Monday, December 2, 2013

Used Car Review - Nissan Terrano (1996-2003)

On the sixth day of Christmas Myk Belmonte gave to me... six Nissan 4x4s.

1996-2003 Nissan Terrano

The Nissan Terrano and the Pathfinder are basically one vehicle. Locally, it was the reverse since there exists a Pathfinder pick-up truck sold in the late 80s and the Terrano SUV introduced in the mid 90s. The former was axed together with the Power pick-up series and replaced by the Frontier. Sounds confusing right?

Competing with the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco SUVs is the WD21 Pathfinder made available in 1986. You can have this in either two or four door models with the latter having the famed rear door handles in the C pillar, which resembled a pick-up truck with a camper shell. This generation was discontinued in 1995 to make way for the R50 Pathfinder a year later.

It may be too late for Universal Motors Corporation to bring in this generation of Terrano but it made its local presence in 1996. It complimented the Patrol in Nissan dealers and competed with various rivals from Suzuki, Toyota, and Honda. The Terrano bowed out in 2003 without any direct replacement.

Value and Costs
Hunting for a reliable off-road ready SUV? Then the Terrano would suit your needs especially second hand prices fall between P170,000 to P330,000.

Since it carries a simplistic layout, maintaining one does not hurt the bank account. While doing your Terrano hunt, steer clear of converted units since they have questionable conversion process.

Exterior and Interior
Design cues were taken from the Nissan Hardbody Pick-up which makes the SUV's line timeless against the sea of soft designs (take that: Tucson). The door handles for the rear are located in the rear pillar which can be difficult to reach for children. Accessing the rear is through the spare tire (similar to the top end Adventure) and opening the door in a side hinged manner, a disadvantage for mall parking. The glass door can be opened to place in small items similar to the first generation CR-V and Tucson. Be warned to open the spare tire support first or get your glass damaged.

It is a plastic affair inside with tons of hard plastics which are durable in the long run. Positives include are legible gauges and within reach controls. Weirdly, front seats are fixed in a correct manner while the rear are awkwardly positioned since it is placed low. For cargo carrying purposes, the rear bench can be folded.

Both engines living in the ancient period come standard, and what we recommend is this: the TD272 2,664cc with 84hp at 4,300rpm and 117Nm at 2,200rpm. The other option is a carburetor fed Z24i 2,389cc carrying 103hp at 4,800rpm and 181Nm at 2,800rpm. Both do not offer breath taking acceleration but rather a durable partner. The 4WD system is reliable provided it was meticulously maintained by the previous owner.

Driving Impressions
Despite looking bulky, it has its gears designed for heavy hauling than acceleration. Cornering isn't something to be proud of; after all, this is a truck.

Prefer something brute than cute? Then going with a Terrano isn't a choice you'll regret later on. It may have ancient driving characteristics but comes prepared when it comes to tackling the worst road scenarios. A great buy for the holidays.

The Good:
  • Tough as nails
  • Flood proof
  • Tame looks
The Bad:
  • Very ancient
  • Slow gasoline engine
  • Hard to reach rear door handles
The Pick: 2.7 diesel

Engines: 2,389cc Z24i 4-cylinder gasoline and 2,664 TD272 4-cylinder diesel
Power: 103hp @ 4,800rpm (gasoline), 84hp @ 4,300rpm (diesel)
Torque: 181Nm @ 2,800rpm (gasoline), 117Nm @ 2,200rpm (diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 5-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Suspension: Front torsion bar, rear trailing arms - solid axle with coil springs

Price (New): P750,000-P900,000 (range from 1996-2002, estimated)
Price (Now): P170,000-P330,000
Rivals: Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota RAV4
On Sale: 1996-2003

Nisparts - (02) 712-8021

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