Nissan has finally pulled the sheet off its rugged Navara-based SUV which will rival the Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. A spiritual replacement to the previous Pathfinder, the new Tera is a tougher and more off-road inspired answer to better compete against other ute-based SUVs.
Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president for Nissan’s frame and light commercial vehicle business, says the Terra is “practical, authentic and designed to go anywhere”.
“The Nissan Terra goes on sale this spring, first in China, with other Asian markets soon to follow,” he says.
“Nissan’s frame and LCV business is seeing steady growth, and with our ambitious midterm plan and growing product lineup, we’re confident that this growth will continue.”
Gupta told Australian reporters the Terra will offer the “authentic capability” of a proper four-wheel-drive, distinguishing it from models such as the X-Trail and Pathfinder which are built on car-like monocoque platforms.
“For the mid-sized SUV, we have monocoque with a similar configuration, but we are going to launch on frame,” he says.
“Why do we want to go for a frame-based SUV?
“Because the customer will love it because he will find that missing thing… we call it authentic capability.”
While full details are yet to be confirmed until closer to the car’s public debut in April, it is likely the Tera will offer seven seats along with twin-turbo diesel power pinched from the Navara.
Nissan chief product specialist for light commercial vehicles, Pedro de Anda, acknowledged the success of vehicles such as the Isuzu MU-X and Holden Trailblazer, saying Nissan needs a rugged off-roader to sit underneath the full-sized Patrol as “there is a significant customer base that is not willing to compromise”.
“For them, this is a much better approach,” he says.
No plans for a local introduction have been announced but Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester says the Terra is on the brand’s radar for Australia, and that “nothing is off the table” as far as its local line-up is concerned.
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