Despite being recently facelifted, the first generation of the Tatra Terrno is still sold along side with the new model. While the new versions received a fresher design, the old Terrno continues to look dated and features a pretty spartan cab.

The truck was built for extreme conditions and it features a high ground clearance and heavy duty axles which permits it to tackle the harshest terrains with poise.

At the heart of the Tatra Terrno 1 sits a directly air-cooled Tatra on Airtm engine which offers plenty of power and torque to play with. To suit a wide range of applications, the medium duty Terrno 1 is available in 4x4, 6x4, 6x6 and 8x8 configurations.

  • 2004 Tatra Terrno 1
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    435 @ 1800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    1549 @ 1100
  • Energy:
  • Top Speed:
    68 mph


2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458408

The Tatra Terrno 1 has a pretty dull design but it features a cab over engine configuration which gives it superior handling abilities in tight working conditions.

The front fascia has very rudimentary design with a small grille split in two sections and a solid metallic bumper that was engineered to deal with the punishment of arduous working conditions without too much fuss.

The main headlights have a round shape which gels well with the rest of the cab and underline the utilitarian character of the vehicle.

Despite its rudimentary design, the Tatra Terrno is pretty practical and features a large glass area for proper outside visibility and wide opening doors combined with ergonomically placed footsteps for easy access inside.


2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458412

Climb inside and you’ll find a pretty spartan interior which seems to put driver’s comfort on the last place. The materials are among the cheapest and hardest you’ll find in a European truck, but the fittings are better than expected.

While we like the functional design of the dashboard, we were totally disappointed about the overall ergonomy and especially the seats. Despite of its wide range of adjustments the driver’s seat still doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to comfort and lacks the back support found in other European trucks. Lumbar support? That’s for sissies.

The good part is that the steering wheel can be adjusted which slightly increases the interior comfort bringing it to a satisfactory level. Though, the wheel looks dated and due to its thin design it won’t inspire too much confidence once it’s grabbed.

Luckily the road visibility is part of the first class and we continue to be impressed by the wide view angle offered by the generous glass area that surrounds you.

As with all external rear view mirrors these days, there is a blind spot area to consider but the separation gap between the main and wide angled lenses helps keep this factor to a minimum.

The Tatra Terrno is available in three cab configurations namely short, medium and long. Even the smallest cabins offer acres of space for both the drivers and passengers and there is also plenty of head and leg-room for everyone.

Storage is average without being something to rave about and you’re treated with just enough cubby holes and consoles to keep you satisfied.


2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Drivetrain
- image 458414

Despite its dated cabin, the Tatra Terrno 1 it’s equipped with fairly modern and capable engines which send power to all wheels offering outstanding off road abilities.

Tatra produces the only directly air-cooled EURO 5 engine in the world which is also able to comply with the latest American EPA standards.

According to the company, compared to the old Euro 2 engine the Tatra on Airtm produces 7.5 times fewer solid particles and 3.5 times fewer nitrogen oxides. Moreover its maximum output was increased with 27.5 % and its torque with 33.8 %. As a result, the V8 develops 375 hp and 435 hp with maximum torques of 1,800 Nm and 2,100 Nm, respectively. The engine is also able to work at extreme temperatures which can go up to minus or plus 50 degrees Celsius which means that it can be used both on the frozen fields of Siberia or in the hot Sahara desert.

Tatra Terrno Engines Specifications

Engine hp@rpm Nm@rpm
V8 375 @ 1800 1800 @ 1100
V8 435 @1800 2100 @1100

Ride and handling

2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458409

The Tatra chassis features a unique central backbone tube which is now legendary. The system was created by the Czech manufacturer to make its trucks unstoppable regardless of the terrain conditions.

The central tube is connected with the welded frame via crossbeams creating an extremely tough bearing system which has better torsional and bending stiffness compared to a classical frame concept.

Thanks to the superior bending stiffness, the truck has an outstanding stability regardless of the terrain conditions.

The ride is pretty comfortable too, as the Terrno soaks all the bumps without breaking a sweat.
Moreover, the truck offers a proper maneuverability, thanks to its first class torsional stiffness and the sharp steering.

Tatra says that the high stiffness of the chassis load-carrying structure in connection with the independently suspended swinging half-axles allows for up to 30 % higher off-road driving speed compared to vehicles of a classical concept.


Despite its age, the first generation of the Tatra Terrno 1 continues to be a rugged and reliable workhorse.

We’ll have to admit that its design it’s dated and the cabin is far from being as comfortable as the new generation. On the other hand, a truck’s strength isn’t defined by the interior comfort or the exterior design and what counts most is its ability to deal with huge payloads and difficult terrains.

And when it comes to off road performances, handling and towing abilities, the Tatra Terrno 1 is without a doubt a true master which continues to impress us with its unstoppable character.

Tatra Terrno Applications

2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458401
Tatra Terrno 1 Snow Removal
2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458402
Tatra Terrno 1 Dump
2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458415
Tatra Terrno 1 Tipper
2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458403
Tatra Terrno 1 Oil and Gas
2004 Tatra Terrno 1 Exterior
- image 458406
Tatra Terrno 1 Utility
What do you think?
Show Comments
Truck Finder: