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Nissan Terrano AMT Review: The Underrated Champion?

But a chunkier and bold front grille made the Terrano a choice of many over the Duster and many other compact SUVs that are there in the Indian market right now. But will the AMT woo the compact SUV buyer?

Siddhartha Sharma | News18.comSidnChips

Updated:November 10, 2016, 1:03 PM IST
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Nissan Terrano AMT Review: The Underrated Champion?
Nissan Terrano AMT. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Nissan introduced the Terrano in the Indian market way after their sister company Renault had wooed the Indian compact SUV buyers with the Duster.

But a chunkier and bold front grille made the Terrano a choice of many over the Duster and other compact SUVs that are there in the Indian market right now. With AMT transmissions gaining popularity, Nissan has come out with the new Terrano AMT. With a starting price of Rs 13.75 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Terrano AMT faces some stiff competition from the likes of Hyundai's Creta and even the tried and trusted Mahindra Scorpio that now comes with Automatic Transmission.

Nissan-Terrano-AMT-Front

We drove the new Nissan Terrano AMT, and here's what we think about it.

What's Cool?
The AMT or 'automated manual transmission' is gaining popularity in India and the 6-speed advanced auto drive by Nissan on the Terrano works like a dream. There are niggling issues with it, though. Like if you try to climb a flyover in slow traffic, the transmission gets confused whether it should crawl forward in the second gear or downshift to first. The rubberband effect can also be felt significantly due to the big size of the car. AMT's do have rubber band effect, but on the Terrano it needs more refinement.

Barring this aside, the AMT makes the Terrano fuel efficient and gave us a fuel efficiency of 15 Km/l in city and at one point on the highway, it even gave us a fuel economy of 21.4 Km/l. It breaks the notion that automatic transmissions can't offer good fuel efficiency.

To drive it has everything that you can ask from a Compact SUV in India. It offers a good commanding driving position, you can adjust the seat height and the steering. Nissan offers the AMT in the XV variant and comes with a 1.5-litre dCi engine which produces 108 bhp of max power and 245Nm of peak torque.

With the help of sensors, the 6-Speed Advanced Auto Drive does the gear shifts for you resulting in a stress-free drive in city traffic and on open highways. Moreover, it makes you stay in control all the time as both your hands are free to be on the steering wheel. And when you want greater control you can just switch to the clutch free manual transmission on the Terrano.

Nissan-Terrano-AMT-Gear

Overall, the car is well balanced and you'll love cruising in it. Only the AMT on the new Terrano is the major change. Design wise it remains exactly the same as the earlier Terrano. There are 14 new features on the AMT version from new leather interiors to ESP and from retractable ORVMs to Hill Assist. These small little features do work and are good additions to the Terrano AMT.

The Terrano now comes with a new driver side armrest, soft-touch plastics on dashboard and doors along with illuminated switches on doors. The luxurious cabin makes you feel at safe and keeps you comfortable.

What's Not So Cool?
The AMT is offered in the top end variant of the Terrano, but still, it misses out on simple things that consumers like. There is no reverse parking camera on the Terrano, yes the cabin is spacious for you to manoeuvre the car in tight spots and it does offer you sensors, but a parking camera would have helped.

Also, there is an Eco mode on the car where it helps you achieve even greater fuel efficiency figures with low power output. But that Eco button is not placed visibly inside the cabin, it became a treasure hunt for us to find it. If you plan to buy it, it's located in the central console of the car, right next to the 12V power socket.

Nissan-Terrano-AMT-Interiors

There is also no cruise control on the Terrano. The infotainment system on the Terrano looks like from the 90's. At first glance, it looks like a cassette player. Setting your phone via Bluetooth with the Terrano takes time and there are sync drops more often than you would like. The biggest miss for us was the dull looking steering wheel. Even entry level hatchbacks offer steering mounted controls, but surprisingly Nissan did not wish to include it on the Terrano.

Nissan-Terrano-AMT-Side

The Terrano offers good technology when it comes to driving, but looks like a technologically challenged car once you sit inside it.

Verdict
The Nissan Terrano AMT overall is a very potent compact SUV for people looking for automatic transmission and ease of driving. It offers a joyous drive with great fuel efficiency. It's an underrated champion for now and way better than many SUV's in India that offer an automatic transmission.

But, if you are looking for more features, you can look at the competition like the Hyundai Creta.

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