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Here’s Why The New Nissan Terra SUV Won’t Be Sold In The US

SUV / 17 Comments

Don’t get your hopes up of the Nissan X-Terra getting a successor any time soon.

Earlier this year, the Nissan Terra made its public debut at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show. It instantly made us miss the X-Terra off-road SUV, which was discontinued a couple of years ago after being available in America for nearly 20 years. While rumors have suggested the mid-size body-on-frame SUV might eventually be sold Stateside as a successor to the popular X-Terra, Nissan has made it clear this is unlikely to happen.

"Currently, that is out of our scope," Hironori Awano, the Terra's chief engineer, told Automotive News when asked about plans to bring it to the US. However, he admitted that the Terra would meet the demand for rugged SUVs in America. "The size is very nice for the US market," he said.

What's stopping Nissan from selling the Terra in America? Simple: safety regulations.

"The US market is one of the toughest, not just because of crash tests but also because of customer expectations," he explained. According to Terra's lead designer, Masato Takahashi, the design his team "all but ignored" North American sensibilities and instead focused on emerging market tastes for the Chinese market.

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Based on the Navara pickup, the Terra is positioned between the X-Trail and Rogue compact crossover. In China and Southeast Asia, it will be offered with three flavors, including a base model with a 2.5 gasoline engine delivering 180 horsepower. Two diesel options are also available: a 2.3-liter twin-turbo and a 2.5-liter single-turbo, both producing an output of 188 hp. Power is sent through either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. It's disappointing to learn it wasn't designed with the US market in mind, but it perhaps isn't surprising when you consider that Nissan still sells the Frontier pickup in the US and is planning to launch a direct successor at some point.