Nissan will soon launch the Terra SUV in South Africa. This, with the recently announced Magnite, will extend Nissan’s SUV/crossover range nicely and allow it to compete better.
The SUV is the bestselling segment in the car market, but this segment has sub-segments of its own. These are roughly crossover, compact crossover, midsize and full-sized. These definitions differ around the world, and then there is also the matter of chassis, off-road capacity, engine power and the number of seats. There is no best or better segment – it depends on the buyer’s needs.
Fact is that people perceive certain models to be in the same segment. The Nissan Magnite will compete with the Kia Sonet and the Hyundai Venue, while the current and Qashqai straddle the same segment as the Toyota RAV4. The Terra fits between the smaller X-Trail and the bigger Nissan Patrol, obviously designed to take on the Fortuner, Pajero Sport and Everest.
Those are tough competitors, but Nissan seems to have raised the stakes with this model. The Terra is based on the Nissan Navara bakkie, so it will have the same solid ladder and frame chassis. The rear suspension has a five-link coil spring, while the rear axle is rigid. Hill descent and hill start will be taken care of as well.
Off-road vrooma is enhanced by a 4×4 drive with low range, brake-limited slip diff and electronic locking rear diff. And you can switch to fuel-efficient 4×2 mode at the touch of a button as soon as you are on tar again.
In other markets, the Terra is sometimes called the X-Terra, which comes with a 2.5-litre petrol engine but the feeling is our one will offer one or both of the Navara’s turbo diesel mills: the 120kW single turbo and the 140kW twin.
Inside the Terra are all leather luxury and electronic opulence. It seats five, with two more fold-flat seats in the luggage area. 10 cup holders are three more than the maximum occupants, so ambidextrous passengers are catered for as well.
If all passengers wear large hats, you can flick a switch on the intelligent rearview mirror and a camera in the back will bypass the headgear to give you a clear view. The intelligent round-view monitor will give you a bird’s eye view all around the car, while you also get lane departure and blind spot warnings, as well as rear cross-traffic alert.
Active safety systems include lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
The specifications above are speculative, based on X-Terra models launched elsewhere. But it is coming and you can keep an eye on when and exactly what you will get for how much and even pre-book a test drive for when the Nissan Terra gets here.