Few people know that Nissan is a big name globally when it comes to manufacturing some of the most exquisite and fearsome SUVs - be it the Patrol, be it the Qashqai or be it the X-Trail. But India is a different ballgame for the Nissan altogether. After pulling the plug from the Nissan X-Trail, they launched the Terrano in the competitive compact SUV segment. But does it borrow the style and engineering from the other Nissan SUVs or is it just a Duster in a different set of clothes, we find in our Nissan Terrano review.
Imagine a Renault Duster and a Nissan Terrano just passed by while you were driving your car. We bet you wouldn't be able to spot which one is which? Yes, that's the similarity both these compact SUV possesses, but on a closer look, you will be easily able to spot the differences. The front of the Terrano comes with the familiar Nissan face with two chrome induced vertical slats with a big Nissan logo. The rear fender is exactly same as the Duster with flared arches to give it a more SUVish type styling. The tail lamp cluster is large and you get an aluminium brushed door handles, and roof rails.
Unlike the exteriors, where Duster and Terrano are hard to differentiate, the interior design is quite different. You get the rectangular AC vents, which for a change are quite good looking, unlike the Duster which gets the round air vents. The SUV feels quite spacious both in front as well as rear and sitting 5 adults is no hassle at all. There's a lot of useful cubbyholes around the front seats, which ironically is lacking from the rear seats. The large glass area and high sitting gives you a good look of the road. Also, the rear glasses don't open completely, which can be a nuisance sometimes. And we are still not impressed with the material and button quality.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
The Nissan Terrano comes with three engine options - a 1.6-litre petrol unit and 1.5-litre diesel engine with 84bhp and 109bhp trims and we drove the more powerful 109bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine. The engine produces 109bhp power and 248Nm of torque. Like the other diesel units, this engine also faces an initial lag, but soon catches up and beyond 1500rpm, it spins rather well. The power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and the gear-ratios are neatly placed, so we didn't face the problem of constant shifting in the city traffic. The SUV cruises to 100 kmph on highways without much effort and it gives you a feel of relaxed driving on the sixth gear.
Ride and Handling
A tall body design tends to have a body roll around the corners, which strangely in the Nissan Terrano is negligible and you feel confident while pushing the car through the tight corners. Which is also an issue with the Terrano. The nimble and communicative steering is always in a rush to come back to the original position while you take a quick turn. The ride quality is good and comfortable and the chassis is rigid enough. Potholes and bad patches don't convert to a harsh ride while driving the Terrano. Though the engine is noisy, the comfortable ride negates the effect and you can go for long distance without much worry to your back.
Safety and Features
And this is where the things get rough for the Nissan Terrano. The Terrano comes with basic safety equipments like dual airbags and ABS. The equipments are strictly basic and doesn't even match the hatchbacks of today's time. You get a basic-looking audio system, but no steering mounted controls and manual AC. The rear AC vents are a plus, though, Nissan needs much work on the interiors.
If you are willing to pay an extra premium on the Duster, you can buy yourself a Terrano, a compact SUV which is better looking than the Duster. The strictly okayish equipment level and good ride quality can leave you in a dilemma though. We are impressed by the way this SUV handles and accelerates and it looks no less than a proper SUV. So if you are looking for an SUV, which is not actually an SUV and rides really well, Nissan Terrano is the car for you.