For over 60 years, Nissan has given the world some of the most iconic and popular SUVs. Vehicles that have been ‘enriching people’s lives’ since 1951. These SUVs have earned their spurs in conflict zones across the world as much as they have earned their laurels from demanding customers who want a rugged and reliable vehicle. Nissan has taken SUV technology to the very frontiers of engineering and design.
Today, Nissan has an SUV for your every need and requirement. If you want a compact SUV, Nissan has one for you. If you want a gargantuan vehicle to pummel through any terrain, there’s one for you. If you want to travel in the lap of luxury while crossing the Sahara, Nissan has an SUV for you. While the SUVs might be different in size, specifications and features, what binds them together is the DNA of ruggedness and reliability.
Since its debut in 1951, the Patrol has earned itself an iconic status. The second-generation Patrol that the Indian army adopted as the Jonga in the early ’60s was powered by a 3956cc in-line overhead-valve six-cylinder petrol engine. The Patrol is now on to its sixth generation and is powered by a 5.6-litre V8 with 400bhp on tap. It features cutting-edge technology, but underneath that sophisticated veneer, the beast still stirs, waiting to be awakened.
The Nissan X-Trail that was launched in India was the second generation of the vehicle. Now, there’s a third generation of this very capable vehicle. And it promises to make the X-Trail even more popular.
This SUV is named after the nomadic Qashqai tribe living in mountainous southwestern Iran. It was the first model to be styled by Nissan Design Europe in London, with engineering development led by Nissan technical centre, Europe. The Qashqai was globally presented at the 2006 Paris motor show. It was a huge hit because it offered SUV practicality with car-like drive feel, which was unheard of at the time. Nissan has since updated the Qashqai by upgrading the engines and styling, and also adding two seats as optional to produce the Qashqai +2.
In 1985, Nissan launched one of its most popular SUVs, the American-designed Pathfinder. Built on a ladder frame chassis, the first Pathfinder sported two doors. It received two more doors in 1990, and has had four doors ever since. From then on, the Pathfinder has become bigger and more refined to meet the demands of modern buyers. The newest model is the most car-like one and excels as a three-row family hauler. The 2014 model year was the first-ever Pathfinder hybrid.
The Nissan Terrano doesn’t just look the part, it plays it to perfection. In an SUV, you don’t wait for an invitation from good roads but make your own way. And when the road disappears, the 205mm ground clearance ensures that this SUV stomps its way over everything. Now you don’t need to pussyfoot over the obstacles, trying not to scrape the bottom. With this ground clearance, you just power through, your foot firmly on the throttle. And power is something that the Terrano is on first-name terms with. Giving wings to the Terrano is a range of proven diesel and petrol motors delivering between 84.5bhp and 108.5bhp. While the power output might differ, what’s common to all the engines is that they offer maximum efficiency and hence, excellent fuel consumption. Plus, to help you tame the power, the Terrano borrows from the Qashqai’s technology basket to give you ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist. Oh yes, and we’ll not let out any Terrano without at least a driver’s airbag.
If all this doesn’t make you feel like a King, the driver’s seat will. The high driving position is there for a purpose. It gives you better visibility to spot any obstacles on the road. And if you have to remap your path because of an obstacle, the segment-best 5.2-metre turning radius means that you can negotiate your way around it while others are still trying to extract themselves.
If you really want to experience the rough and tumble of the wild, the Nissan Terrano will take you there. But you have to get out of the Terrano, since the cabin pampers you in richness and comfort. The dash is two-tone, the centre console is piano-black, chrome and silver accents add that touch of class. The cabin is dominated by beige to add airiness and roominess. There are plenty of storage spaces, including a covered compartment over the centre console. The steering wheel design comes from the Nissan X-Trail. It’s ironic how such a civilised car can help you unlock the uncivilised part of you. And the 475-litre boot means that you can carry your luggage, your camping equipment, your creature comforts, all supplies, and more. Or on an airport run, five full-sized suitcases and five adults!
That brings us to the question of cabin space. It’s a no-brainer. The 2671mm wheelbase means that all five passengers can sit comfortably. And not be forced into an undesirable intimate squeeze. And the five passengers don’t need to be anorexic models, but rather healthy adult specimens.
So, what are you waiting for? Or are you still left waiting? Actually, if you want an SUV that you can drive to work, it’s a Hobson’s choice. All you have to decide is the colour of your Nissan Terrano.