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Used car focus: Nissan Terrano – 1993 onwards

This year marks the Terrano’s 14th year on sale. And – with an all-new MX-5 now on sale – it inherits the dubious title of Britain’s oldest new car.

The current range has been slimmed down to just three-door diesels, but the used market features a much wider range of cars.

Line-up

There’s a huge amount of Terranos to choose from, but the most sought-after models are those post-2002 when the 3.0 Di was added.

S has ABS with EBD, passenger airbag, CD player, air con; SE adds side airbags, 16in alloy wheels, CD player, audio controls on steering column. SVE also has leather trim, six-CD autochanger, active front head restraints, heated front seats and headlamp washers. Five-door LWB versions can have seven seats.

Driving performance

A low ratio gearbox and long-travel suspension means that Terrano makes an tough off-roader. It’s an excellent tow-car, too. But on the road, it falls behind nearly all of its rivals, with lots of bodyroll through corners, vague steering and a notchy gearchange. The soft ride is well suited to towns.


Comfortable seats, but interior looks a little dated

Comfort

Despite good all-round visibility, the Terrano’s driving position isn’t great. Legroom is tight and the driver has limited room. The steering wheel adjusts for height but not reach and it can take a while to get comfortable.

Terrano’s age shows when it comes to interior space. The seats are comfortable (although they could do with a bit more support), but there’s not enough shoulder or legroom – especially for rear passengers.

The interior is dull and there’s too much engine, wind and road noise.

Engines

Three engines have powered Terrano. The 100bhp 2.4-litre petrol unit ran from 1993-2001. It wasn’t a sprinter, but was fairly relaxed at motorway speeds.

The 2.7-litre diesel has also been around since launch, but was greatly improved in 1996, when it gained an extra 25bhp and an intercooler. But it still remains slow, plodding and noisy.

The 3.0Di – from 2002 onwards – is a strong performer, but lacks the refinement of more modern engines. None of the units impress.

Safety

Latest cars have ABS with EBD, dual front and side airbags and front-seat active head restraints. ABS optional on all models from July 1996, standard on SR Sport, SE and SE Touring. Driver’s airbag from July 1996.

Security was poor on early models, alarm and immobilizer on most from July 1996. Latest cars have deadlocks.

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