Just a few months after the Y62 Nissan Patrol changed the legendary Y61 in 2010, I had a chat with Mr. Michel Ayat, CEO of AW Rostamani Automotive Group. I requested him if he thought Nissan made a mistake by discarding the Patrol’s rugged, spartan appears to be like for a curvier, refined, Land Cruiser-like form. He stated the change was a results of Nissan’s analysis that pointed to the brand new Patrol having to be much more subtle and opulent than earlier than. And added that gross sales figures will justify the change. Properly, a decade later, the sheer ubiquity of the brand new Nissan Patrol on and off our roads justifies this analysis and makes my question appear relatively pointless. Nonetheless, to me, the soul of the Safari by no means appeared to have transferred to its successor. So late final yr once I noticed one other off-road favorite, the X-Terra, making a comeback after a hiatus in a rounded, urbanised avatar, I used to be skeptical.
After I noticed the brand new X-Terra in flesh although, a lot of my cynicism light away. Whereas the Safari had an old-world appeal to its design, the earlier X-Terra was only a plain, bland field on wheels, centered on utility than appears to be like. So on this case, the redesign is extra of a welcome change. The restyling takes it nearer in appears to be like to its principal rival, Toyota’s Fortuner which had obtained a makeover a number of years again. The designers have succeeded in including sufficient beefiness to the SUV regardless of the general traces being extra clean and rounded. The pronounced, muscular wheel arches and the sharp character traces add to the air of robustness. The grille with a beneficiant dose of chrome, the LED daytime operating lamps, and the sleeker LED headlamps lend it a extra urbane character in comparison with the earlier model with its matte grille encompass and blocky, rectangular but extremely purposeful headlights. It additionally ties the X-Terra according to the remainder of the fashions in Nissan’s present SUV vary when it comes to design language. And at 4,900mm lengthy, 1,900mm tall and a pair of,100mm extensive with a floor clearance of 243mm, the X-Terra has a reasonably imposing presence for a mid-size SUV.
The efforts to urbanise the X-Terra are obvious within the cabin too, with the Platinum mannequin getting beige leather-based inside appointments, a extra flowing dashboard design, and a few matte silver trim parts. It additionally will get all of the creature comforts you’ll anticipate in a contemporary individuals mover. The seats are comfy in each the primary and second rows, nevertheless the third row seats are finest reserved for teenagers. The second row folds down simply for higher entry to the third row, which may be folded right down to unlock extra cargo house.
For all these refinements typically related to soft-roaders, the X-Terra is provided with a ladder-frame chassis, which Nissan says is bolstered to provide it higher rigidity for off-road drives. It additionally incorporates a five-link coil spring rear suspension system and inflexible rear-wheel axle, and a dial on the console that permits drivers to rapidly shift from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive.
It’s all nice then, proper? That’s what you’ll suppose till you begin driving it, unable to fathom why all this good work needed to be undone by changing the sensible 4.0-litre V6 VQ40 engine with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that’s noticeably underpowered for this SUV. The four-pot right here manages simply 165 horsepower and 241Nm of torque, considerably decrease than the 261 horsepower and 386Nm of torque churned out by the VQ40.
To me that is disappointing, and takes a lot away from an in any other case nice seven-seater, off-road succesful SUV that’s additionally priced proper between Dh99,000 and Dh134,000. However perhaps there’s one thing that I don’t see that Nissan’s analysis has proven them to immediate this transfer. And perhaps, like with the Y62 Patrol, ten years down the road I could be compelled to ponder over the silliness of me lamenting the selection of this engine.