Nissan South Africa says consumers looking to get into the bakkie-based SUV segment dominated by the Toyota Fortuner should “watch this space”, with the Terra still on the local horizon.

Liz Gorbunov, general manager and chief marketing manager for LCVs and SUVs at Nissan SA, suggested to CARmag.co.za the Navara-based Terra was being lined up to fill a “gap” in the firm’s local portfolio. There is, of course, quite some space between the X-Trail and the flagship Patrol.

“We do have a gap in the D-SUV segment, where the Toyota Fortuner enjoys market leadership and, of course, the likes of the Ford Everest compete quite well,” she said.

“If we look at the D-SUV segment where the Fortuner competes, Nissan’s response to that is ‘watch this space’,” Gorbunov added.

In July 2020, Kabelo Rabotho, Nissan South Africa’s marketing director, suggested the ladder-frame SUV was very much under consideration for a local introduction.

When it was revealed in China back in April 2018, the Terra was powered by a petrol engine and featured five seats. The following month, the Japanese automaker confirmed the body-on-frame SUV would also be built (for South East Asia, at least) with a 2,5-litre turbodiesel engine and seven seats.

Then, in August of that year, the Terra was launched in Thailand, featuring the brand’s familiar twin-turbo 2,3-litre diesel engine from the Navara bakkie, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It subsequently earned a five-star safety rating from ASEAN NCAP.

We’d speculate the SA-spec version would likewise employ the 140 kW 2,3-litre oil-burner. Whether it is imported from Thailand or built alongside the Navara at Nissan SA’s Rosslyn plant remains to be seen...