The Nissan Terrano is an upmarket urban SUV which is single-handedly responsible for bringing some much needed footfall to Nissan showrooms after the slow response to other products of the Japanese major. The folks at MotorBeam.com adopted the go-fast 110 PS version of the car into their long term fleet and decided to test out the Japanese-named French-made Romanian car!
The Nissan Terrano is a great looking car by the Japanese auto major but the car is as much Japanese as the French fries are.... well, French! Everybody knows that the car is just a re-badged and heavily re-styled Renault Duster. But boy does it look great!
The front of the Terrano looks very aggressive and imposing and the large chrome grille also adds a lot of character to the vehicle along with upping India's favourite bling-bling factor. Smoked headlamps and spider-leg alloys make the Terrano 110 looks awesome.
On the other hand the interiors of this cool Rs 16+ lakh vehicle is definitely a bit of a let-down. The dashboard feels very basic and the scratchy plastic quality isn’t great either.
The equipment list is nothing to write about and the compact SUV comes with all of a spartan audio system which looks aftermarket with unsatisfactory sound quality. There is not even automatic climate control or steering mounted audio buttons at this price.
The place where the Euro-Japanese car really shines is the driving experience. The all familiar 1.5-litre DCi diesel engine that also powers a lot of other Nissan-Renault vehicles is a gem of an engine, and in this higher state of tune it is even more charming.
Our test car feels very punchy. But so much extraction from such a small engine is sure to result in a lot of turbo lag. Thus, the sudden surge of power after 2000 RPM means one has to hold tight the wheel in order to not wrap himself around a tree due to torque-steer.
For an oil-burner, the Nissan Terrano is not what one will call 'frugal'. The vehicle will return 13-14 km/l while a heavy foot also results in heavy fuel bills with the efficiency hovering around the 9-10 km/l mark.
This, along with prematurely worn brakes and an extremely heavy clutch points out that the car requires service and some oil change. Ride quality is something that really impresses and the suspension feels supremely capable of tackling any sort of terrain. The steering is excellent and even though it is a bit heavy, it is just a matter of being used to.
The high price that you pay for relatively low kit and the fact that competition is made up of heavyweights like the Hyundai Creta and Mahindra XUV500, and the less than premium build quality can easily be deal-breakers for a lot of people, who would rather buy the now updated Renault Duster 110 which offers more features for a slightly lesser price.
But at the end of the day, if all you need is a rugged vehicle that can easily take a lot of abuse without a fret, the Nissan Terrano makes for a strong product.