With Terra, Nissan renews bet on pickup-based SUV segment

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Nissan Terra 1

NOT that Nissan Motor has not built an SUV propped by a pickup truck chassis; simply look at the Nissan Xterra as a recent example (the Philippines got the Nissan Terrano around the turn of this century). On Feb. 26 though the car maker announced it would soon bring to showrooms a new “frame-based” SUV, which would be the first of such type to “launch under the company’s midterm plan” called Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022.

Nissan said the new model, named Terra, will debut in China in the second half of 2018. The SUV is based on the chassis of the current Nissan NP300 Navara pickup. Like the pickup, the Terra is expected to run via a 2.5-liter, intercooled, turbocharged diesel engine that can be matched to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission, as well as come with a choice of two-wheel or four-wheel drive trains. Its transformation from pickup to SUV also means the model will get a third row of seats.

Nissan in a statement underscored the importance of having a pickup-based SUV on its lineup, saying its LCV business unit comprised of “frame SUVs, pickups, vans [and] light-duty trucks is seen as critical to achieving the company’s midterm plan objectives.”

Nissan Terra 2
Not much details have been released about the Terra — Nissan did not even provide full three-quarter rear shot — but the vehicle’s styling instantly links it with the NP 300 Navara.

Nissan said: “One in every six Nissan vehicles sold globally is a frame-based vehicle or an LCV, and the company is focused on capturing this division’s full potential. The business unit’s objectives under the midterm plan include increasing sales by more than 40% by 2022 and becoming a global leader in pickups and frame-based SUVs.”

The car maker noted sales of its frame and LCV models reached 907,929 vehicles globally in 2017, around a 7% increase from 2016. It added more information about the Terra will be made available in April, hinting anew it would launch the production model at the Beijing Motor Show, prior to the market release. — BMA