ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE NEW NISSAN X-TRAIL
Nissan describe the X-Trail as a family adventure vehicle and I have no doubt in my mind that many other adventurers have owned this popular vehicle which has global sales now in excess of seven million.
Now comes news of the fourth generation model; just like the previous versions, the newcomer delivers a combination of a rugged design which catches the eye, delivers comfort and a confident drive experience. Nissan has drawn on the established DNA, muscular design, flexible utility and not to forget advanced all wheel drive capability. In order to offer maximum customer choice, the new X-Trail will be offered in both five and seven seat configurations; this widens its market appeal.
So, what is different with the fourth generation offering? Well, the new Alliance CMF-C platform showcases advanced engineering, innovation and technology which raises the standard in this area of what has become a very busy market. The exterior is highlighted by signature Nissan design such as the floating roof and V-motion grille, striking headlights with daytime running lights and viewed from the side muscular wheel arches up front and rear deliver a generous helping of on road presence. At the rear, taught horizontal lines sit just above and below where the number plate is mounted and split rear lights ensure a wide aperture for the trunk.
Among the key aerodynamic features are 3D tyre deflectors, an active grille shutter to control air flow under the vehicle and an air curtain that directs air flow from the front to the sides of the new X-Trail. The interior is set to offer new standards in this class with what is described as Advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility at the hands of who drives the new X-Trail. New premium materials add greatly to the cabin quality with an equally high quality feel to all of the controls. Easy to use core functions will be welcomed; simple, intuitive heating/air controls as well as buttons that govern the central screen functions, such as the audio and navigation. To the heart of the matter and powertrain; this will be the second model from Nissan to be equipped with the innovative e-POWER drive system; this is a unique approach to electrification, offering the EV drive without the need to recharge. This system is comprised of a high output battery and the powertrain integrated with a variable compression ratio petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 150kW front electric motor. This means that power to the wheels comes only from the electric motor, this results in instant, linear response to the right foot. The turbo petrol engine has a final power output of 204PS and the e-POWER version will be the major player; there will be a more conventional powertrain powering the wheels in traditional fashion with 163PS, offered only in two wheel drive form with power to the wheels transmitted via the Xtronic stepped continuously variable transmission.
The new X-Trail is a very practical vehicle, the luggage space is 585 litres an increase of 20 litres over the previous version and the modularity of the two luggage boards offers sixteen different layouts for optimal space usage. We can expect to see the new X-Trail as early as next month and I hope in the not too distant future to take the wheel of one.