Conquering every trail

Published February 28, 2019, 4:06 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

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Since the Nissan Terra’s introduction less than a year ago, Nissan Philippines have gone out of their way (quite literally) to make one particular message clear: that the Nissan Terra is a car that owners can take anywhere. More than just hashtags and marketing, Nissan is more than ready to back that claim up.

Nissan first tested the Terra’s mettle with a drive to the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo, with the Terra giving an early showcase of what it’s capable of. A mix of rough roads, lahar fields, shallow river crossings, and straight highway cruises were enough to give us a taste of the Terra’s off-road prowess, but Nissan Philippines decided to up the ante this time around. From one volcano to another, Nissan’s #GoAnywhere Terra Drive 2019 took us to the Bicol Region for a date with the most active volcano in the Philippines, Mt. Mayon.

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From Legazpi Domestic Airport, we boarded our Nissan Terra 4×4 VL and headed for Naga City, two hours and thirty minutes away. As the Terra passed through the busy main streets and beautiful coastal roads connecting the cities of Naga and Legazpi, we were able to appreciate its overtaking capabilities, thanks to its 180 hp and 450 Nm of torque granted by the QR25 four-cylinder, 2.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine. The seven-speed automatic transmission offered smooth shifts throughout the experience, intelligently selecting the best gear for the job.

Like any city in the Philippines, passing through small towns and ‘bayans’ are a part of every journey, and the Terra’s blind spot warning system made overtaking tricycles, trucks, and buses a lot simpler than it normally is. After driving 225 kilometers back to Legazpi, we ended the day atop Quituinan Hills, with a majestic view of Mayon Volcano’s perfect cone. It’s also here that we were able to preview Nissan Philippines’ new Terra variant, a limited edition Fiery Red Terra with an exclusive black interior, of which only 100 will be sold.

While day one consisted of mostly rural and highway driving, day two was set up to really challenge the Terra’s off-roading capabilities. The group was made to navigate through thick wilderness, muddy lahar passes, and rocky river crossings, each path with their own special nuances.

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Switching the Terra to 4-wheel drive high proved enough to overcome even the trickiest situations with ease, with the all-around view monitor coming in extremely handy to make sure that the Terra stayed clear of any large rocks or boulders from every side and angle.

One of our biggest gripes of our initial tests of the Nissan Terra was how you could only view the rearview camera and the around-view monitor from the rearview mirror. Thankfully, Nissan Philippines was quick to make the change, and we’re happy to report that both cameras can now be viewed via the central LCD touchscreen. It’s a welcome improvement, and greatly improves the Terra’s usability in off-road situations.

The seven-seater pickup-based midsized SUV segment is one of the most hotly contested categories in the industry; and when competition is this fierce, every advantage comes to light.

Once again, the Nissan Terra has proven itself to be a capable vehicle for long distance travelling and off-roading, besting off-road scenarios that you’d have to go out of your way to find. The peace of mind that your vehicle can overcome various road and weather conditions is a major selling point in this segment. While other 4×4 SUVs in its class would most theoretically be able to tackle similar off-road situations that the Terra did around the trails of Mayon, Nissan has gone and proven that the Terra definitely can. We’re still waiting for the others to do the same.

Text and photos by Chris Van Hoven

 
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