Nissan recently unveiled their latest SU, and I know what you’re thinking “WOW, another SUV from Nissan, how surprising!” Right, and if you live in alternate geography’s outside of Australia where Nissan actually offered you more than a complete suite of SUVs and 10-year-old sports cars, it may actually be worth noting. Though like EVERY other SUV currently available in the universe they have pitched the Terra to those people who consider themselves Wild and Tough, Urban Explorers if you will, but as we all know, the actual consumers will wear hiking gear and never actually make it out of their own suburbs, in their RUGGED SUV of choice.
But I digress, Nissan actually have a vehicle that caters to a lot of a segment that they along with Toyota helped to create in the 90’s with the New Terra, though the name is actually a bum steer. You see late in the 80’s and 90’s Toyota and Nissan (along with a bunch of forgettable or likely now non-existent brands) were forging ahead with this idea of taking their best selling 4×4 Light Trucks (Hilux and Navara) and encapsulating the tray and throwing in some seats, all for a reasonable price tag. Toyota had it’s 4Runner and Nissan had the Pathfinder (also named the Terrano, in other markets) which turned their Navara pick-up into family haulers, and they severed very well and helped Nissan build its off-road reputation, and their owners loved them, they could tow, stack it full of dogs and dream about off-roading, so a perfect lifestyle vehicle for many….and then Nissan killed it.
They took the Pathfinder and made it a regular soft-roader SUV and in one swift move alienated Thousands of customers who loved the real Pathfinder and the same people who would come in every Three years and simply upgrade to the latest offering, by default and now pushed them back into the marketplace to look at potential options, which lead to many Isuzu MU-X sales and those who figured they may as well consider a Light Truck simply fell in love with the Ford Ranger. So now Nissan has come back to the party (along with Toyota who went down a similar path from 4Runner success to Fortuner flop) with the Terra, it’ll be interesting to see how many original Nissan Pathfinder customers they will be able to salvage with the Terra, but it may be a case of too little, too late!