Karan Ahluwalia walked down the stairs of his quiet Delhi apartment building, looking unusually fresh for a 5am wake-up call. “Good morning!” He exclaimed enthusiastically as he eyed the black Terrano in front of him. “Will I actually be one of the first people in the country to drive this?” He asked with obvious glee in his voice.
For this edition of ‘Nissan Terrano Bridging Distances’, we’ve been provided with the brand new 2017 Terrano. It’s packed with a long list of exciting new features and Karan would indeed be one of the first people in the country to sample it for himself. Included in this long list are a new touchscreen infotainment system, a new instrument cluster, steering-mounted media controls, cruise control, speed limiter, new upholstery, a dual-tone interior, hill-assist control, anti-pinch driver-side window, voice recognition system and driver side armrest. Additionally, this Terrano was also fitted with optional daytime running lamps (DRLs) and side steps.
Karan is an entrepreneur, running a manufacturing facility in Manesar. He took over the family business after finishing his studies in Chandigarh. “I had some great times living in Chandigarh for those three years,” he recounts wistfully.
Karan and the Autocar India team were to drive to Chandigarh to help him reconnect with one of his closest friends from his college days, Ishan. Ishan still lives in Chandigarh, completing a law degree. “Ishan and I kind of lost touch after I moved back to Delhi and took over the business. Chandigarh is really not that far, I know, but we both got so caught up in our lives that we just did not have the time to keep up with each other’s lives,” Karan tells us. We understand the pain of estranged friendships, because we’ve all experienced the “life gets in the way” phenomenon. So we took to the road to bridge the distance between Karan and his best friend.
Delhi to Chandigarh is indeed not a very long drive, and the roads are smooth and straight for the most part. Leaving early in the morning allowed us to beat the otherwise congested Delhi traffic. The Terrano we were driving was the AMT variant, and Karan, who personally commands a four-car fleet, was positively impressed. “AMT gearboxes tend to be quite jerky, but this one, I have to say, is surprisingly smooth,” he commented. “This car would be perfect for my daily commute. I drive about a 100km a day, split between crawling Delhi traffic, broken back roads and open highway, and this car seems like it would handle all three situations very well!”
Karan also liked the new brown-and-black interiors, the touchscreen, and the steering-mounted controls. And features aside, the car’s drive was as great as it had ever been. “It’s good that Nissan has left the mechanicals untouched – why fix what’s not broken,” he said.
With Karan behind the wheel, we reached Chandigarh in just over three hours. Chandigarh is the most well-planned city, with wide, straight roads flanked by ancient, blooming trees. Karan had not informed Ishan that we were coming, so he crossed his fingers as he rang the bell at Ishan’s doorstep, hoping he would be in. He was in luck, because Ishan opened the door with a justifiably surprised expression on his face.
The two greeted each other warmly, and spent the rest of the day catching up. There were many stories to swap, many memories to recount. From a third-person’s point-of-view, it was almost impossible to believe that the two had not been in touch for the past three years.
As evening grew near, Karan had to leave to get back to Delhi; work beckoned. The goodbye was warm, and you could see that the two were determined to not let life get in the way of their friendship anymore.