2013 Nissan Terrano first drive review by Team ICB – Indian Cars Bikes

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Nissan Terrano

2013 Nissan Terrano first drive review by Team ICB

by amit on September 30, 2013 6 Comments

We got to test Nissan Terrano out in the open and challenging roads of Udaipur, we put the car to its paces through narrow roads, village off-roads, water crossing and even on long highway straights. This is what we derived from our test.


Renault duster has been in the Indian market for a couple of years now, but the latest offering from the Nissan stable is sure to stir up the sales between them. Now there aren’t many things that haven’t been shared between the two namely engine, suspension, brakes.


The exterior of the car is now much sharper looking than the duster. The front grill is more prominent and stands out, it has a pathfinder type look and invokes the fundamentals of Nissan ie. Strength and reliability.

The chrome treatment on the grill makes it look more exquisite, while the honeycomb for the backdrop of the Nissan logo is well thought. The body line on the car bonnet is prominent and joins the V-shape design on the front grill. The side fenders have a huge arch and shout out SUV presence.

2013 Nissan Terran black front

The back end of the car consisting of the windshield in the rear too has got a more sharper and angular look to it. Even the lights in the front have a unique four barrel design which makes it look premium, the rear lights too get new and sharper and mixes into the rear door forming an x look which shows the strong and bold design even in the rear.

The skid plates on the car either come in silver or matching to the car colours, it also has these huge air intake ram, which show the off road presence in the car.

2013 Nissan Terrano Side profile

The roof rails are a welcome feature on the car and come as standards. The OVRM’s are electrically adjusted from inside and come as a standard other than on the base petrol variant. The car’s rear door too has a new sweeping up angular design; the rear fixed window is the same as seen on Duster.

Tinted glass from the manufacturer is a good touch as the local cops have gone berserk with the no tinted glass rule.

2013 Nissan Terrano rear

The chrome finish exhaust tip will be available only on the top end diesel. The licence plate is well placed underneath chrome embellishment which also has the rear door entry/lock. The alloy wheels are machined cut and have a very distinct look.

  This gives Terrano its own presence among its straight competition, Renault#8217;s Duster.

2013 Nissan Terrano dashboard

The interior of the car definitely feels more upmarket than the interiors in the Renault duster. The car seats, steering, gear knob etc are wrapped in nice soft leather, which gives a good feel to it. However the steering does not have any audio controls, the inner door knobs get a chrome finish against the black finish fabric.

2013 Nissan Terrano instrument cluster

The part sharing is evident as the speedometer, tachometer and the maximum part of interiors is picked up from Duster and fixed in Terrano. The dashboard has a nice combination of beige on black and the added accent of chrome here and there adding a touch of premiumness to the interiors. But the plastic in the car is a bit hard to touch and affects this premiumness of the car in this respect, but the material is built to last so need not worry about the panel gaps or rattling noises from the dashboard.

2013 Nissan Terrano center console

The centre console has a nice glossy black finish and comes with a touch-screen DVD player as an option. The rear seat gets AC vents too, but can only be directed towards one person at a time. It has a two speed control but is a bit noisy on its highest setting; yet cooling is up to the mark. The centre AC vent is squared and adds to the smart and strong persona of the car.

The rear windows switches are oddly placed on the arm rest and open when trying to sit comfortably, as your arm will fall and switch on the mechanism. There is a small pop up space on dash which can store your driving glasses if you have one.

2013 Nissan Terrano ORVM control

Nissan have maintained the OVRM controls right under the handbrake which is again a struggle to adjust while on the drive. There is a cup holder right ahead of the gear stick and 12v charger option socket. There is a 12v socket for the back seat passengers too, near the parcel tray.

The car has a lot to offer even for comfortable drives in the form of power windows, power steering, tilt steering, lumbar support seats which all help in the comfort of the driving experience. However legroom for rear seats also decent.

2013 Nissan Terrano height adjustable seat belt

Nissan Terrano

The car offers a lot as far as safety is concerned. It comes with air bags for the passenger as standard. ABS and EBD, brake assist, driver seat belt reminder, etc. It comes with an engine immobilizer; all doors if not closed well even if the tailgate is not closed will alarm the driver.

However where the car suffers is the breaking due to the single piston calliper that comes fitted to the front discs, which does not feel adequate to stop this car.

2013 Nissan Terrano gear lever 2013 Nissan Terrano glove box

It has large 215/65 r16 tubeless tyre from MRF. It has a substantial ground clearance of 205mm which make it sit on the road like a SUV. It somehow drives like a sedan thanks to the McPherson strut with coiled spring.

The rear of the car has a Torsion beam axle and coil spring matched with anti-roll bars. The seat belts too have height adjust and can be adjusted to a particular height of a person, however the tensioner of the seat is a very soon and even at normal braking the seat belts lock up and could be eased a bit. Somehow our car did not have seat belt buckles, which was a bit surprising, but could be an honest mistake from the manufacturer.

Luckily, we had no one sitting in the rear seat.

Now when we drove the Terrano for an odd 200+ kms in the villages and highways of Udaipur, the first thing we realised straight away is it doesn’t feel like Duster. The interiors are more premium than Duster. The drive is much more responsive and torque is well present.

The only down side is that the car takes a while to get to its pace, in the first and for a while in the second gear but once its in motion it starts gaining speed well and is fun to drive and push it round corners.  But after a while, the car noticeably starts squeaking while turning and losing grip after a few odd kms which is a bit scary. Knowing our road conditions a car like this should be equipped with better rubber for the roads.

The drive was a bit irritating due to road noises inside cabin as well as wind noise which was really loud; we had to recheck the window switches to ensure that the windows were fully closed  The steering wheel is devoid of audio mounts which are a good addition of wanting to be seen in the premium market of cars.

2013 Nissan Terrano gear knob

There have been no mechanical changes from Duster and this means, Terrano more or less drives similar to Renault.  The clutch on the diesel has a fairly long travel and a bit on the harder side, which is tiring in typical stop go traffic.  But the pull from 2500rpm up to around 4000rpm is of a typical diesel turbo engine, soon after which the power fails to deliver.

2013 Nissan Terrano engine

The engine has power packed midrange which enables overtaking in the most graceful of manner even in non-highway like roads. The car is great for cruising but missed cruise control feature which would have been a good addition to Terrano. There was noticeable lag in the turbo especially in the first and part of the second gear, but once the motor is in it power zone, Nissan Terrano pulls away pretty decently.

Overall Terrano looks and feels good and is a good attempt by Nissan brand. The only changes are in its look and a few tweaks to engine are a welcome feature on Terrano and will help it stand out from its French connection. Nissan is expected to price Terrano 84bhp diesel version at around Rs 9 lakh odd, which will increase to Rs 12 lakh odd for the 109bhp Premium version.

The petrol engine meanwhile would start close to Rs 8 lakh+ approximately.

2013 Nissan Terrano Fuel cap integrated wheel arch 2013 Nissan Terrano door panel 2013 Nissan Terrano badge

2013 Nissan Terrano badge 2013 Nissan Terrano front wheel arch

Review and Imagery credits: Ajinkya Paralikar

Nissan Terrano
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