EXCLUDING the Grand Vitara — as Nissan does — gives the X-Trail important bragging rights.
But Nissan should have had the diesel more than six months ago when Australians were quickly warming to the advantages of an efficient diesel over a petrol motor.
Today, as the gap between petrol and diesel prices at the pump keeps widening, some of that advantage has been lost, so the appeal of a diesel X-Trail is not as strong.
Nissan’s rivals will be closely monitoring the diesel wagon’s take-up rate — Nissan expects it will account for about 40 per cent of volume — to see if there is still a strong demand by buyers for an oil burner.
As such, the arrival of the diesel is really a toe-in-thewater exercise for all the big players.
Nissan’s inability to offer the maximum two-tonne tow rating on the automatic will also hurt.
The X- Trail, however, should be an attractive proposition to fleets and private buyers on its fuel efficiency alone.
The auto wagon is not a bad thing and nice to drive, but the manual has a more spirited edge. Still, both suffer from a noisy diesel clatter, especially at idle.
The X-Trail has already proven itself as a competent and well designed family wagon, so the diesel engine just adds icing to the equation.
The big advantage is the sharp pricing. Buying a diesel normally means a hefty spend over petrol models and keeping the increase to $1000 looks like a winning move.
Efficient: the X-Trail has proven a competent and well-designed family wagon.