2018 Nissan Terra: Our thoughts on the new SUV
We all love big burly SUVs, don’t we? The fact that the best selling SUV here is the Toyota Fortuner followed closely by the Isuzu MU-X is the testimony to that. In comes the oldest player of all here - Nissan. The company recently launched the Terra SUV. As is with the name, the SUV is quite big, a 7-seater and competes with the above two on the sales chart. Nissan also has the pick up cousin of the Terra on sale here. The SUV is slowly and steadily climbing the charts when it comes to sales numbers. We expect a full formidable competition between these three on some other day. Today, however, we will share our thoughts on this new Nissan Terra SUV.
Looks of a beast
It indeed is. At nearly 5 meters long, the Nissan Terra is indeed a muscular entity. The width and height of 1,865 mm and 1,835 mm respectively too supplement this fact. We like the Nissan’s commanding road presence. However, it could have been a bit more stylised. The pickup roots are very apparent over here. The grille and the overall face seems like a pickup. In terms of appeal, it is closer to the Isuzu MU-X which also has brawn on its side. The projector headlights with LED guide lights look cool while the bumpers seem to snigger at you. The 18-inch wheels too look massive. We aren’t sure why with this Nissan everything seems XXXL size. The tail lights are subtly styled whereas the width of the SUV is quite apparent from this angle.
You climb into this SUV rather than walk in. At 225 mm ground clearance, it is quite clear that Nissan wanted this SUV to be as luxurious inside than what the looks suggest. There are the zero gravity front seats, super comfortable for long journeys. The front seats are powered too. For the rear view mirror, Nissan has used a unique technique. It is called the Smart Mirror and will give one a clear view of the traffic behind. All this with the seven seats occupied. What the system essentially does is switch on the rearview camera for a clear view. Did we also mention that the car comes with an all-around monitor? Will it gives you bird’s eye view of things around. These help immensely while parking as well as traversing through crowded streets. Off-roading jaunts too are made more comfortable thanks to this.
We like the fact that there is plenty of space even for the third-row passengers. There is decent luggage space with all the seats up and humongous with the second and third row down. The quality of the cabin too is excellent. There are many storage spaces in the cabin and this is also one of the few Nissan cars to feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The touchscreen system has a high resolution and everything falls easily to the hand. The sound quality too is appreciable.
Handles like a charm
No. We don’t expect the Nissan Terra to handle like a sedan or a hatchback. It is a ladder frame vehicle and the given high body height makes its prone to body roll even more. The double wishbone front suspension and the multi-link springs at the rear help give a comfortable ride quality. The handling at best can be described as adequate. Unlike your usual three-sided frames, Terra’s fully-boxed ladder frame doesn’t flex much on uneven terrain.
The electronic locking rear differential, as well as the switch on the go four-wheel drive mode, help immensely off-road. Nissan provides for a gyroscope in the cabin and it will let you know how much torque is going to each wheel. It will also tell you if the wheels are losing traction. If it detects wheel skid, then the Active Brake Limited Slip comes into play. Adding to this mix is Hill Hold Assist and Hill Descent Control. The steering unit feels a tad heavy on normal roads but comes into its own over slippery surfaces.
The Nissan Terra is offered with a choice of a single turbodiesel engine. The 2.5-litre unit has a variable geometry turbo and makes 190 PS of power and 450 Nm of torque. Only the top-spec trim gets 4x4 and in automatic guise. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic which also gets a manual mode. Nissan also offers a 6-speed manual with this engine. Both the transmissions are smooth and ably matched to this torquey mill. We would have liked to see a bigger 3.5-litre engine with around 230 PS of power and 550 Nm. This would have been a proper stonker.
The all-wheel discs with ABS, EBD, Traction Control and many other braking aids help bring this burly leviathan to a safe stop. Vehicle Dynamic Control also plays an important part in helping the SUV’s movement. In terms of safety, there are six airbags and Lane Departure Warning. We like the way Nissan has finally added modern features to its flagship SUV. Otherwise, you get only dual airbags and ABS with Nissan vehicles.
We quite like the Nissan Terra and think that it is one sensibly priced vehicle for the amount of real estate you get. It has come to our land pretty quick too given that the global reveal was a few months ago. There is a seven color palette available with the Nissan Terra right now and all of them are metallic.