A pair of four-wheel drive Nissans could be a good fit for local showrooms, but it's a matter of actually getting them here.
As you will have seen from our recent Moroccan adventures, CarAdvice spent some time sampling Nissan’s four-wheel drive portfolio on-road and off, tackling one section of the vast Sahara Desert.
The Navara AT32 modified dual-cab and the Terra four-wheel drive wagon both have their own cases to mount for inclusion on the sales charts in Australia, and the local arm of Nissan would love to see them.
Starting with Navara AT32, it’s a tastefully (and purposefully) modified ute with some quality gear on it, thanks to the off-road gurus at Arctic Trucks. There’s a Safari Snorkel, specific wheels and all-terrain tyres, modified shocks and springs, and underbody protection, all designed to make a strong off-road performer even more capable.
Nissan Australia corporate communications general manager, Karla Leach, told Australian journalists the AT32 is very much in Nissan's sights locally.
“We are actively working on securing the AT32 for Australia,” Leach said. “We believe it would be a popular addition to the Navara lineup for Australian customers.”
With so many high-end dual cab ute buyers rolling their showroom fresh workhorse into any number of aftermarket businesses to add a litany of modification parts, both dress-up and functional, it makes sense for manufacturers to be looking at similar options, just as Ford has done with Ranger Raptor.
I know I’d prefer a full factory warranty on whatever options I’d added to my brand new dual cab.
The other vehicle that strikes CarAdvice as a no-brainer for Australia is the Terra. Powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, it sports a locking rear diff, proper low-range gearing, a seven-speed automatic and useful clearance, ramp over and approach and departure ability. In fact, Nissan claims its wheelbase, and both approach and departure angles to be class leading.
Given Nissan has sent the Pathfinder down the softer SUV path, there also seems to be room for a Navara-based 4WD wagon, with both family friendly cabin space and proper off-road ability. That’s exactly where the Terra sits thanks to its three-row seating layout and well-appointed cabin.
Karla Leach also thinks there’s a case to be made for the Terra in a market like Australia, although the business model isn't quite as clear cut as that of the AT32 Navara.
“Terra is a vehicle that we think would work well in Australia,” Leach said. “However a launch in Australia is still under investigation.”
One out of two isn’t bad for consumers, although lets hold out for a Terra announcement in the affirmative - and a RHD Titan wouldn’t go too badly either. Anyone at Nissan HQ listening in?