Nissan Terrano drive review: Udaipur-Kumbhalgarh Fort
History/Introduction: Nissan Terrano is a new product, as such, it does not have much of a history. But, this is not the first time that a car named Terrano is being rolled off the Nissan stables. The name Terrano has been used by Nissan previously, in some of the countries they operate. In Chile, Nissan Frontier/Navara was once called Terrano, and so was the (now discontinued), Nissan Mistral.
Under the Nissan-Renault India umbrella, Terrano is the third product after Pulse and Scala. Unlike Pulse and Scala, which are based on Nissan cars Micra and Sunny respectively, this is the first time Nissan is launching a car based on a Renault model. This is also the reason why Terrano will be more expensive than Duster.
Speaking about the significance of launching Terrano in India, Nissan India officials say that the compact SUV segment (in which the Terrano will be launched), is growing aggressively, at a rate of 30% every year. Bigger the growth rate, better the chances of selling. Seeing the success of Renault Duster, which is not only their best selling car in India, but also globally, Nissan India wants to replicate this success with the new Terrano.
Dimensions and Styling: At 4,331 mm in length, Terrano is 16 mm longer than the Renault Duster. Width and wheelbase of both Duster and Terrano is same at 1822 mm and 2673 mm respectively. Terrano’s verall height is lower by 14 mm at 1671 mm as compared to the Duster. Ground clearance of both stays at 205 mm while fuel tank capacity too is same at 50 liters. Turning radius is best in class at 5.2 meters.
Speaking about it’s design, the front is where the most changes have been made. Compared to the Duster, Nissan Terrano looks more aggressive and has a much better road presence. This is majorly due to the larger front bumper and headlights. Apart from this, you will also see deeper design changes made to the sheet metal, addition of a larger grille with a lot of chrome, which also houses their traditional V-shape. A pair of fog lamps adds to it’s appeal even further. The side is where both, Duster and Terrano look similar. At the rear, you will find new tailgate headlamps, which gives the car a taller look.
Interiors: Getting in and out is easy. Your knee won’t have to work much, nor would your neck would have to twist while getting seated inside the Terrano. For the base model, Nissan offers all (matt) black dashboard, while for higher trims, there is a dual tone (beige + glossy black) dashboard. Instrumentation panel will give you data like speed, rpm, trip, distance to empty, outside temperature and real time mileage. Driver seat features height adjust with two settings. Seats are comfortable while legroom is at plenty and so is headroom. Rear seat can easily accommodate three adults. For your luggage, there is enough space to store four suit cases and much more. Boot space is same as that of Duster at 475 liters and this is increased to 1064 liters once the rear seats are folded. Watch the video below for exterior and interior walkaround of Nissan Terrano.
Engine options and Mileage: Just like the Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano too features the same three engine options, one petrol and two diesel (all 4 cylinder). For petrol, you have 1.6l MPFI generating 104 PS power and 145 Nm torque. In diesel, you have two tunes of 1.5l CRDi, first generating 85 PS and 200 Nm torque, while the second giving 110 PS and 248 Nm torque. Petrol 1.6l and diesel 85 PS have 5 speed gearbox while the diesel 110 PS features a six speed gearbox. No automatic gearbox is on offer and all variants, just like Duster, are front wheel drives.
Nissan claims mileage of Terrano petrol to be at 13.2 kmpl, diesel 85 PS at 20.45 kmpl and that of diesel 110 PS is at 19.01 kmpl. These figures are exactly same as that of Duster, as both cars also have similar gross weight (about 1750-1780 kgs). During our media drive in Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh, we managed to get about 8 kmpl, 15 kmpl and 13 kmpl mileage for petrol, diesel 85 PS and diesel 110 PS Terrano variants respectively. Of course, the car is capable of delivering better mileage when driving in everyday conditions and not when you have to photo-shoot, test, etc.
Driving Nissan Terrano: Coming from the same family, the Terrano drives very much like the Duster. With three options to choose from, the first we got to drive was the petrol 1.6l variant. Once the car is started, you will hardly hear the engine noise. This is probably due to the refinement over the Duster. The NVH levels seems improved and so are the suspensions. Though both cars features the same suspensions, Terrano feels more comfortable and grounded. Speaking about suspensions, for the front you have independent McPherson Strut while the rear has Torsion Beam Axle.
Even with 104 PS, pickup is poor in the petrol, that’s because of the low torque at lower rpm’s. Torque kicks in at 2000 rpm and pulls the car all the way to 4500 rpm, after which the pull decreases. Petrol revs till 6400-6500 rpm, and even at this level, the vibrations and engine sound are barely there. Power peaks at 5850 rpm while torque peaks (145 Nm) at 3750 rpm. Overtaking is not impressive, but then this variant is built for everyday driving in the city.
Speaking about diesel variants, the 85 PS version delivers peak torque (200 Nm) at 3750 rpm. This variant has better pickup as compared to the petrol variant and is also decent at overtaking on the highway. The five speed gearbox delivers linear power and is very smooth. If you want the same package, but with more power, then there is the 110 PS with 248 Nm peak torque. All three variants are good for cruising on the highway, but not so good to drive in the city as you will need to change gear regularly at low speeds, to the extent that your left leg will start complaining.
While tackling the twisties on ghat section, you will find the placement of steering wheel a little uncomfortable, especially when you have to take U-turns. Even with the seat height lowered, there is not much space between your thighs and steering wheel. Responsiveness of steering wheel is decent. When going off-road, Terrano doesn’t disappoint, though it might get a little uncomfortable for rear passengers if the path is bumpy.
Trims: With three engine options to choose from, the new Terrano is offered in five trims of XE, XL, XL Plus, XV and XV Premium. As a standard across all trims, you will find body colored bumper, tinted glass, sheet metal protection under engine, roof rails, silver painted side insert on steering wheel, chrome insert on gear shift knob, driver airbag, engine immobilizer, central locking, seat belt with retractor on all seats, power window, keyless entry, power steering with tilt, air conditioner with 4 speed option, foldable rear seat back rest, adjustable front seat head rests, 16″ wheels and 12V socket. An integrated 2 DIN audio system supporting CD/MP3/AM/FM with USB, Aux-in, and Bluetooth is also on offer with speakers (excluding XE trim).
In the XV and XV Premium trim, you will get machined alloys, silver finish on roof rails, chrome exhaust finisher, leather seats upholstery (only in premium), leather strapped steering wheel, lumbar support, passenger side airbag (also in XV), rear parking sensors, rear AC vents with independent control, and cigarette lighter. For in-detail breakup of features and trims, scan through the images in photo gallery. Apart from this, Nissan will also offer option to upgrade infotainment system from the regular to a touchscreen with navigation.
Pricing and Competition: Though Nissan India is yet to reveal price of the new Terrano, they have already started taking bookings.At the unveiling of Terrano in August 2013, Nissan said that it will be launched with a starting price of less than Rs 10 lakh. This puts Terrano in a segment where it competes with the likes of Renault Duster, Mahindra Scorpio, XUV500, Ford EcoSport, etc.
Considering the growth in sales experienced by this segment, Nissan might expect Terrano to become their best selling car (or feature in the same list) in India. Their best seller currently is the Micra and Sunny, both of which garner about 1,000 unit sales every month (last 6 month average). But then, sales is directly dependent on how the Terrano is priced. Nissan did not reveal how much expensive the Terrano will be compared to the Duster, but it is expected to be dearer by about Rs 50,000. So, will buyer be willing to pay that price for a bolder, aggressive look offering better road presence, remains to be seen.