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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
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Old 28 Nov 2008
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Nissan Terrano / Pathfinder?

Just wondering if anyone has used a Nissan Terrano for overland duty? Are they common in Africa / S.America etc, or is it all Patrol/Safari?

This Terrano/Pathfinder review doesn't go into too much detail about whether the Terrano is a solid choice for overlanding, but it does cover the basics. I know Nissan makes tough 4x4s, but is size the only disadvantage to the Terrano?

Any thoughts? I'd like to consider adding the Terrano to our Choosing an Overland Vehicle article, but not sure if it should be included or not.
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Old 22 Jan 2009
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They are hard but

No direct experience with them, here in Oz they are seen as tough little trucks. But thou still seen as a soft roader rather than an off roader, I found for that reason it was hard to get after market stuff for them. So I didn't buy one.
I guess thou thatmeans they have had a gentle shopping trolly life and you have more chance of getting a good one.

Patrols are the beast, will do the job without any problems. However they are expensive,thirsty and have truck like ride.
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Old 29 May 2009
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I put 100,000 miles on a 3.0 TDi in 2 years starting 2004.

Fantastic truck, loads of power, good on fuel and really tough. Used around farms & quarries in and out of 4wd many times a day. With the amount of power that was available it would go well in the dunes.

Suspension set up is independent on the front and beam on the back. Some die hards say that you should have beam axles front & rear. Most 4wd's now have independent on the front.

However they are small. I am 6 foot tall and not a faty. If there were ever 2 of us in the front you did get to know one another well very quickly. Also the door panel rubbed the side of my knee badly.

I have just returned from an overland trip to Ghana (driving a TD5 Discovery without a single problem!!!) I didnot see a single Terrano outside of Morroco. Saying that I would not be frightened to take a Terrano overland.
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Old 17 Dec 2009
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I'm on my second 2.7Tdi SWB Terrano, the first had 99,000 on the clock and was a great truck. We sold it, missed it very much and then found a 98 model with 27,000 and one aged owner who used it for 2 caravan trips a year and serviced it to the letter. Only £2300!

We use ours to tow a 1500kg german built caravan and it will pull the thing anywhere. The 4WD system is 'old school' with proper low range and levers for switching from 2WD to 4WD and low range. Ground clearance is the same as a LR90 and in the words of my mechanic friends 'Nissan 2.7 diesels will run on pig's piss!'

They are car like inside but the mechanicals are properly tough, and we have never had a problem with either of ours.

We like it so much we wouldn't swap it for anything newer, and I am considering using it for a 4x4 safari in Morocco in the future. The only drawbacks are a lack of off roading equipment for this model, so skid plates and snorkels are rare, and the storage space is nowhere like as good as a LC80 or LR110. But it can match both off road, and in SWB form can get places the bigger cars cannot get.

As you can tell we are big fans.
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Old 18 Jan 2010
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I must confess I keep looking at a LWB Maverick/Terrano myself for an overland adventure as something a bit different(to be fair I was considering 2WD for a while!) but had a recent change of heart and decided 4wd would be wiser but don't want to go the Defender/Land Cruiser/Patrol routes preferring to seek something away from the norm.

Now accept that doing that represents a risk and that the above options are the best for good reason(strength/durability/spares availability etc), but that's not the point. Though I want to use the ground clearance of 4wd I know it's abou travelling light(have driven a defender(2.5NAD) to Gambia and took far too much gear for that trip.

Logically they look good value, nissan mechanicals are reliableso can't think of an obvious reason other than common sense and the fashion dictators who say 'thou shalf only drive an LC80/Defender(delete as applicable!)' why they shouldn't be worth a punt. Besides if it all goes the shape of the pear I won't have too much cash invested in it to leave it somewhere...food for thought since I'm looking at vehicles later this year with a view to developing an overland vehicle.Glad to know I'm not alone thinking about these(mind also considered the Delica for similar reasons).
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