Nissan Terrano: First Drive
Not being boastful, let me tell you ZigWheels is India’s number one online automobile portal. And over the years if you look at stories which have garnered the maximum hits, they all have one thing is common, they are all related to SUV’s. Such is India’s love affair with these big, butch family cars. Almost every manufacturer here in India owes at least a little or in some cases a lot to this segment which has set the numbers rolling for them.
Coming to Nissan, the Japanese giant already had the X-TRAIL here in India, but with its pricing being north of Rs. 20 lakh, it did little for Nissan in terms of numbers. What Nissan needed was a compact SUV with a competitive price tag to gain the acceptance of our SUV loving people. This is where the Renault-Nissan alliance came into the picture. With Renault already setting the ball rolling with its immensely successful Duster, all Nissan had to do was what Renault did with the Nissan Micra and the Sunny and lo and behold, we have the Nissan Terrano. We already spoke in detail about the Terrano at it’s unveil last month and now here is the drive report in detail.
So here we are at the Maharana Pratap airport in Udaipur with our fleet of Terrano’s ready and waiting. Since the first session of the drive was going to be a relatively short one to Devigarh, I got into the Terrano XL with the 85PS power output. So while we are waiting for more people to arrive, I move around the insides to find out how welcoming the new Terrano is. If you like beige, you will instantly love the interiors. Me on the other hand, I’m not too much in its favour simply because beige is easily stained and maintenance can be a pain. But the upside of it is that the cabin does feel a lot more roomy. The front seats are quite large and can easily accommodate someone with a large frame quite comfortably. There are some neat touches as well, like the chrome surrounds on the air-con vents, the aluminium inserts on the ‘new’ steering wheel and the piano black centre console which look quite upmarket. The audio system is all-new as well.
The rear bench is supremely comfortable too. Seating three abreast is hardly a task. Lots of under-thigh support means a comfortable long drive is the order of the day. But there are a few chinks in the otherwise impenetrable armour. For starters, there is the absence of climate control. Then there is also the lack of steering mounted controls which can get quite irritating. And finally you have the speedometer console which looks as vivid as a newspaper from the 1970’s. Getting to the practical aspect, there is plenty of stowage place for knick-knacks and a spacious 475 litre boot. All said and done, putting the minor nitty-gritty’s aside, Nissan has done quite a good job with the interiors even though under all that beige and aluminum inserts, one can still see a reflection of the Duster’s layout.