Car review: The all-new Nissan X-Terra 2021
Nissan is a household name in the UAE, made popular by the legendary Patrol and 70 years of off-roading heritage. And it comes as no surprise that within their current range of 17 vehicles, 6 of them are SUVs, each catering to a different segment. One of which is the X-Terra. The nameplate that was retired in 2015, now returns sporting a fresh guise, with a different powertrain and a host of features to keep it abreast with modern-day rivals.
Design & aesthetics
This mid-size SUV is all-new ground up. It re-establishes its market position between the smaller X-Trail and the Pathfinder. Stylistically, the X-Terra’s tall stance and subtly chiseled bodywork draws great resemblance to its rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and is a complete departure from its rugged 2-box predecessor. It gives off definitive off-roader vibes too!
The 243 mm ground clearance is class-leading; while the 32.3 degree approach and 26.6 degree departure angles are real, usable numbers beyond the stretches of tarmac. The latest iteration of the V-motion grille isn’t much of a visual delight, but the sparkly quad LED projector headlamps that flank them have an Lexus-LX-like appeal. Keeping the off-road theme, Nissan have added a bash plate under the front bumper to avoid detrimental chin scrapes. But they have also taken away the plastic bumpers, front and back, an aspect that lent its predecessor a rugged, disposable feel. The rear end is flanked by neat horizontal LED lamps separated by a long chrome accent. No complaints there!
What’s under the hood?
Sitting on the front axle of its predecessor was a 4.0-litre V6 VQ40DE engine that put out a wholesome 261 horses and 368 Nm of torque. Sadly, that motor hasn’t been carried forward. The new X-Terra is powered by a 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder that makes a mediocre 165 bhp and 241 Nm of torque. Yes, the 7-speed transmission does provide a small mechanical advantage, but the engine is no match for this SUV’s portly 1848 kg curb weight. And once you have all 7 passengers on board, your pace shall remain leisurely. We also believe that the ghost of the older model will haunt new owners, especially when taken off road. Yes, the new vehicle has a four-wheel drive system with a Brake Limited Slip Differential and an Electronic Locking Rear Differential; all of which will help you from getting bogged down in the sand. But you certainly are not going to keep up with your weekend dune-bashing crew in their Wranglers and FJ Cruisers. Where the 7-speed gearbox may come of use is, while travelling highway speeds, the lowered rpm may contribute to better fuel economy. Nissan claims an optimistic 11.4km/l rate for the X-Terra, which gives you a theoretical range of 900 km, but we deem the real-world numbers to be closer to the 600 km mark.
While the new X-Terra remains a body-on frame SUV, Nissan has managed to give it a car-like interior with a touch of elegance. This time around, the 3-row arrangement comes as standard. While in terms of real comfort, Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are said to mimic the fuss-free posture of an astronaut floating through space; and the stadium-style setting grants better visibility for passengers of all rows. The X-Terra has also been designed to accommodate your baggage well. The second row is a 60/40 split-folding type, which can be operated with a touch of a button, while the 50/50 split third row can be folded too, but only manually.
The Titanium model comes with an 8-inch infotainment screen, while the 9-inch variety is reserved for the Platinum variant. Thankfully, you also get physical buttons under the screen — the tactility of which you will appreciate while on the move. X-Terra’s NissanConnect brings Bluetooth connectivity, which you can use to take calls and play songs via the 8-speaker Bose audio system (Platinum only); along with navigation and voice controls. Connectivity is also permitted through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Second row occupants in the Platinum edition can also enjoy a movie or two via the 11-inch flip-down monitor, which can be connected via a HDMI port. That is also another way of playing your Nintendo Switch! As for charging ports, you can do it wirelessly or through available USB ports.
For what it is worth, the all-new 2021 Nissan X-Terra does everything right in the eyes of the family folk. The space and seating configuration are accommodating. The newly added features and technologies bring ease of mind to its driver and occupants. The only apparent chink in its armour is the engine. While a lightly loaded X-Terra may make a casual off-roader, the lack of power will become apparent somewhere among those dunes.
The market is littered with SUVs and crossovers. If you are looking for something with a 3rd row, there are as many as 40 options available, including rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero. Both of which are established players and offer larger engines as well.