New Nissan X-Terra out on the prowl in the Middle East

The Japanese marque’s range of SUVs not quite enough for you? Okay, here’s one more then…

THE SPECS

Engine: Four-cylinder 2.5-litre

Transmission: Seven-speed auto

Power: 165hp

Torque: 241Nm

Price: Dh99,900 to Dh134,000

On sale: now

You might not be aware of Nissan's vehicles if you’ve been travelling everywhere by helicopter or digging tunnels for the last few decades, but the rest of us will be familiar with seeing quite a lot of them on local roads.

Under the brand’s SUV umbrella (we’re aware there are other vehicles available, Sunny and Altima drivers), we have the Patrol, the Patrol Safari, the Pathfinder, the X-Trail, the Kicks… and now, somewhere in amongst them all, a newbie that goes by the name of the X-Terra. Yes, it’s true – Nissan fans interested in this type of vehicle now have another one to consider.

This latest terrain thumper has been introduced back into the Middle East after a five-year hiatus – though it bears little resemblance to its predecessor, which went by the abbreviated name the Terra – and is now jockeying for position among its more well-established brethren. Forget all this stuff about the other SUVs in Nissan's fleet though. The engineering types tell us that the X-Terra has more in common with the manufacturer's pick-up, the Navara, despite there being little to compare the two on the outside.

An outsider might well ask what the difference is between the various models in Nissan’s SUV range and why the X-Terra is needed – and it would be a pertinent query. In answer, the new arrival does actually fit into a neat hole in the company’s Middle East motoring roster.

In short, it’s bigger than most of the current line-up, and massive compared to the Kicks, but less zippy than many of the models, notably the Patrol. The X-Terra is, however, less than half the price of the UAE’s favourite vehicle (which is the aforementioned Patrol, if you needed telling), so there is the newcomer’s niche.

So, blah to all that then – what is the X-Terra like to drive?

Well, with its four-cylinder 2.5-litre petrol engine, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s underpowered. And, again, if you’re comparing it to the bigger SUV beasts on the roads, it is. The downgrade in oomph doesn’t feel like a problem, though. The X-Terra handles inner-city tarmac as competently as any other SUV. It doesn’t feel ponderous when the going gets hairier, either, as it comes with some more-than-satisfactory off-road kit that will avoid you needing a tow in all but the harshest environments.

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The X-Terra handles inner-city tarmac as competently as any other SUV. It doesn't feel ponderous when the going gets hairier, either, as it comes with some more-than-satisfactory off-road kit that will avoid you needing a tow in all but the harshest environments

The seven-speed automatic transmission has a low mode for when you need maximum traction, but if you don’t require any of these upgrades, the X-Terra is also available in a two-wheel-drive configuration. The top-of-the-range Platinum only has a four-wheel-drive option, however.

The X-Terra, with its three rows of seats, is easy enough to get in and out of (which seems an odd thing to remark on, but this is not always the case in some of these bigger vehicles) and all models come with the NissanConnect system as standard. You also get an 11-inch, flip-down entertainment monitor, an eight-speaker Bose audio set up, and the brand's usual series of driving aids.

It is, to quote a phrase beloved of our American friends, no clunker.

If the biggest SUVs feel just a little, well, over the top to you, the X-Terra is a respectable option. It is as comfortable as its pricier compatriots, and still a capable ride in whatever setting you're likely to need it in. It's decent value, and, y'know. It's a Nissan, so you'll certainly be among friends out there on the Sheikh Zayed Road.

Vehicle supplied by Al Masaood Automobiles

THE SPECS

Engine: Four-cylinder 2.5-litre

Transmission: Seven-speed auto

Power: 165hp

Torque: 241Nm

Price: Dh99,900 to Dh134,000

On sale: now