Review: Nissan Terra 2.5L VL 4X2 7AT

Is it primed to take on the segment?
by Jason Tulio | Mar 15, 2019
PHOTO: Jason Tulio

It really shouldn’t come as any surprise that Nissan Philippines brought in the Terra. The Japanese carmaker already had competitive offerings in several key segments, but it was missing a midsize SUV that could take on the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The fact that the regional launch was held in Clark, Pampanga signaled Nissan’s serious intent to take the midsize leaders head-on.

Here we have the 4x2 variant that many city slickers will likely consider. It’s got all the top-of-the-line trimmings and features minus the 4x4 capability. 

 

Styling

Continue reading below ↓

For the most part, Nissan elected to give its midsize SUV a tough, no-nonsense look. Up front you get the expected V-Motion grille flanked by big LED headlamps. Beefy haunches along the side give it a bit of muscle, while the rear taillamps are also quite sizeable. The V shape along where the license plate sits is a nice touch.

It’s subtle compared to its competitors, but we reckon the Terra’s look totally works. It’s got just enough style elements to warrant a second look, but it’s not too flashy that it looks out of place for a midsize SUV.

 

Interior

Continue reading below ↓

It wouldn’t be fair to call the Terra’s interior bare, because it really isn’t. But design-wise the Nissan designers stuck to the basics. The dash is adorned with simple dull and glossy plastics, while the steering wheel is the familiar vee shape found on many of its stablemates and on the outside metal.

The automatic A/C is controlled with a series of physical buttons. The top variants get nice, comfy brown leather seats. It’s a muted look that doesn’t go out of its way to grab your attention, which for many people is just fine. On the plus side, you get lots of cabin space, with a reasonable amount of room in the rearmost seats. 

 

Engine performance

Continue reading below ↓

Naturally, the Terra is powered by a turbodiesel. In this case, it’s a 2.5-liter YD25 mill capable of 187hp and 450Nm. It’s the same engine found in the top-of-the-line Navara. Power delivery is smooth through the middle ranges, and while you can hear the engine’s whir as the revs climb, it stays pretty quiet when idling or through smooth cruising. There’s plenty of pep available for city driving and steep hill climbs. Our week with the Terra in Metro Manila netted us roughly 8km/L.

 

Ride and handling

Continue reading below ↓

It seems that each midsize SUV has its niche in our market. The Fortuner is marketed for its premium feel. Mitsubishi doesn’t hide the fact that the Montero Sport’s design is unique. Isuzu boasts about its engines and their fuel economy. The Terra’s unique selling point? It could very well be its handling.

Unlike other SUVs where the steering feels too light for the vehicle’s size, the Terra’s has a healthy weight to it that adjusts minimally with increasing speed. It almost feels a bit old school in a sense. Granted, it can feel a bit too heavy at times when you’re cruising at low speeds. Through corners, the vehicle remains stable, exhibiting less body roll than you’d expect. We drove it through the twisties of Rizal, and it proved to be quite nimble for its size.

 

Extra features

Continue reading below ↓

Normally, this part of the review is short, merely listing some nifty features that the vehicle happens to have. But in the Terra’s case, its abundant tech is worth a more thorough look.

Chief among the gadgets onboard is the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of safety features. By flipping the rearview mirror, you can view cameras that look in front, behind, and around the vehicle. The 360-degree view is pretty useful when backing into a parallel slot, though it does take some getting used to. The SUV also comes with lane departure and blind spot warning.

The infotainment system gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are fast becoming industry standards and must-haves on our traffic-ridden streets. Complimenting those is a screen for the rear passengers which mirrors the touchscreen display. There are also A/C vents for the rear passengers—a godsend when you’re riding a Nissan.

Continue reading below ↓

 

Verdict

The midsize SUV segment is not an easy one to compete in. Nissan bet big on this market, but its competitors have had several years (and in some cases, several generations) to establish their respective footholds. Yet the Terra offers a package that ticks all the boxes of what a good midsize SUV should be, plus a few surprises that many buyers will enjoy. If the increasing number of units on the road is any indication, this Nissan is poised to disrupt the current segment leaders.

Continue reading below ↓

Specs: Nissan Terra 2.5L VL 4X2 7AT

Price: P1,899,000
Engine: 2.5-liter turbodiesel
Power: 187hp @ 3,600rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 2,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive layout: RWD
Seating: 7
Score: 19/20

Nissan Terra 2.5L VL 4X2 7AT

 

See Also

Recommended Videos
PHOTO: Jason Tulio
  • Quiz Results

  • Top Gear Philippines Rating
    --/20
    Engine
    --
    Power
    --
    Torque
    --
    Transmission
    --
    Fuel
    --
    1.8 E CVT
    Starts at P1,110,000
    TGP Rating:
    --/20
    Pros
    Light on amenities, Honda kept styling it long after it was done.
    Cons
    Light on amenities, Honda kept styling it long after it was done.
    Verdict
    Honda’s winningest combination comes when you opt for a six-speed manual transmission available in the Civic hatchback Sport, in which …
    Learn More
  • TGP Rating:
    /20

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    /20
    Starts at ₱