Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
NISSAN Philippines Inc. (NPI) finally brought the new Terra midsize sport-utility vehicle (SUV) out from stealth mode to be its frontrunner to the highly coveted vehicle segment.
In the recently concluded two-day international and regional event, members of the media from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Oceania regions witnessed the unveiling of the innovative seven-seater midsize SUV in a spectacular presentation.
“Over 60 years of SUV heritage went into the development of the Nissan Terra,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, NPI president and managing director. “The new Nissan Terra is designed to give you the confidence to take your family on exceptional urban and outdoor adventures by providing a no-compromise package.”
Based on the Navarra pickup platform, the seemingly front end resemblance was evident, but with few differentiations coming from the streamlined V-motion grille along with the edgier “boomerang” LED headlamps. Matching the flowing delineations on the front fenders are the same profiles toward the tail end. The rear end, meantime, highlights the segments traditional pattern. But the tailgate’s V-shape definition along with edgy lamps provided the distinction. Standing tall at 225 mm ground clearance, those wheel arcs complement well with both the 17” and 18” rims being offered in different variants.
Inside, you’ll find the cabin layout pretty much Navarra-like—modern, stylish, spacious and conducive with advanced driving technologies. Aside from the new capacitive touchscreen infotainment, another innovation is Smart Rear View Mirror where images of the 360-degree view and other angles can be viewed along with the ceiling-mounted monitor, which mirrors the infotainment’s display.
The premium variant’s sporty seats are leather-wrapped with stitching design. Both front seats offer multiadjustments with the driver’s eight-way electronic alterations while the front passenger has manual adjustments. Remarkably, another innovation made standard to all variants are the switches in the center console to remotely and automatically tumble the second row 60:40 benches in order to provide access to the third row.
Propelling the new Terra is the same 2.5-liter YD25 DDTi turbodiesel mill from the Navarra. It delivers 187 hp at 3,600 rpm and 450 N-m of maximum torque at 2,000 rpm. Power is transferred to either a 4WD or 2WD drivetrain models via a seven-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission options.
As for safety features, the six airbags, antilock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, and four-eye rear parking sensors are all available across the board while the tire pressure monitoring system, vehicle dynamic control with B-LSD and rear camera are exclusive to premium models. Other advanced technologies include Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection.
The new Terra is now available for reservation, but the units will be available at the dealerships nationwide come August 20. Price starts at P1.499 million for the 2.5L EL 4×2 6MT and P1.615 million for the 2.5L EL 4×2 7AT. As for the higher 2.5L VE 4×2 7AT model, it’s being offered at P1.697 million. Another interesting move by Nissan was to offer the premium models available in both 4WD and 2WD versions in order to further expand the buyer’s preference in terms of application. The 2.5L VL 4×2 7AT is valued at P1.889 million while the 2.5L VL 4×4 7AT is priced at P2.096 million.
“The new Nissan Terra’s features work together to bring the exceptional to everyday life,” said Narasimhan. “The Terra will change the game in the midsize SUV segment, and that it will be the strongest contributor to the business growth of Nissan Philippines in 2018.”
Behind the wheel, on and off the road
NISSAN claims that the new Terra has what it takes to give customers the confidence to take on any journey. In order to validate that, the following day was the opportunity to test the real deal. The initial set of demonstration involved short technical courses to test several on-road driving dynamics.
The first exercise was quite brief but still managed to impress us, nonetheless, aboard the premium 4×2 variant. During the series of tests, we validated how the torque registry at low end range was instantaneous and unceasing. Braking, on the other hand, was fully controlled yet uninterruptible minus the unwanted skids. Then, there was a quick runabout and slalom courses where the SUV displayed impressive agility on constant maneuvering while maintaining good form. Last was the reverse parking exercise where the 360-degree view made the entire process trouble-free.
Perhaps what everybody was looking forward to was the succeeding stage to take on the road less travelled utilizing the premium 4×4 variant. En route to the site, we had enough distance to experience the new Terra’s behavior on the freeway. It demonstrated superb noise and vibration suppression, which is actually far better than previously tested competitors. The ride was definitely smooth and comfy thanks to the five-link coil spring rear suspension system.
Finally, we reached the off-road site. Traversing through the tight and rocky path was trouble-free thanks to the real-time and multiangle view via the rearview mirror. As soon as we reached the unforgiving terrain of the lahar-stricken Delta 5 area in Porac, Pampanga, each member in the group was given the opportunity to tryout the extreme exercise.
Despite short in distance, the entire expedition underlined the off-roading prowess of the new Terra and surprised us in several ways. For one, even at 4L setting, the combined smooth shifting and seven gears still allowed the vehicle to effortlessly and swiftly accelerate. Weather on 4WD-diff lock or open differential, traversing through shallow river beds and soft sands was manageable while sustaining full traction. All we needed to do was to steer to the right direction and counter-steer whenever the situation calls for it. Likewise, the 32.6 degree and 26.6 degree angles of approach and departure, respectively, proved to be an advantage at occasional steep slopes. The best part was everything seemed tranquil inside the cabin despite the constant terrain rebounds.