Few cars have seen hype of such levels even before its launch than the Renault Duster. The auto journos praised its practicality, ride and build quality and before you knew it, the vehicle was a tremendous success the likes of which Renault had never seen before. Recently, their partner Nissan decided to take this SUV, give it a wardrobe makeover and voilà, we got the Terrano.
This is the third rebadged offering from the union of Renault-Nissan, the others being the Renault Pulse (a rebadged Nissan Micra) and the Renault Scala (a rebadged Nissan Sunny). In a lot of ways, the Nissan Terrano and its twin, the Renault Duster, are impossible to tell apart. Both these vehicles use the same set of engines – a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that delivers 84 bhp; a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that puts out 102.5 bhp and a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that generates 108.5 bhp.
These engines have been well matched with the weight of the car and the end result is that the Terrano is adequately powerful. It pulls right from when the engine hits 2,000 revs and the car performs well even while nearing redline. You do get a lot of car for the money you pay and Nissan has not scrimped on kitting out the car with features. Depending on the variant, you get airbags, anti lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) with brake assist (BA), fog lamps, parking sensors, alloy wheels, trip computer, keyless entry, 12 volt sockets at the front and rear, a 2 DIN audio system and more.
A front skid plate also comes as standard on all variants to help protect the underside of the engine while driving on rough terrain. The suspension has been designed in such a way that it will remain unfazed even when driving over bad roads. The car stays level and doesn’t crash about for most bumps and dips. The car also grips really well and this makes driving on mountain roads a joy.
The interiors of the car look very different from its Renault twin; the centre console is now finished in glossy black with matt grey strips on either side, the cubby hole on top of the dashboard has a lid and the aircon vents are rectangular. The steering wheel is different as well; however, steering mounted controls are not available on any variant. Although this car does not have a 3rd row, meaning that it can take only 5 passengers, the seats all round are very comfortable in the Terrano.
The top end Terrano variant is filled with features such as ABS, leather seats, Bluetooth and USB audio connectivity, two airbags and rear parking sensors. But all these features are also present on the Renault Duster, which costs less than the Terrano. Even more weirdly, the Duster’s touchscreen navigation and multimedia system is omitted in the Terrano. It’s no wonder that Nissan Terrano reviews have always been lukewarm on the subject of features. However, the very same reviews always praise the vehicle’s ride quality, composure, performance and quality. Nissan Terrano prices range from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 14 lakhs and while one does get a pretty good vehicle for that money, it feels as though Nissan could have done a nicer job and made the Terrano better still.