Earlier this week, we got the official word from Nissan that the Japanese brand will officially be releasing a rebadged version of the Dacia Duster. Nissan is apparently looking to expand its small SUV sales in India first, and possibly other markets later. Nissan’s Duster will be named after an SUV that’s been extinct from their lineup for almost 10 years – the Nissan Terrano.
Rumors have been circulating about the new Terrano since the beginning of June. Earlier this week, Nissan finally gave in and released a complete digital rendering of the future Terrano. The Japan-ified Duster is expected to go on sale in India by the end of this year.
Terrano vs. Duster – What’s the Difference?
Oddly enough, Nissan is actually aiming more upmarket than Dacia with its Terrano, which is positioned as a premium SUV. Therefore, the differences between Nissan’s upcoming Terrano and the Dacia Duster lie primarily in the exterior design, with the Terrano having the more luxurious design of the two.
As you can see if you examine the Duster next to the Nissan Terrano rendering, there will actually be changes in the sheet metal between the two cars. For example, you can see that the lines on the front fascia of the Terrano extend from the grill all the way to the windshield, while on the Duster they round out above the headlights. You can also see differences in the side windows, the side mirrors, the wheels and wheel-wells, the headlights, the grill, and the front fender and rear bumper. So, lots of exterior changes.
Inside the Terrano, the changes are much fewer. The only expected change for the actual interior of the car will be the steering wheel, which will obviously feature a Nissan badge instead of a Dacia one. The engines are expected to be the same, or at least very similar. Likely a 1.6L petrol engine for the basic trim package with possible alternatives up the price scale.
Nissan Prices Terrano… Higher? Than Renault?
Many of you are familiar with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This agreement has already led to rebadged hits like the Nissan Micra and Sunny. As mentioned earlier, though, for once Nissan will be aiming more upmarket in India than Dacia aims in Europe. It may seem strange, but Nissan will actually be pricing their Terrano SUV a minimum of about $1,000 above the Duster.
Why? Well, the specific terms of the French-Japanese agreement dictate that the original manufacturer always gets to sell at the lower price. So, since Nissan is rebadging a Dacia car, they have to price it higher than Renault.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much more about the Terrano. Nissan’s press release offered a statement from Kenichiro Yomura, CEO of Nissan Motor India, saying, “You can see from the sketch that Terrano has a bold and distinctive design that I’m confident will appeal to our growing customer base in India, as will its driving performance and range of other features that will be revealed at a later date.”
In other words, expect to hear more about the Terrano before the end of the year. I, for one, can’t wait to hear more, and I’m excited to see how the Japanese Duster fares in the exploding Indian market.