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Nissan X-trail Driving Review

Has Nissan gone too far wide with the new X-TRail

The all-new, third-generation Nissan X-Trail retains, well, not much of its predecessor. The charm the previous generation presented its owners has been replaced with a stylish, refined and modern model. I am not sure how many people will appreciate this  new look. I can’t say I was too happy about it. The reason I loved the old X-Trail was for its rugged appeal. It’s not that I dislike the new generation, it’s just that, well, it’s just different now. Think of a movie that uses different actors in the sequel to play the characters you came to love in the first movie. If you will.

X-Trail

With all that said, there is no denying the new X-Trail is a great car. Built for South Africa at the Nissan Kyushu Plant in Japan, the all-new X-Trail has already been bestowed with the United Kingdom’s 2014 What Car? Readers’ Choice Award. It arrives in South Africa as an eight-model range, including two-and four-wheel drivetrains, five or seven seats, petrol and diesel engine options as well as manual or Xtronic CVT transmissions.

X-Trail

Completely new from the ground up, Nissan want to redefine the compact SUV segment with its X-Trail. The desire is to make the new X-Trail the most comprehensive offering in its segment allowing the new X-Trail to fit perfectly into the brand’s vision of modern crossover styling with a striking new look. The design language is elegant yet sporty and includes a bold new visage with new signature daytime running lights on all models.

X-Trail

It’s taken a lot of its interior design cues from the popular Qashqai. This all-new interior features a fresh, stylish design with driver-centric ergonomics and an overriding sense of space – thanks largely to a longer overall length (up by 5 mm), a wider body (increased by 30 mm) and a 75 mm-longer wheelbase. In seven-seat models, the rearmost seats fold completely flat into the floor to provide a practical loading space – from 135 to 1 310 litres. Five-seat derivatives offer between 550 and 1 405 litres of cargo space. And for the first time, buyers can opt for a third row of seats, which will really appeal to those lift-club moms out there.

X-Trail

Four new X-Trail derivatives – XE, SE and LE specification – are available with an all-new 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine which produces 96 kW and 320 N.m. Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox and with the choice of two- or four-wheel drive, the Euro 5-compliant engine produces carbon emissions as little as 134 g/km and a fuel economy as low as 5.3-litres per 100 km.

X-Trail

Complementing the 1.6dCi models, two 2.5 SE derivatives are available exclusively with Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), four-wheel drive and either five or seven seats. Power from this normally-aspirated multi-point injection petrol engine is 126 kW at 6 000 rpm, with torque of at 233 N.m. The range is rounded off by two entry-level 2.0 XE models, each powered by a 2.0-litre direct injection normally aspirated petrol engine which produces 106 kW and 200 N.m. The 2.0-litre derivatives are available with either five or seven seats, and exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox. Fuel economy on all petrol derivatives remains impressive, with the average consumption of 8.3-litres/100 km. Carbon emissions are 197 g/km for all models.

X-Trail

Like I mentioned, this new X-Trail is great, in fact it is better than the previous generation, even if it lacks the charm. The question is, would you rather buy the cheaper Qashqai? Nissan feel buyers will be attracted to the optional extra row of seats and off-road capability, but I am not so sure.

All-new Nissan X-TRAIL Pricing:
2.0 XE 6MT – R 327 700
2.0 XE 6MT (7 seats) – R 334 100
2.5 SE Xtronic 4WD – R 364 200
2.5 SE Xtronic 4WD (7-seat) – R 370 600
1.6dCi XE 6MT – R 351 000
1.6dCi XE 6MT (7-seat) – R 357 400
1.6dCi SE 6MT 4WD – R 388 300
1.6dCi LE 6MT 4WD – R 473 600

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