I woke up to a dreamy Wednesday
morning. Grabbing my bags, I rushed to the airport to catch my flight. We were
heading to Punjab, the land of five rivers, known for its food, culture and the
bravado of its people. Punjabis are flamboyant by nature and we all know of
their fierce ancestry. We were to start our drive from this wonderful land. Punjab
being a fertile land has a large number of prosperous farmers, the so called ‘sons
of the soil’. In a way, the Terrano too represents the character of the Punjabi
people– rugged, bold and aggressive. I could not help but call my Terrano
‘Punjabi by Nature’. The Terrano essentially is a compact 4X2 SUV but don’t let
the numbers confuse you the Terrano has been built ground up to take on any
challenge, to be aggressive and to rough it out on the dirt.
We took the Nissan Terrano from
Amritsar to Punjabiyat and finally on to Jammu. Punjabiyat is 70 odd kilometers
from Amritsar en-route to Jammu and is a vast fertile plain for farming of
wheat and sugarcane. While at Punjabiyat we partook in some traditional Punjabi
cuisine seated in the fields on “charpoys”. One of the joys of such indulgence
is that you get a chance to be one with nature, to escape city lifestyle and
live life like ‘the sons of the soil’. While off road in the fields of
Punjabiyat, the Terrano felt as though it was at home cruising over dirt and sand
without a glitch. As evening set in we headed north towards the great
Himalayas. The route to Jammu is very good with smooth flowing traffic and
clean roads. The only hiccup is that most of the drivers on the roads have
almost zero road sense. They will drive on the wrong side and in the fast lane
and glare at you as if you are coming the wrong way. At about nine in the night
we reached Hari Niwas in Jammu. The hotel has a very scenic view of Jammu.
The Nissan Terrano has completed one
year in production and as a part of the first anniversary drive we experienced
this Japanese marvel on and off the roads of Punjab and Jammu. We at Motown India are reputed for taking
vehicles to some of the most impenetrable spots one can imagine. This time we
decided to take the Terrano to the banks of Chenab which flows through the city
of Jammu. All though it was dry and there was hardly any flow of water. The
Terrano sailed over the rocks and pebbles. The remarkable part is that the
Terrano is very agile over various terrains hence I would give Nissan brownie
points for the appropriate nomenclature. The Terrano looks like it has just arrived
in a corporate office all suited and booted but take it off road and you will
find Hercules under the hood--- something like ‘Hulk Hogan’ in a suit and tie.
The 1.5 litre diesel Terrano produces 108.5bhp @
3900rpm and 248Nm of torque @ 2250rpm. This version of the car comes with a 6
speed manual transmission. The Terrano will pull cleanly till 3900rpm after
which it begins to tail off. Unlike most SUVs, the Terrano gives you a sense of
confidence that it is capable and knows its limits. The steering is highly
responsive and precise, body roll is minimal and it feels very agile in and
around traffic or on turns.
The Terrano has a braking
combination of front discs and rear drums which are very efficient and the
suspension is moderately stiff which makes the drive pleasurable. The part
which makes the Terrano a real joy to drive is the amount of torque the engine
produces in the low range combined with the electro-hydraulic power assisted
If you do end up driving this in the
hills you are in for a real treat, no hill ascent would seem too great a task
and cornering in bends can be done with your pinky finger. The ground clearance
on the Terrano is 205mm and it has a very decent stance compared to some of its
competitors. The minimum turning radius is 5.2 meters so when you do go off
road, maneuvering is actually quite easy as this SUV is not obnoxiously long set
at just 4331mm of length.
Finally the time had come to bid
adieu to the phenomenal weather of Jammu and I left behind some fond memories
of being able to go almost anywhere. One of the reasons why I love the Terrano
is that it just doesn’t give up and simply pushes forward. For those of you who
dream to break the shackles of city life and escape, I can only say that the
Terrano is your get-away-car.
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