‘Make no mistake, Nissan is serious about its mission’
Is it just me, or do cars just keep getting bigger? No, I don’t mean that Hyundai Eons are suddenly challenging vertical-clearance bars in parking lots. What I mean is that the market is constantly seeing new bang-for-buck options that offer more room and oomph than your average sedan.
Speaking of the sedan, we’ve noted in a past story that they’re slowly but surely waning in popularity. In fact, Ford is killing off its entire sedan lineup in the US. The body type’s dwindling relevance is thanks in no small part to the rise of crossovers. Why buy a sedan when, for just a bit more money, you can get more interior space and SUV-like ground clearance?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then,
And given how Japanese-car-crazy we are, two titans from the Land of the Rising Sun have ruled over the kingdom over the last decade or more. On one end of the battlefield stands the Toyota Fortuner, backed by the brand’s unwavering reliability and loyal fan base. On the other is the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a vehicle so revered that no amount of sudden intended accusations have managed to dent its popularity.
There are other rulers in the land, sure. The Isuzu MU-X is no slouch and has its own loyal clans in certain parts. The Ford Everest, too, retains its share of the fiefdom. It’s no wonder, then, that Nissan rounded up its troops last year in an attempt to bring anarchy to the established order. Enter the Terra.
Make no mistake, Nissan is serious about its mission. We need not look further than last year’s regional launch held right here in Clark, Pampanga. Usually, a new vehicle entering our region for the first time gets a big launch in a neighboring market like Thailand or Singapore, before making its local debut a few months later. The former are the big, significant markets, according to the powers that be. But this time, Nissan deemed our market as the ideal launch pad (ha...) for its new SUV.
The Terra’s exterior exudes Nissan’s sincerity. It possesses none of Mitsubishi’s ‘look at me’ Dynamic Shield stylings. It’s almost all business, save for a few design cues that border on being stylish. The signature V-Motion grille is there, naturally, mixed with an overall boxy and utilitarian shape. Adding some curves are big, beefy haunches and character lines that give the facade some much-needed personality. It’s a look based on pragmatic considerations, but it works. And it looks good among the flora and real estate of Timberland Heights, where our shoot is taking place.
The reason for the mixed styling is perhaps rooted in
Inside, it’s pretty standard Nissan fare. The dash is a mix of dark and shiny plastics, while the leather seats provide plenty of
The Terra also comes equipped with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of features, which are pretty handy if you’re inclined to use them. A simple flick of the rearview mirror will show you feeds from the numerous cameras and sensors strewn about the SUV. They certainly make managing the vehicle’s dimensions easier.
Propelling the Terra is a 2.5-liter YD25 diesel with 187hp and 450Nm on tap, paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Yup, the same mill found in the top-of-the-line Navara. The diesel delivers power smoothly through the middle ranges and hums with a quiet gurgle, belying its oil-burning nature. Save for some slight lag on sudden surges here and there, it’s a very capable mill which will accomplish 99% of SUV users’ needs.
Where the Terra truly shines,
Perhaps it’s that niche that will become
With a starting price of P1,499,000 at the time of writing, the Terra is right in the ballpark of its rivals. In fact, it even shares the same base price as the Montero Sport. Will the Nissan overthrow the current kings and steal the crown? It could take a few years for that to happen, if ever. It wasn’t so long ago that Nissan was considered a fading brand, right before it experienced its ongoing resurgence. Automotive memories in the Philippines run long, so the chaos that Nissan plans to unleash on the SUV dominion could be a slow, steady burn. But it could very well be a fire that burns bright over the entire kingdom.