SAFE AND SPA­CIOUS

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - SHORT CUT -

VALUE

The X-Trail is Nis­san’s best­selling ve­hi­cle and this up­date re­flects that, with prices un­changed or slightly down across the range de­spite more stan­dard equip­ment. Put that down to qual­ity of the op­po­si­tion in this class. Our test Ti ver­sion sits at top petrol-pow­ered and un­til the end month it is sell­ing for $49,145 drive-away (less in some states). The midlife makeover en­dows the all­wheel-drive SUV with ac­tive driv­ing aids across line-up. War­ranty is three-years/ 100,000km and ser­vic­ing is ev­ery 10,000km, with the first four trips cost­ing $1232.

COM­FORT

The seats are sat­is­fy­ingly well­padded for long hauls and have enough bol­ster­ing to stop oc­cu­pants slid­ing around in cor­ner­ing. All the steer­ing wheel are heated Ti and the el­e­vated sec­ond row lets pas­sen­gers see road ahead — they can ad­just those pews for reach re­cline too. An­droid/Ap­ple mir­ror­ing isn’t on the spec sheet but there is a seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment dis­play with sat­nav and dig­i­tal ra­dio. The tail­gate opens with swish of a foot un­der bumper.

SAFETY

Ac­tive driv­ing aids are the bigticket item for re­vamped X-Trail and in­clude au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot alert lane de­par­ture warn­ings, rear cross traf­fic alert, adap­tive cruise con­trol a 360-de­gree cam­era. Six airbags and ro­bust body con­trib­uted to five-star ANCAP rat­ing when the X-Trail was tested in 2014; soft­ware up­dates should re­in­force that rat­ing.

DRIV­ING

The X-Trail is one of the bet­ter­man­nered mid-size SUVs on the dirt, even with low­pro­file 19-inch rub­ber fit­ted to

Ti vari­ant. Its abil­ity soak up im­pact big off-road pot­holes is im­pres­sive but also means it isn’t as nice drive as more road-ori­ented ve­hi­cles such the Volk­swa­gen Tiguan. The engine and con­tin­u­ously

vari­able trans­mis­sion also lack the re­fine­ment of more re­cent ad­di­tions to seg­ment.

AL­TER­NA­TIVES

Mazda CX-5 Ak­era, from $46,990 A more pow­er­ful engine, sixspeed auto and tighter sus­pen­sion give the Mazda bet­ter han­dling per­for­mance. As with Nis­san, there’s no An­droid/ Ap­ple mir­ror­ing some tyre roar on rough sur­faces. The Mazda also cedes ground in rear legroom and boot space. VW Tiguan High­line, $48,490 The is the burger-with­the-lot in terms of per­for­mance and in­te­rior re­fine­ment … and you pay ac­cord­ingly. Even then, buy­ers need to stump up an­other $4000 for a pack that bun­dles adap­tive cruise con­trol, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert and 12.3-inch dig­i­tal driver’s dis­play.

Hyundai Tuc­son High­lander, from $45,450 A smart mix of sub­stance and style has made the the best-sell­ing SUV in class. It doesn’t stand out any spe­cific cat­e­gory but is com­pe­tent all

them and fur­ther re­as­sur­ance of a five-year war­ranty.

VER­DICT

The up­dates do enough to make the X-Trail a safe bet with­out trou­bling class lead­ers. If space is im­por­tant then it should be on your short list.

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