The Nissan Terrano is the third model in the Renault-Nissan India line-up to receive the badge-engineering treatment. However, this time, it’s Nissan that is tweaking a Renault product rather than the other way around. Unlike the other two badge-engineered models in the Renault-Nissan stable – the Scala and the Pulse – both of which have got mild tweaks to their exteriors to differentiate them from their Nissan equivalents; Nissan has gone a step further with the Terrano and made significant styling changes, including heavy alterations to the sheet metal. These include redesigned bumpers and lights and a new grille, all of which help the Nissan Terrano look like a proper Nissan. And there’s no doubt that the company has got a winner in the looks department. The Nissan Terrano’s revised V-shaped bonnet integrates nicely with the new Nissan-family grille. The grille itself looks inspired by the larger Nissan Pathfinder SUV sold internationally. The front bumper and lights are new, and the detailed styling around the fog lamps gives the Nissan Terrano a striking look when viewed head on. Get offers & discounts on Terrano
EXTERIORS AND STYLING
Dimensionally, Nissan Terrano measures 4.33m in length with a width of 1.83m. Its overall height with the fixed roof rail is 1.67m. The wheelbase of 2.67m adds more to the interior spacing which is already abundant given its incredible height. Nissan Terrano has a ground clearance of 205mm, which is similar to that of Renault Duster, but is an add-on advantage that will keep this SUV going easily on any terrain.
The side profile of Nissan Terrano has angular bold lines which are different from Duster’s curvy lines. 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 enhance 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 flared up wheel arches of this SUV are endowed with a set of diamond-cut 16” machined light -weight alloy wheels in the top end variants, while the base as well as the mid variants are fitted with similar sized robust steel wheels, which certainly make the SUV look sportier. These classy rims have been further equipped with tubeless radial tyres of size 215/65 R16, which have a superior road grip on any terrain.
INTERIORS AND SPACE
The Nissan Terrano has comfortable ingress and egress. Once you enter the cabin, the beige treatment of interiors gives a good sense of space. Nissan has spruced up the dashboard layout, which feels slightly more premium than the Duster. The storage space on top of the dashboard has been covered now with a lid and the centre AC vents get rectangular in shape with chrome outlining. The instrument cluster covering has a rounded panel and the steering wheel remains the same that gets a rebadged horn pad with silver accents. The centre console is restyled with vertical silver panels running on the sides and piano black panels surrounding the new multimedia system.
These additional embellishments make the interior styling a bit more attractive than the Duster. Quality of the materials used and the fit and finish is exactly the same again, which is much better than the competition but doesn’t feel as premium as a car in this price bracket should feel. The base XE trim comes with black interior, while the rest get beige interior. Colour combination used in the Terrano gels nicely and looks tastefully done, thanks to the piano black finishing. The air conditioning is effective and the vents provide thick flow of air. Everything falls under reach and most of the controls are convenient to use apart from the mirror adjustment control that is placed under the handbrake lever. You will also miss the dead pedal to rest your foot on long drives. Nissan should have addressed the minor ergonomic issues which customers of the Duster have been complaining about since quite some time now.
The door pockets are deep enough to accommodate 1-litre bottles and there is enough spread of cup holders and small storage elements to keep knick knacks. Cabin space needs a special mention here, as there is ample space in both the rows as well as the boot. The seats are sufficiently supportive but lacking a bit of under-thigh support. The 475-litre boot space is practical with a convenient loading lip that can accommodate a good load of luggage. Some of the safety and convenience features offered in the Terrano include dual airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, rear AC, double-din audio system with CD/MP3, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. Shockingly the steering mounted audio controls found on the Duster are not offered on the Terrano.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Terrano comes in three different engine trims which include one petrol and two diesel. The specifications remain identical to that of the Duster. The 1598cc petrol engine churns out 104PS at 5850 rpm and a torque of 145 Nm at 3750 rpm. It has a 5 speed manual transmission and Nissan claims a mileage of 13.2 Kmpl.The petrol engine is smooth and not very audible. The 1.6L petrol engine seems perfect for city commute as it does not offer any kick as such but then in traffic conditions it is at its best. The gear shifts feel a bit notchy and can be bettered with a smoother shift movement.
This is not a typical rev friendly petrol engine as it feels underpowered at lower engine speeds. As the engine speed is raised, it gets more audible but then the lag in the delivery also gets very evident. Also, the petrol version gets Hydraulic power assisted steering. It delivered a mileage of 9.5 kmpl.The 1.5L lower spec diesel engine produces 85PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 200 Nm at 1900 rpm. This engine is also equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission. The prime reason for having a lower spec diesel engine is for the mileage friendly consumers. This one being a diesel feels nice on torque.
This engine too has a lag but then it being a diesel unit tries to overcome it. It takes serious effort to make the vehicle reach higher speeds. The steering is very active in giving feedback and sometimes it gets a little too aggressive. Overtaking in a fully loaded condition is a stress as the notchy gears and the lag in the engine make it very difficult. This one scored more on mileage compared to the other two at 15 Kmpl After trying both the underpowered variants, it was finally time for me to drive the 110PS version. This remains my favorite with its superb power delivery. It produces a power of 110PS at 3900 rpm and a torque of 248 Nm at 2250 rpm. It also comes with a 6 speed manual transmission.
Crank it up and it feels the same until you shift it to the first gear. Cross 1700 rpm and the engine feels very much in control. The torque delivery is fantastic when it comes to the 110 PS model. In fact, I find this engine more athletic compared to that of the EcoSport in terms of sheer drive feel.
RIDE AND HANDLING
In terms of ride, unsurprisingly, the Terrano does brilliantly. It smothers even the biggest of potholes with ease and you don’t have to slow down for rough roads. In fact, the faster you go over rough surfaces, the better the ride.As for handling, the Terrano feels very stable at high speeds and rarely gets out of shape. Even in normal driving, the handling is pretty impressive for a high-riding SUV. There is a bit of body roll due to the soft suspension setup, but it is never too much. And you always feel in control of the car. Also, when you want to have fun, the car’s direct steering is quite rewarding. It’s light enough when you want it to be and weighs up at speed, and this adds to the overall fun.
BRAKING AND SAFETY
Disc units in front and drum units at rear provide stopping power, anti-lock-brakes with EBD and brake assist are available across variants save for the base trim. Safety features on board include front airbags, front fog lamps, engine immobilizer, central locking, driver seat belt reminder, door ajar warning, rear defogger, reverse parking sensor, three point seat belt with retractor in front and rear, speed sensing auto door lock and impact sensing auto door lock
The Terrano is a genuinely nice car, and I do want to like it. However, it is missing some essential features that have been mentioned already. With the new Micra I thought that Nissan India had learned that the market will respond well to value – but according to the Renault-Nissan agreement, the donor car will always cost less than its twin. This means that the Duster will cost less than the Terrano, and this puts the top-spec Terrano between Rs 1-1.5 lakh over the top-spec Duster. That’s a staggering Rs 16.5-17 lakh on-road for great engineering but an incomplete feature set. The Duster filled in a gap in the Indian marketplace and it sold well as long as there weren’t options. The Terrano will enter the market with competition like the Duster itself and the Ford EcoSport. Will Nissan have a surprise in store for us like they did with the pricing of the new Micra? I certainly hope they do.