Nissan Terra Review
While the Nissan Terra might not be well-known in South Africa, it stands as an impressive seven-seater SUV constructed on the reliable Navara platform, which itself holds significant popularity as a robust bakkie locally.
Configurations and design
It has the underpinnings of the Nissan Navara combined with bold styling headed by a chrome grille and LED headlights in a cluster-design theme.
Furthermore, there is more chrome on the lower section of the front, on the faux side vents as well, and at the rear, with the design creating a bridge between the taillights.
Aside from 17-inch all-terrain wheels, the SUV has side steps to showcase its off-road capabilities. With an impressive ground clearance of 243mm, an approach angle of 32.3 degrees and a departure angle of 26.6 degrees, this vehicle is well-prepared to tackle any challenging terrain.
We hopped inside and were astounded at how spacious the rear seats were. Moreover, the second and third rows have air vents, and the rear has buttons to control the climate.
An elegant feature lies in the USB and USB-C ports for rear passengers for ultimate convenience.
The third row of seats should ideally be only for children because of their compact nature. That said, adults should use the rearmost row for brief trips only.
Like the Navara, the Terra features a steering wheel with a flat bottom and multifunctions.
The interior is a mix of black plastics and chrome detailing with smatterings of piano black plastic around the infotainment system. We liked the myriad of storage compartments littered over the cabin, including a nifty sunglass holder.
A Test Drive Like No Other: Nissan Terra
We took the Terra 2.5D XE Auto model for a spin. Despite its bakkie-like configurations, we enjoyed how ‘car-like’ it felt, similar to how Nissan approached the Navara by focusing on road handling on the gravel.
We found the ride comfortable and scuttle-free thanks to its suspension layout. It handles small and big bumps in the road with composure.
With that, the Terra is the type of car we could do hundreds of kilometres and not feel lethargic after the drive.
The 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine boasts a meaty 140kW and 450Nm, with gear-shifting and transmission handled by a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Generally, the engine has been refined and emits a noticeably less “agricultural” sound than its competitors. The minimal turbo lag is particularly unexpected, considering the engine’s capacity.
The ‘box makes quick work of gearing down when overtaking is necessary, and the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels were superb, thanks to a well-insulated cabin.
Despite being the base model, the Terra XE Auto’s sound system punches above its weight. We reckon it deserves special mention as the Terra will likely cope with chores as a family car.
In conclusion, Terra presents a compelling proposition in a market dominated by Japanese and USA brands. However, the concern lies in whether one would want or desire to drive an SUV that is so commonplace and abundant.