Navara-based off-roader now a chance of coming to Australia

Nissan has unveiled a version of its body-on-frame Terra for the wider Asian market, dropping the Chinese petrol engine and five-seat configuration in favour of a powertrain and layout that, should the business case stack up, would slot neatly into the Australian market.

Built on the Navara platform, the Terra could be seen as something of a spiritual successor to the Pathfinder. Nope, not the current one, which is tailored for North America – the rugged one. Remember the ads, where the driver flicked through different drive modes like television channels?

REVIEW: Our first drive of the Nissan Terra

Anyway, the Terra. Measuring 4885mm long, 1865mm wide and 1835mm tall, it’s a natural rival for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and Isuzu MU-X, favoured by grey nomads and rugged families. Trainspotters will notice the model for the broader Asian market is 3mm longer and 15mm wider than the Chinese car revealed earlier this year.

It's not a gigantic segment in Australia, with 1108, 1843 and 2533 of the aforementioned models sold year-to-date respectively, but there's plenty of room for that pie to grow, and Nissan would be mad to miss out on its slice.

Power in the Philippines-market Terra will come from a 2.5-litre 'YD25 DDTi' turbo-diesel making 140kW and 450Nm, channeled to either the rear or all four wheels through an switchable four-wheel drive system. The engine is shared with the Phillipines-market Navara.

A six-speed manual transmission is offered in two-wheel drive base models, but a seven-speed torque-converter automatic is also available. The Terra gets low-range gearing, a locking rear differential and hill-descent control in top-spec 4x4 guise, while the whole range offers 225mm of ground clearance. There are disc brakes up front and drums at the rear.

In the Phillipines, where the car is being launched, only the range-topper is offered with four-wheel drive, with the wider line-up sending power to the rear wheels only. Specifications will vary across the region, though – journalists have flown from Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and more to see the car.

The interior will be familiar to anyone who's sat in a Navara, with the seven-seat offering the same centre console, touchscreen and instrument binnacle as its dual-cab ute sibling. Five trim grades will be offered in the Phillipines – if the car is to come Down Under, Nissan Australia will likely skew firmly towards the upper end of the market.

Higher-spec cars get leather seats, cruise control, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and steering-wheel audio controls, along with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Meanwhile, lower-grade cars get manual adjustment, cloth trim and an instrument binnacle without a fancy trip computer in the middle. Keyless entry and push-button start is offered on higher-grade cars, too.

Regardless of trim, the second-row folds flat 60/40, while the two third-row seats fold into the boot floor. Oh, the same annoying Navara steering wheel cover which makes it far too easy to accidentally hit the horn is standard, regardless of trim. Honk honk!

On the safety front, the Terra offers six airbags (market dependent) and electronic aids like traction control, stability control and ABS. Lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are offered, along with a surround-view camera and parking sensors.

Crucially, there's no mention of autonomous emergency braking, which means a five-star ANCAP rating is off the table should the car have its papers stamped for our market as-is.

As for the way it looks? It's definitely a Nissan, that's for sure, with a nose derived from that of the Navara. Higher-spec cars come with LED headlamps as standard, while the entire range runs with a chrome nose and exterior highlights.

You know how the Everest looks like a Ranger SUV, and the MU-X like a D-Max SUV? Same theory applies here.

Australia

There's no guarantee the Terra will make the journey Down Under, though CarAdvice is on the ground at the launch in the Philippines.

We'll be chatting with Stephen Lester, Nissan Australia's managing director, later tonight for more information on how the car would look for our market, should it make the journey.

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