What’s in a name? Plenty obviously, because I dunno about you, but I could never fathom what Nissan was up to when they ditched the R51 Pathfinder and replaced it with a useless AWD. So the Pathfinder nameplate never ignited the true 4WD fires like say a Pajero or a Prado, but for a mid-sized 4WD wagon it was an OK bit of kit and had some looks too. As a spin-off of the D40 Navara, it offered a more practical city alternative to the Patrol, for folk who didn’t need that much mass.
Anyway Pathfinder out in that configuration and maybe its hello to the Terra instead!
Nissan’s Terra was announced overseas a month or so ago in Asian markets, primarily China and India but it’d have to be a motza to filter down through SE Asia and end up here in Australia. Nothing from Nissan locally on that, but if you do a bit of crystal-ball gazing and peer into the future, here’s a couple of bits of speculation on our part.
The GU Patrol has got to be on its last legs surely? Shut that one down, and Nissan has a gaping hole in its 4WD range, and from a company banking on having 40% of its production in 4WD derivatives, it makes total sense the Terra sells globally and plugs the gap. The Y62 Patrol can capture the top end of town, but the Terra can go head-to-head with Prado, Fortuner, Pajero Sport, Pajero, MUX, Trailblazer, Everest and the like. It’ll satisfy those of us who still enjoy diesel too, using the same Nissan Alliance, Renault-sourced 2.3L engine seen in the ute. I’ve driven that powertrain, and it’s good. Remember Y62 Patrol is petrol only.
But this might be the bull in the china shop… what if there’s a bigger plan and Mercedes-Benz gets the same platform and does the same makeover on the wagon as it did with the ute?
That would be hugely fascinating. A mid-sized 4WD wagon in the Benz range that comes in under the price threshold of their existing wagon fleet with a refreshing new style! I reckon they’d sell them in droves and if you think I’m on crack-cocaine do you remember the arrangement Benz struck on the Musso? See, stranger things have happened.
Anyway, the Terra, in this case, Yella Terra (see the pics) is a handsome wagon. The back end isn’t an afterthought like the job that was done on the Fortuner. The interior is supposedly different to the Navara, and it got me thinking, I wonder whether Nissan might slot in a full-time transmission like the R51 used to offer? That would lend even more credence to my Benz wagon theory. They could whack a 4-MATIC badge on the back and this time the journalists who don’t know the difference between part-time, full-time and all-wheel-drive, could write it up correctly and not look like twits.
I’ll have to dig this article up in 2 years time and see if my guesstimation was partially or fully correct?