Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- It’s a spacious family 4x4
- It has decent off-road capabilities
- Its looks are unappealing
- It’s unreliable for a Nissan
The Terrano never proved as popular as the Land Rover Discovery despite being slightly cheaper. It’s a reasonably good family car with the five door model being able to seat seven with the two extra seats in the large boot. It isn’t as good off the road as some of its rivals though which may be why it isn’t as popular. It feels at home around town and is an excellent towing vehicle.
Exterior and Interior
There are two versions of the Terrano, a three-door model that has a sportier look and a five-door model that makes more sense as a family car with its longer wheelbase. The interior is limited especially in the back where legroom is tight. The seats are all comfortable, though, but they could do with a little more support. The Five-door model also comes with the option of having two extra seats installed into the boot turning it into a seven-seater; and the seats can then be removed when you want more luggage space. The boot is a good size too being able to hold five people’s luggage with ease when the two rear seats in the boot are removed. The dash is well laid out and all of the controls fall easily to hand, however, overall the interior feels very dull and drab.
We’d avoid the entry level LX and S trim levels and instead go for the SE+ that gives you air-con, a CD multichanger, alloys, electric windows and sunroof, heated seats, leather upholstery and metallic paint. However, if you would like even more kit go for the Sport model that adds headlight washers, remote locking and a service indicator.
Performance and Economy
The entry level 2.4-litre petrol engine gives a relaxed drive, but it’s not exactly fast taking 13.3 seconds to reach 60mph; and isn’t the most economical either at 23mpg. The 2.7-litre TDi is a better option if you’re going to be using the Nissan Terrano for towing or off-roading as it has better low-down pull than the petrol engine. The diesel is returning a more efficient 28mpg. It’s very slow though, taking over 15 seconds to reach 60mph and it’s very noisy. The 3.0-litre Di that joined the range in 2002 is the top choice for many, offering a very strong performance. Being the quickest engine in the range - going from 0-60mph in just over 13 seconds it is also the most frugal - achieving 31mpg. Also when compared to newer diesel engines, it’s not particularly refined.
Insurance costs are a little on the high side falling between groups 12 and 15 depending on which engine you go for.
Like to Drive
Off road the Nissan Terrano performs fairly well due to its high and low-ratio gearing and high ground clearance. It’s not as good on the tarmac, though, with lots of body roll in the corners and imprecise steering. Around the town its soft suspension provides a supple ride. It is also a very good tow-vehicle especially when fitted with one of the diesel engines. The engines are all noisy and at higher speeds with wind and road noise also being heard in the cabin.
Faults and Repairs
The Terrano, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to Nissan’s impeccable reliability record being subjected to no less than three recalls. The first two were the most serious affecting just under 6000 cars as recalls were carried out on cars built between 1995 and 1997 and also on cars built between July 2001 and February 2002. There were fears over possible faulty brakes. Other areas that are prone to problems are the engines, electrics and suspension.
You should also ask if the vehicle has been used as a towing vehicle as this wears down the breaks, suspension and steering a lot quicker than on a car that hasn’t. Be sure to check the undercarriage of the car too for any damage that may have been sustained from any off-roading endeavours.
Servicing cost will prove more costly than some of the Terrano’s rivals, but repair costs shouldn’t set you back too much as Nissan have some of the cheapest labour rates in the business.