Home off the trail

Nis­san’s SUV is now very much a soft-roader

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story -

vari­ant joins to as­sume peo­ple­mover du­ties from the soon-tobe-dis­con­tin­ued Dualis +2.

The third row seats are kid‒only perches, but give young fam­i­lies room to grow into the more com­modi­ous Pathfinder.

VALUE

The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der en­gine — and six-speed man­ual gear­box — are re­served for the base ST front-wheel drive at $27,990. Ev­ery­thing else uses the 2.5-litre four-cylin­der and Nis­san’s Xtronic con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion, which adds $2500 in ST trim.

Step up to the ST-L at $36,190 and the base car’s five‒inch touch­screen grows by two inches and in­cludes Google-based sat­nav, dig­i­tal ra­dio, dual-zone air­con, pow­ered front seats with leather trim ac­cents, fog lamps and heated side mir­rors.

The seven-seater can be had in ei­ther ST or ST-L spec at $31,580 and $37,190 re­spec­tively.

All-wheel drive mod­els start at $33,980 for the ST, $39,080 for the ST-L and $44,680 for the Ti, which adds 18-inch al­loys, LED head­lamps, auto-dim­ming rear-view mir­ror, hill de­scent con­trol, lane de­par­ture and blind spot warn­ing, mov­ing ob­ject de­tec­tion when re­vers­ing, sun­roof and pow­ered tail­gate.

Diesel ver­sions will ar­rive late this year.

TECH­NOL­OGY

Re­duced driv­e­train fric­tion im­proves fuel ef­fi­ciency by about 0.5L/100km. Up­grades to the CVT put it among the best step­less au­to­mat­ics on the mar­ket.

A re­vers­ing cam­era is stan­dard across the range, with ST-L and Ti vari­ants gain­ing the bird’s-eye “around view mon­i­tor”. A cou­ple of new acronyms, ACT and ARC, help keep the car on the road — they’re no­table for not be­ing no­tice­able.

Ac­tive Trace Con­trol brakes in­di­vid­ual wheels to keep the SUV on its line through cor­ners and the Ac­tive Ride Con­trol ad­justs en­gine torque and/or brak­ing to help dampen the pitch­ing mo­tion when the ve­hi­cle hits a bump.

DE­SIGN

Flow­ing ex­te­rior lines haven’t hurt the X-Trail’s in­te­rior ca­pac­ity and there’s only a mi­nor im­pact on off-road prow­ess. The 210mm ride height is down 5mm and the ap­proach an­gle is down by 10 de­grees, not that the vast ma­jor­ity of own­ers will care.

The new SUV is less than a cen­time­tre shorter than be­fore but the wheels have been pushed to the cor­ners to im­prove legroom in the sec­ond

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