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New X-trail X-ponentially better


I HAD an opportunity to have Round Two with Nissan’s third generation X-Trail recently and discovered a few things during my week with the vehicle.

In terms of styling, I think the X-Trail has moved on nicely into a more premium segment with hints of the new Qashqai and Murano throughout its design language. The vehicle itself is longer and wider but certainly hides its extra dimensions well when viewed from the exterior, while its weight has been cut down by some 90kg for good measure.

Inside, the new model is seriously spacious; I had the five-seater option however, there is a seven-seat version available. The bigger exterior means more space inside while the seats are fantastic in terms of support and comfort. All the switches, dials and even the five-inch Drive Assist Display are easy to use.

There’s an incredible 550 litres of boot space and up to 1 405 litres with the rearmost seats folded away. There’s also a double-load floor in the boot space, meaning that my laptop bag was safely secured while I stored my semi-slick track-day tyres and alloys in the boot.

I was amazed at how well the X-Trail handled the open road; it is truly an impressively comfortable mile-muncher. It makes use of the Common Module Family (CMF) platform which appears to be a very solid platform if both this and the Qashqai are anything to go by. All models also get Active Ride Control, which monitors the road surface to detect undulations, which could potentially upset the pitch of the vehicle’s body and alters damping to compensate. This helped with the perception that the X-Trail was gliding along the road.

I would be lying if I said that I tested the All-Mode 4x4i system to its full potential but I do think that I did what the majority of X-Trail owners would do and that is drive down a dirt road where I used Auto function of the selectable four-wheel-drive, the others being  2WD and 4WD Lock.

I had the 126kW/233Nm 2.5 SE model with the Xtronic CVT gearbox and four-wheel-drive on test and was surprised at what it had to offer. I first thought that its relatively large motor would be thirsty but I managed to get around 9.2 litres/100km. Then the CVT seemed to match the engine well whereas in previous naturally aspirated CVT vehicles I experienced an annoying drone.

It is very well equipped with electric windows all-round, a multi-function steering wheel, radio, CD, MP3/WMA, USB and auxiliary input, Bluetooth, cruise control, daytime running lights, electrically adjustable and folding mirrors,  17-inch alloy wheels, Active Ride Control and Active Trace Control, an electronic parking brake, automatic headlight and wiper systems, front fog lamps with chrome detailing, a leather steering wheel and gear lever, dual-zone automatic climate control, six speakers, Hill Descent Control, Active Engine Brake on Xtronic models and roof rails.

The new Nissan X-Trail comes with a six-year/150 000km warranty and a five-year/90 000km service plan.

Article written by Sean Nurse
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