By Karen Nduku
Nissan has a long-standing reputation for building robust and capable 4×4 SUVs like the Patrol, Super Safari, and Terrano. Among its lineup, the Nissan Terra has stood out as a solid seller since its launch in 2018, and it received a major overhaul in 2021. Now, in 2023, the Terra remains a strong contender in the 4×4 SUV segment, offering excellent value and a host of compelling features.
The Nissan Terra boasts a handsome and timeless design that still looks modern on today’s roads. While it received a styling update, the sculpted and chiseled lines have only enhanced the SUV’s appearance. Taking cues from the larger Patrol at the front, the Terra presents a bold and confident stance. Compared to its newer competitors like the Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest, the Terra easily holds its ground in terms of looks.
Nissan has made significant improvements to the Terra’s interior, addressing previous issues. The interior cabin now exudes a richer and more premium feel, akin to that of a new model. The soft-touch padding on the front dashboard, wrapped in dark red faux leather, adds a touch of luxury. The VL 4×2 and variants boast this plush interior, while the base VE variant comes with a simpler, single-colour cabin.
The space inside the Terra is class-competitive, offering more room than the competition which includes the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, the Toyota Fortuner, the Isuzu MU-X and the Ford Everest. The Terra provides ample space for most needs, and the high-mounted second-row seats create an airy atmosphere. The third-row seating, while suitable for children, is comfortable even for young adults. The cargo area compensates even more with generous dimensions and a premium interior cabin feeling.
Powering the Nissan Terra is a 2.5-liter turbodiesel engine, which produces 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque. This powertrain offers adequate performance for the segment, and the seven-speed automatic transmission ensures smooth power delivery. The Terra handles very well in heavy traffic, and it’s easy to pass slower vehicles on the highway.
While the 4×4 system adds weight, resulting in slightly reduced fuel efficiency, the Terra maintains reasonable fuel consumption, especially on long hauls. The latest model significantly improves noise, vibration, and harshness suppression, providing a quieter and more refined ride.
Ride and handling
Despite being a pickup-based SUVs, the Nissan Terra boasts exceptional on-road handling prowess. It is also safe and secure at reasonable speeds, thanks to good roadholding. Despite some pitch and roll during spirited driving, it’s far from feeling unstable. The steering feel is surprisingly light for an SUV that uses hydraulic assist instead of electronic power steering.
The Terra’s softly sprung suspension ensures comfort on both pavement and off-road trails. The damping is excellent, providing a supple ride with minimal body movement. Off-road, the Terra showcases its capabilities with a long-travel suspension and rear differential lock, easily conquering various terrains.
The Terra is the top-of-the-line variant, offering a comprehensive list of features. It shares most of its equipment with the 4×2 variant, including the latest version of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility active safety package. This suite includes lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking.
Inside, the Terra boasts a nine-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. An eight-speaker Bose sound system adds to the audio experience, exclusive to this variant. The SUV also comes with a rear entertainment package, making long road trips enjoyable for the family.
The Nissan Terra is a highly attractive option for those seeking a 4×4 SUV. The Terra excels in many areas. It offers excellent value, boasting a spacious interior, impressive off-road capabilities, and a comfortable ride.
Moreover, Terra ‘s competitive pricing sets it apart from its peers. It undercuts its rivals, including the Mitsubishi Montero Sport GT 4WD, Ford Everest Titanium + 4×4, and Toyota Fortuner LTD 4×4. For the price, the Terra provides a well-rounded package that few can match. Overall, the Nissan Terra is a compelling option and deserves serious consideration for your next SUV. It offers exceptional value. It is distributed and serviced by Crown Motors Group, through its Nissan Kenya franchise.