Nissan Terrano unveiled, bookings start September 1

Nissan has unveiled the Terrano compact SUV in India and will open bookings on September 1. The official deliveries and price announcement of the Nissan Terrano will happen in October. The Nissan Terrano will be priced below Rs. 10 lakh, says Nissan India.

Nissan says the Terrano is a 4th generation product, following up on the Terrano line that was first launched in 1986. However, to those in the know, this is in fact a rebadged Renault Duster that has been cleverly disguised – to Nissan’s credit it has done a fine job of badge-engineering the Duster to don the Nissan Terrano brand name.

So what’s different about the Nissan Terrano?

Well, the differences are largely only in the styling, while it is mechanically identical to the Renault Duster. It will even be offered with the same engine options – a 1.6 litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual transmission, a 1.5 litre diesel engine developing 85 bhp of power with a five-speed manual transmission and the same 1.5 litre diesel engine with increased power output of 110 bhp and a six-speed manual transmission. All are front-wheel drive variants only and there’s no 4×4 on offer. An opportunity missed? Also read: Nissan Terrano fully revealed ahead of official unveiling 

In terms of styling, though, to the untrained eye, the Nissan Terrano does appear to be a new vehicle as the styling changes are significant, with some sheet metal changes as well. Dimensions though are identical to the Renault Duster.

In the front, Nissan has slapped on its trademark SUV grille as found in the Pathfinder, Patrol and X-Trail. It has given the bonnet two crease lines to blend in with the grille. The trapezoidal twin-beam headlamps look neat and make it stand apart. It rides on 16-inch alloy wheels. In profile, it has a crease on the doors that’s not there on the Duster. At the rear, you get tail-lamps that wrap on to the boot lid, with functional reverse lamps on the boot lid portion. Also read: Nissan’s compact Duster-based SUV to be last badge-engineered product from alliance 

The problem with badge-engineering a car is that there’s only so much that can be done. Inside for instance, Nissan has redesigned the dash slightly to add rectangular centre AC vents compared to the Duster’s round ones. It has used a different music system as well, with integrated Bluetooth, but has got rid of the steering column mounted audio controls that the Duster has.

The same quirks also continue – like the rear view mirror power control being under the handbrake. The height adjustment for the driver’s seat is also the same clunky mechanical one that the Renault Duster has, which requires you to pull yourself up with the seat. The plastic quality too is just like the Renault Duster’s with some odd bits and rough edges around the dashboard. It also has the rear AC vent in the top-end XV variant that eats into rear seat legroom.

It is available in six colours and seven variants (one petrol, six diesel). Colour choices include red, white, silver, black, grey-beige and grey.

The price of the Nissan Terrano will be announced in October when deliveries begin, but since Renault wouldn’t want the sales of the Duster to be cannibalized by the Terrano, the Nissan SUV will have to be priced about Rs. 50,000 more than the Renault Duster. The question is, how many of you are willing to pay that premium only for some styling changes over the Renault Duster and no added functionality whatsoever?