Nissan Philippines had an incredibly successful 2018, ending the year with a potent 40 percent growth despite the all-new Terra being sold mostly toward the end of the year and selling a very fruitful model on its way out to pasture soon.
To celebrate their success as well as use the opportunity to present new Terra equipment updates, primarily on the infotainment/safety systems (Nissan Intelligent Mobility aids with enhanced 360° camera views), and a new limited-edition Fiery Red with black leather interior variant (100 units only: broken down to 70 Terra VL 4×2 and 30 4×4 VL units–priced at P1.899 million and P2.096 million, respectively), Nissan organized a truly memorable and enjoyable Philippine media immersion with the Terra in the Bicol region.
With close to 50 journalists to manage over three days, the NPI team consisting of the ever energetic and gracious President and Managing Director Ramesh Narasimhan, Assistant General Manager – Communications Dax Avenido, and PR & Communications Specialist Therese Sarmiento and the rest of the NPI team effectively corralled us all, together with EON Public Relations’ Head Jane Villa and her team. While the Ramirez & Cutter, Inc. Group, headed by Georges Ramirez, expertly conducted the driving experiences.
I have been to the province before on numerous occasions over the years but I have never been to Legaspi City. So when we arrived at the airport, I wasn’t expecting to see the spectacular and very active “beautiful lady” Mount Mayon volcano so close and as soon as we stepped off the plane. Wow! I have been on a few volcano experiences before, the most recent being Nissan’s own Terra launch near Mount Pinatubo a few months before, but truly seeing active Mayon in person is mind-blowingly awesome as well as a little scary.
The last time the Philippine automotive media tested the Terra was during the regional premiere in Clark, Pampanga last year, where we drove more extensively off-road through the less traversed lahar routes to demonstrate how good the 7-seat midsize SUV would perform comfortably under duress. That combined with in-town and highway driving was enough to earn the 14th C! Award for Best in Class for 2018.
This time we drove the Terra more extensively for two days—the first through the countryside on a 210-kilometer road course that began at the airport in Albay where a dozen various models were distributed to us supported by other Nissan models like the award-winning Navara pickup driven by veteran race driver Jojo Silverio as sweeper, an X-trail crossover for the Nissan crew, Urvans for the photo and video crews, while Stefan and Louis Ramirez led the groups also in Terras.
This particular route took us to Naga City for lunch at Casa Soriano, then carried on back to Legaspi via the fabulous Pacific coastline ending at a picturesque picnic area at the Quituinan Hills for dinner.
The second day consisted of close to 20 kilometers of off-road driving around the foothills and forests of Mount Mayon that included some water fording. The sweetener on the second day was the ATV experience driving up and down the base of the majestic volcano, an experience that I recommend you all do at least once in your life.
All the driving experiences combined reinforced the deep capabilities of the Terra under real-world Philippine driving conditions.