the handbrake lever. The rest of the equipment list is pretty much the same including the one-step driver height adjust and orange backlight for the instrument cluster. It also gets a rear AC vent that adds to the comfort of passengers, but it is a tad bit noisy increasing the NVH level. The base XE diesel variant gets all black interiors, while the rest of the line-up gets a beige-black combination that makes the cabin look roomier.
The Nissan Terrano is available in both petrol and diesel guise. The diesel version is powered by the same 1.5-litre dCi engine that powers the Duster and will be available in two different grades – the 85bhp base variant and 110bhp for the top spec version. Similarly, the petrol XL variant gets the 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit churning out 102bhp and 145Nm of torque. Nissan has not fiddled around with the engine tuning or the suspension setup and this means the riding and handling of the Terrano is exceptionally good.
Nissan is offering only one variant (the XL) of the Terrano petrol – it has ABS-EBD-Brake Assist, driver side airbag, music system and front fog lamps. On the other hand the diesel Terrano is available in six variants – the base XE variant has a driver side airbag and power windows. The diesel XL variants have exactly the same features as that of the petrol counterpart and are available in both 85PS and 110PS tune. The XL Plus diesel gets an extra airbag at the front and alloy wheels as well. The top-end XV variants are available only with 110PS output and six-speed manual transmission. The additional features include rear AC vents, rear parking sensors and leather wraps for steering and the gear-knob. The premium version gets leather seats and wood finish inserts on the doors.
The Franco-Japanese consortium has an agreement that the donor car will be positioned below the new model and hence the prices of the Terrano are higher as compared to the Duster. India being a price sensitive market, the difference between the Terrano and its French counterpart is not more than Rs 40,000 even for the top spec variant.
The few things that differentiate the Terrano from the Duster include looks, ergonomics and interior quality – all of which rank high on any buyer’s priority list. This compact crossover competes with the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV500, Tata Safari Storme, Force One and the Mahindra Scorpio in India.