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NISSAN TERRANO: CONQUERING NEW TERRAINS

After an agonizing long wait Pioneer MotoCorp has finally launched the Nissan Terrano in Nepal. The Terrano has been in India since 2013 and it has taken quite a long time for it to enter the Nepali market. Since that time the Compact SUV segment has seen tremendous growth here in Nepal and to capitalize on this growth every company has introduced a vehicle that fits this segment. Nissan is pretty late to the game with the launch of the Terrano and has quite an uphill battle if it wants to conquer the new Nepali terrain both figuratively and literally.Thankfully Nissan has something going for them i.e. their brand and pedigree when it comes to rugged vehicles. People have been eagerly waiting and longing for the Terrano from the moment they had seen the SUV launch in India. So now will the Terrano overthrow the established players or is it too little too late for them. That is something only time will tell but in this review we will tell you more about the all new Nissan Terrano.

EXTERIOR

To the untrained eye the Nissan Terrano could be mistaken for the Renault Duster as unlike the Terrano that’s sold outside India and Nepal, the one we’re getting is essentially a Duster under the skin. However, visually there are some striking differences. It has more edgy and sharp front features and the side profile has bold angular lines. The diamond cut machine alloy wheels define the Terrano’s look and it appears to be aggressive and commanding setting it apart from most of Nissan’s SUV range models.In fact, apart from the rear fender and the roof, none of Terrano’s body panels are identical to the Duster. What it does get is Nissan’s family look, complete with lots of chrome on the two vertical slats on the grille that house a large chrome-finished Nissan badge. There are other notable visual differences like the slightly modified sheet metal on the doors, aluminum brushed door handles, roof rails and the large tail lamp cluster.Looking at the Nissan head on the Terrano’s V-shaped bonnet integrates nicely with the new Nissan-family grille. The grille itself looks to be inspired by its older sibling the X-Trail. The front bumper lights and the detailed styling around the fog lamps gives the Terrano an intimidating look. When viewed from the rear, the Nissan Terrano looks quite stylish in comparison to its Renault sibling. A prominent chrome bar sits on the top of the number-plate housing, above which sits a big Nissan ‘hamburger’ logo.INTERIOR

Get inside the Terrano and you’ll be greeted with a black/chocolate brown interior color scheme which helps hide the dirt better than the usual beige interiors. The space for the front occupants is great with reasonable width on the inside and the driver will not be elbowing the co-passenger much. Talking about space in the back, the front seat is scooped in to free up much more knee room for rear passengers. Where the rear bench scores is in support & sheer width. The seat back is superbly reclined, making the bench a comfortable place to relax on.Also, the center armrest is great to use but unfortunately the Terrano misses out on driver seat height adjustment. The rear seat is positioned noticeably higher than the front; this, combined with the large windows, makes for a bright ambience. It’s not claustrophobic at the back at all. The rear seat is wide enough to easily accommodate 3 passengers. The Terrano gets a really big boot at 475 liters; enough to store luggage of all five passengers. If you need more, just fold down the rear seats to increase capacity to a whopping 1,064 liters.The point of focus in the cabin lies in the new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The unit is relatively simple and easy to use thanks to large icons. It comes with inbuilt navigation, iPod support and Bluetooth. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missing and you do get a high mounted USB port, which does come in handy. The remaining changes in the cabin include a new retractable armrest for the driver, steering-mounted audio controls and the addition of cruise control. The single, centrally mounted rear air-conditioner vent has been replaced for a cup holder, and there’s a new soft-touch insert in the door pad.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The model we tested was the XV premium which is powered by a 1461 cc dCi Pure Drive Diesel engine. While this version comes with a 5-speed manual, you can also opt for a 6-speed automatic gearbox however it is only for the diesel variant. If you want petrol power, Nissan also offers a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a manual transmission. The Terrano we tested had an 83 BHP engine which makes 200 Nm of torque at 1750 rmp, with a fuel efficiency rating of 19.87 km/l.Even at higher rpms, it is noticeably quieter than other diesel vehicles. It is sufficiently smooth and at cruising speeds, people won’t even know there is a diesel engine under the hood of the Terrano. This 1.5L diesel engine feels best between 2,300 – 4,000 rpm, after which there isn’t much progress. 3rd gear was a vital tool on single lane highways, and overtaking other vehicles was effortless due to the punchy mid-range power delivery.In terms of driving quality, to no one’s surprise, the Terrano performs brilliantly. The Terrano continues to offer a rugged feel than its more road-biased rivals and makes for a fantastic choice if you regularly commute over poor roads. It handles 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. 205mm of ground clearance and a shorter wheelbase ensures that the underbelly doesn’t scrape anywhere. Nissan has hit the sweet spot with the suspension’s ride and handling balance.VERDICT

Better late than never, the Terrano is a good entry in the hugely popular compact SUV segment in Nepal. Even though it shares a lot of its DNA with the Duster the Terrano is a great SUV in its own right. Overall, Terrano ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to the ideal package however there is still room for improvement. With cut-throat competition in this segment we still think that Terrano can still hold its own and even be the first choice for many who were eagerly waiting for Terrano to launch here.

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