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FULL REVIEW: 2022 Nissan Terra VL 4x4 -- an old dog but with a few new tricks

Joey Deriquito · Mar 6, 2023 07:30 PM

2022 Nissan Terra VL 4x4


Disclaimer: Nissan Philippines lend us the Nissan Terra test unit with a full tank of diesel and RFID cards for both the North and the South expressways.

The Nissan Terra was late to the sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment when it first launched in the country in 2018.

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However, the seven-seater SUV won over buyers thanks to its feature set and powerful turbodiesel engine.

Nissan Philippines would later give the Terra facelift in 2022 that included a revised front fascia, an updated dashboard and many new features to keep it competitive.

The Terra is, after all, a rugged SUV with the comfort levels that you would expect from a pickup-based chassis. But it comes with a more comfortable ride compared to the Toyota Fortuner.

Now that it's 2023, this does beg the question – is the Nissan Terra still worth it in 2023, now that its rivals have all leveled up?

Also Read: FULL REVIEW: 2023 Nissan Livina VE AT - A sensible spin-off

An updated exterior

nissan terra exterior

The 2022 Nissan Terra adopts the brand’s new V-motion design language, evident in the vehicle's front fascia.

It has a stretched V-shaped grille in chrome, quad LED headlights, a new bumper and a new foglight surround. 

The SUV also gets 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/60 series tires as standard for all of its variants, with all of them retaining their muscular and athletic stance.

nissan terra wheels

The side of the Terra remains essentially the same as its pre-facelifted iteration, carrying over the same body lines as before

More changes to the Nissan SUV can be found at the back, where it gets redesigned LED taillights, a new tailgate design and a fresh chrome tailgate garnish.

nissan terra exterior rear

Versus the other SUVs available on the market, such as the Mitsubishi Montero Sport and Toyota Fortuner, the Nissan Terra’s design isn’t too loud as it retains its subtle but sporty looks.

Those who do not like chrome will not like the current design, but the new Terra Sport model removes all the excess flashiness. 

Overall, the 2022 Nissan Terra is still a fantastic SUV in its segment, giving you a rugged-looking and rugged vehicle. It's not a radical departure from its original version, but the changes are welcome. 

A refreshed interior

nissan terra interior dashboard

Nissan not only refreshed the exterior of the SUV, but also changed the cabin with a dashboard upgrade.

It no longer retains its sloping dashboard design and instead gets a more horizontally oriented one. The new dashboard also has red leather accents, giving it a premium feel thanks to the softness of the leather.

nissan terra reversing camera

It's a great touch to keep the cabin of the SUV new, while retaining a premium look and feel to it. It also helps that a massive infotainment system in the center is unfortunately flanked in black piano plastics. 

These shiny black plastics are one of the gripes we have with the interior, as they can be found near the infotainment system, which is a fingerprint magnet, and by the gear shifter, which can get scratched over time. 

nissan terra electric parking brake

Another thing we noticed is that the Terra has buttons you can press for folding and tumbling the rear seats automatically. It's a great feature to make entry and exit for the third row easier. 

However, the seating position in the second row could be slightly squeezed as the seats are positioned higher inside the cabin. The seat positioning limits the amount of headroom available, which can be uncomfortable for taller passengers. 

nissan terra interior second row

The third row is also tight, but this is to be expected from pickup-based vehicles as this area is better off for smaller adults or children. And there are many car service like Car Service Perth for testing a drive or enjoying other service.

nissan terra interior third row

Overall the cabin is decent for what it offers and, aside from the quirks mentioned above, we have no other complaints.

An abundance of technology

nissan terra wireless charging pad

Regarding the technology that the Nissan Terra offers, it has a massive 9-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay capabilities and a wired Android Auto connection. 

It also has a wireless charger right in front of the gear shifter, which makes charging your device a breeze. 

The Nissan SUV also has many USB charging ports with a Type-A and a Type-C at the front and the same combination is available for the second row. At the back, passengers get treated to a 12-volt socket and an HDMI port.

nissan terra hdmi port

The HDMI port connects to the 11-inch, roof-mounted display inside the vehicle, serving as rear passenger entertainment.

We found the placement of the HDMI port odd as it isn’t easily accessible from the second row, which means whoever wants to use it to, let's say, watch movies will need to be in the third row. 

nissan terra rear entertainment system

Regardless of this minor quirk, having rear-seat entertainment is a dying feature within this midsize SUV segment. More vehicles in the same segment should have rear-seat entertainment as it could be a feature many Filipino car buyers may look for in the future.

Before we forget, the Terra does not come with a power tailgate, a feature in most of its rivals. It's a minor downside, but you can live without it.

nissan terra interior cargo area

Nissan's renowned safety systems

The Nissan Terra VL has all the bells and whistles regarding the brand's safety features.

These features place it above its rivals in terms of its 360-degree camera, emergency braking and forward collision warning, but it lacks adaptive cruise control.

nissan terra blind spot camera

For safety features, the Nissan Terra has the following as standard:

  • Six SRS airbags
  • ABS with EBD and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control
  • Parking sensors (four at the front and four at the rear)

The Nissan SUV also has the brand’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety suite, which gives it the following:

  • Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection
  • Intelligent Rear View mirror
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
  • Intelligent Emergency Braking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Intelligent Driver Alertness
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Advanced Drive-Assist Display 
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

It is a decent kit, but we wish Nissan would give the SUV adaptive cruise control to complete the package.

Its other rivals already have the feature, which is doing wonders for their sales and spec sheets. 

Fuel economy

nissan terra gauge cluster

One aspect of the Terra that shocked and disappointed us was its fuel economy figures.

In the city, it managed decent figures of between 7.8 to 10.3 km/l, which is understandable for a vehicle of its size. However, on the highway, we struggled to get above 16 km/l. 

While we got an 18.4km/l reading, it was downhill and we traveled at 60km/h, so it didn’t count as it wasn’t representative of what the SUV could do in realistic driving conditions.

Our final numbers for the Terra on the highway were between 14.5 to 16 km/l. 

Same power

nissan terra engine

Under the hood, the 2022 Nissan Terra VL 4x4 is powered by a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque.

Power is sent to all four wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode.

Despite having great power, the Nissan Terra feels heavy to drive, at least in its 4x4 configuration. Compared to its more agile rivals, this SUV variant doesn’t provide the get-up-and-go that we expected it to have. 

nissan terra interior driver's cockpit

The 2.5-liter motor does wonders on its pickup truck sibling, the Nissan Navara, and the Terra’s 4x2 models. You feel the engine has enough grunt to rocket the vehicle forward there. 

However, in this 4x4 configuration, the weight penalty is more evident. Thus, the vehicle also suffers a bit in terms of fuel economy. 

If you want a more balanced drive and don’t mind not having four-wheel drive, then the VL 4x2 model is more than enough. We believe it strikes the better balance for the VL variant range as it is more affordable and has similar features. 

You also have the option of the Terra Sport 4x2 if you want something a bit more sporty and with less chrome.


nissan terra exterior

Nissan Philippines has kept the Nissan Terra competitive by releasing a new variant, the Sport.

It has the same features as the VL model, but with black accents and a new set of wheels. However, it still retains the same feature set.

Adding the Sport model puts this VL variant in a weird position as it is no longer the top-of-the-range variant by price. However, both vehicles share the same features, so it all depends on your preference.

nissan terra sport

The 2023 Nissan Terra Sport comes starts at ₱2,119,000 for the 4x2 variant.

If you want something a bit sportier, the Terra Sport is there to answer the call, while if you want something a little more elegant with a bit more chrome, then the VL model will do the trick.

Who is the Nissan Terra VL 4x4 for?

nissan terra exterior

Compared to other SUVs in its segment, the Nissan Terra is average. 

It's not the most potent vehicle out there, nor does it come with the latest technology. But it's an excellent middle ground for those who want a reliable and comfortable SUV.

It's neither here nor there, with little making it stand out in the sea of choices, apart from its styling and large infotainment system. 

Vehicles like the Ford Everest and the Toyota Fortuner overtake it in the power and feature department, along with driver-assist features that come with adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist. 

But we have to merit the Terra for keeping rear seat entertainment alive, which needs to be added to its rivals. You can tell that it was designed with the family in mind, which brings us to our final point.

The Nissan Terra is great for the family that wants a good, reliable and comfortable vehicle that can bring them on long road trips with the bonus of having a 4x4 system ready.

It's a great combination of work and play that comes with Nissan’s legendary ice-cold air conditioning system. 

Did you enjoy this review? Give it five stars now below!

Joey Deriquito

Junior Writer

A car enthusiast at heart, nothing excites Joey more than an open road and a full tank of gas. Ready with the latest information about cars, he constantly studies and researches the latest happenings in the motoring world while caring for a car that's an extension of himself.

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2021 Nissan Terra 2.5L 4x2 EL MT


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