Why new-look Nissan X-Tra
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This is the new Nissan X-Trail – well, it’s not totally new, it’s actually a facelift of a generation introduced in 2014.
Since then, though, it’s become the world’s most popular SUV with 766,000 units shifted, so there’s no need for a completely fresh car just yet.
It sits alongside the Qashqai in Nissan’s SUV lineup, offering a more go-anywhere option.
Although this is just a facelift, there’s plenty of new features for the X-Trail.
The most noticeable are aesthetic tweaks to give a more rugged and aggressive appearance, as well as the addition of Nissan’s latest angular family grille.
Inside the car, interior upgrades present to give a more premium feel to the SUV. Amongst these are a new d-shaped steering wheel, heated front and middle seats and a redesigned central armrest area.
New tech includes a hands-free tailgate, a Bose audio system and Stand Still assist — which is an improved version of hill start assist.
Three engines are on offer for the new X-Trail — a 1.6-litre petrol, a 1.6-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre diesel.
We spent most of our time with the 1.6-litre petrol. This develops 161bhp and 240Nm of torque, taking the car from 0-60mph in 9.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 124mph. Nissan claims that it’s capable of 46mpg while producing CO2 emissions of 145g/km.
The Japanese manufacturer also expects the most popular engine to be the 1.6-litre diesel. It produces 126bhp and 320Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 116mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 53.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
On the road, the X-Trail surprisingly feels like a much smaller car to drive — more akin to a Micra than a fully-fledged 4x4.
The 1.6-litre petrol combined with the six-speed manual proved responsive and versatile, requiring few changes and allowing for a dynamic drive.
Our only real problem with the driving experience was the sometimes overlyintrusive Stand Still assist — it can hold on too long on lower inclines, leading to frustration at junctions.
A brief stint with a four-wheel-drive diesel model off-road really showcased the X-Trail’s ability to go anywhere.
Thanks to a high torque output, it was able to comfortably tread through the dirty stuff with almost no throttle input whatsoever, and at no point felt out of its depth.
A facelift to the X-Trail has turned a once bloated looking car into something with more aggression and road presence.
To some, that may not be a good thing but we think the changes have made a huge positive impact.
If you combine the fresh looks with the new Monarch Orange colour, you’ll have something that your kids won’t be embarrassed to be dropped off at school in and will catch the eye of other road users.
Sitting in the X-Trail is a pleasant experience. High quality materials feature throughout the cabin, with no hard-touch plastics in sight.
Seating is comfortable with plenty of space for both the driver and front passenger, while three adults can comfortably sit in the middle row. An extra two rear seats are optionally available, but the Bose audio system is not available with this — worth bearing in mind if good audio equipment is important to you.
Four trims are on offer for the X-Trail: Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta and the topspec Tekna.
Standard equipment on all models includes an electric handbrake, Stand Still assist, cruise control, LED daytime running lights and Bluetooth connectivity.
The N-Connecta spec we drove also came with push-start ignition, a seveninch touch screen infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather trim and Nissan’s hands-free tailgate opening system.
For the £30k the car we drove cost, you’re getting about as much kit as you should expect at this price point and perhaps just as much as you’ll need for a family hauler. If you plan on using the car as a go-anywhere machine though, you’d be better off going for a four-wheel drive equipped model — only available with a diesel engine.
The facelifted Nissan X-Trail is almost all the car you’d ever need if you want a family hauler. It’s extremely spacious, practical, easy to drive and rather wellequipped. It does have its niggling issues, but ultimately there’s nothing majorly wrong with the car. It even makes for a great casual off-roader.
Although the top-end models can be pricey, especially compared to the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, mid-range versions provide more than enough for most needs at a decent value.