Why new-look Nis­san X-Tra

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - FARMING - Satur­day, Septem­ber 30, 2017

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.

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