Nissan X Trail Tekna dCi 130.
When Nissan launched the Qashqai Mk2, they did not stray too far from the successful look of it’s predecessor. Why fix something that ain’t broke. However, with the larger X-Trail which was also launched recently, they have moved completely away from the original X-Trail with it’s traditionally boxy SUV look & gone for what is plainly a look much more like the newer crossovers out there, such as the Toyota Rav4 & Mazda CX5.
Just like the second-generation Nissan Qashqai, the new X-Trail is far more upmarket than the original model. The overall shape is similar to the new Qashqai, with a raised ride height,chrome roof rails and black plastic trim giving a familiar rugged off-roader look. It’s far more angular than it’s predecessor, with completely new front & rear LED running lights . At the back, the LED tail-lamps wrap around the corners of the car and onto the tailgate, making the rear of the Mk2 far more interesting than it’s predecessor & making the overall look of the new X-Trail extremely attractive even though it looks like a scaled-up version of the latest Qashqai.
There are three engine options available. The 1.6 diesel I tested, plus a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol option, with a bit more power & less torque at the cost of fuel economy & a more powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine to silence those complaining about a lack of power.
The X-Trail is priced from £22,885, for the 2WD Visia version. My test model was the more up-market 2WD Tekna costing quite a lot more, £29,595. The cheapest 4WD model costs £28,065 and comes in Acenta trim. The latter uses a part-time system which runs in 2WD until it senses a loss of traction. It can be locked into permanent 4WD, but let’s face it, 80% of X-Trail sales will be the 2WD version, which is why we drove that version.
Inside the X-Trails interior bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the new Qashqai, which means it’s been smartened up. Gone are the circular air vents replaced by slim & sleek ones. There’s now sporty cowled dials & a full-colour trip computer display, while the gloss black trim on the dashboard as well as coloured ambient lighting on the centre console give this X-Trail an upmarket feel. My test model was nicely equipped, with the NissanConnect 7″ touchscreen nav & entertainment system including a CD radio with DAB & with nicely judged colour front, rear & side cameras, which enable one to view the car on the screen. There should be NO excuse for a prang in this ! Add a keyless Start button, Bluetooth, cruise control with limiter, intelligent park assist, & a tyre pressure monitoring system & the whole package impresses. There’s also a panoramic glass roof, leather heated front seats, electrically adjusted drivers seat, dual zone climate control & rear privacy.
Safety features include ESP, ABS, EBD & brake assist, chassis control, hill start assist, around view monitor with blind spot warning on the mirrors, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition- great for the 30 mph zones you don’t know about, forward emergency braking & high beam assist.
The 1.6-litre engine produces 128bhp, managing to accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds with a top speed of 117 mph. Its peak torque is produced at 1,750rpm, but in day-to-day driving the engine pulls smoothly and efficiently from 1,500rpm, meaning it’s flexible in all situations. Economy is impressive with the X-Trail managing a claimed 57.6 mpg on the combined cycle & emissions are also good at 129g/km. However, having just the one diesel engine may be good for economy, but it mean that fully laden the X-Trail is underpowered as it weighs in at 1,550kg. Drive it alone & it’s fine with the 6 speed gear box a particular stand out. But if you rev the engine hard beyond 3,000rpm it’s noisy, in typical diesel fashion which is disappointing in what is an all -new model, particularly when compared to the competition namely the Rav4, Mazda CX5 & Honda CRV, whose 1.6 diesel engine is a real gem.The X-Trail rides well on the motorway & on decent roads, but unfortunately the 19″ alloy wheels are not great over the permanently pot-holed Trafford & East Cheshire roads.
The X Trail reminded me of the now defunct Nissan Murano & just like the Murano it’s in the back of the car where the benefits of the X-Trail really shine. Your 3 rear seated passengers have loads of space as both leg & headroom is fantastic. This is one of the largest cars in its class for back seat space. The rear seats also split 60/40 & slide independently of one another and tilt back or fold down or forward individually. The boot is spacious with 550 litres on offer increasing to 1982 litres with the seats folded down. Because Nissan have stopped producing the Qashqai+2, if you want seven seats you’ll have instead to consider the new Nissan X -Trail. But if you want the extra seats in the rear it will cost you £1000 including VAT, which is a little disappointing.
In reality, Nissans designers have basically made a slightly larger Qashqai,that’s much more modern & better to look at than the X- Trail that came before. But, because of the larger scale of it, the X-Trail does not impress as much as the Mk2 Qashqai which has somehow managed to improve upon what was already a fantastically successful car. Don’t get me wrong, the new X-Trail is a better car than it’s predecessor, but it’s not as good as it’s competition & is really a chance missed by Nissan who by cutting corners & copying the Qashqai, have not produced a class leader like it’s smaller sibling.
Great space & a host of improvements move X-Trail up a notch as the car to go for when the Qashqai isn’t big enough. 3.5/5.