Nissan Terrano Van SE

Sales of a certain Nissan are up by 66% year on year. Which one? Well, it’s got four-wheel drive and two seats... No, Nissan hasn’t launched a new all-wheel drive version of the 350Z without telling anyone. This sales star couldn’t be more different. It’s the Terrano Van. And to keep its sales on the up, Nissan is expanding the range from one model to three topped by a new 156PS 3.0-litre Di version with a very un-van-like specification.

Both the new Terrano Vans have SE in their titles. They answer the plea of many owner operators for more luxury in their 4x4 workhorse – not least because their van also has to do the job of weekend wheels. Furthermore, the SE will come as less of a shock for ex-company car types now capitalising on the tax advantages of running a van as company provided transport because air conditioning, a CD player, alloy wheels and anti-lock brakes are standard.

But that’s not the extent of it. The SE builds on the kit you’d get with a standard Terrano Van, such as part-time 4x4 with low ratio gearbox, adding the following:

The added price is £1225 – rather good value when you consider what some rivals will charge you for air conditioning alone – making the basic price of a Terrano Van 2.7TD SE, £14,995.

The 3.0Di 156PS engine adds another £850 to this ex-VAT price and turns the Terrano Van into something of a hotrod … in four-wheel drive van terms. Acceleration to 62 mph takes 13.3 seconds but its 32.1 mpg combined fuel consumption figure is more than reasonable. This engine also has a 200 kg advantage over the 2.7TD unit. That’s not the vehicle weight but what it will tow: 3000 kg.

The proven 2.7-litre turbodiesel engine, which in a lesser form has powered London’s taxi fleet without complaint over many 100,000 miles, delivers 125 PS at 3600 rpm and 205 lbs.ft at 2000 rpm. The Terrano Van will move to 62 mph in 15.2 seconds and on to a top speed just shy of 100 mph should you have an airfield at your disposal. Yet its combined fuel consumption of 28.8 mpg won’t upset the company accountant.

The side opening rear door reveals 1.65 m3 of load space with 1.3 m2 of load floor covered in hard wearing vinyl yet at 4242 mm long by 1755 mm wide, this Terrano takes up little more road area than an Almera hatchback. And at 1805 mm tall, height restrictions will rarely apply. Unchanged is the Terrano Van’s ability to wade through 450 mm of stream, climb a 39 degree gradient and clear ground-level obstacles 210 mm high. The driver can switch from two to four-wheel drive at any speed and, for really rough stuff, from high to low ratio with the limited slip diff ensuring best use is made of the engine’s power. And you won’t get stronger than a ladder frame chassis which – surprise, surprise – is just what the Terrano’s got.

Published : 29/04/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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