The Nissan X-Trail is no stranger to Autofreaks, as we have previously reviewed it here, but that review was done by my editor. This time around, the keys were given to me. First tested feature? The Around View Monitor. Simply because someone was blocking the exit from the carpark. So how does the system fare? Find out more below.
Now in its third iteration, the Nissan X-Trail loses its signature boxy body, opting for a more curvy look, carrying forward design cues from the bigger brother, the Murano. At 4,640 mm, the Nissan X-Trail is the longest in its class, with an equally class-leading wheelbase of 2,705 mm. What do the numbers translate to? In short, the Nissan X-Trail benefits from generous interior space. Unlike its competitors, the Nissan X-Trail has a 5+2 seating, with an extra 2 seats in the rear. The back most seats are best left for the smaller sized ones, as it does get rather tight back there. Despite that, rear passengers do get three-point seat belts, which is good.
On the exterior, there’s not much to differentiate the 2.0 2WD model with the 2.5 4WD model, apart from the LED projector headlights up front (2.5 model only), and a sole 4WD emblem at the rear. Both variants do get LED daytime running lights, side mirror with LED signal lights, roof rails and front foglights as standard. Also standard across both variants are the 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped with Dunlop Grandtrek rubbers. Nissan has also been generous with the usage of chrome bits, as the door handle, front bumper trim and side window trim are finished in that shiny material.
On our Nissan X-Trail 2.5 4WD, the interior has leather seats as standard, with nice soft touch materials on the dashboard. The range-topping model here gets 10-way electric powered driver seat, 4-way electric powered passenger seat and faux carbon fibre trim on the dashboard. The rest are identical to the 2.0 2WD model. On our review unit, ETCM has fitted on an optional, 8-inch touchscreen LCD display (a RM3,800 cost option) which replaces the default 5-inch unit. It works very well, displaying vital information, yet the system remained responsive throughout our review period. The audio system has support for AUX input, USB input and offers Bluetooth functionality.
Standard on both variants are the Around View Monitor, which stitches images from four cameras around the car to give the driver a top down view. As I mentioned earlier, I had some difficulties trying to exit the carpark, as some inconsiderate person decided to block half of the exit. The Around View Monitor worked very well by eliminating blind spots around the SUV, thus making it an ease to navigate out of the carpark.
Under the hood of the Nissan X-Trail we tested here is a 2.5-litre Nissan QR25DE-K2, with 168 horsepower (171 PS) at 6,000 rpm and 233 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is transferred via an XTRONIC CVT to either the front wheels or all four wheels. The Nissan X-Trail also comes with ECO mode system that helps improve fuel economy by reducing throttle sensitivity.
Settle yourself into the driver’s seat, you’ll get a very commanding view, thanks to the height of the Nissan X-Trail. Looking for a specific control wasn’t hard, as Nissan engineers have laid everything out sensibly. Steering mounted audio controls meant that the driver doesn’t need to stretch his hand away from the steering wheel. The parking brake, similar to most newer cars, is foot operated.
Upon firing up the engine, you’ll be greeted by quietness, as the Nissan X-Trail’s NVH is rather adequate. Driven gently, the Nissan X-Trail feels almost like a D-segment sedan, with engine noises and wind noises kept to a bare minimum.Tyre noises are also well isolated from the cabin. Comfort for the rear passengers are also well taken care of. Only when I floored the throttle, the engine noise would become more apparent. Not a bad thing, as the engine note does sound good. Wind noises were obvious at speeds above 170 km/h, but the Nissan X-Trail remained planted even when licking close to 200 km/h.
One thing we did notice, was that the XTRONIC CVT does suffer from an identity crisis, as upon flooring the X-Trail off the line, the CVT tries very hard to mimic a conventional 7-speed automatic, down to the virtual gearshifts. Not that we’re complaining, as the XTRONIC CVT does a swell job when driven in everyday driving conditions. There’s no shift-shock, and on the plus side, fuel economy is rather decent. When the urge to swap your own cogs hits, the X-Trail does allow the driver to manually do so using the +/- selector gate.
Nissan has injected the X-Trail with just a nice amount of steering feel, even though it sports an Electronic Power Steering set up. Driving and maneuvering the big X-Trail becomes less of a chore, thanks to its speed sensitive weight.
In terms of safety, the Nissan X-Trail is loaded, as it comes with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Active Chassis Control which consists of Active Engine Brake (AEB), Active Ride Control (ARC), Active Trace Control (ATC). Then there’s also Hill Start Assist (HSA), Advanced Hill-Descent Control (HDC), Active Brake Limited-Slip (ABLS), Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control, across the range. From what we observe, the only letdown is the measly dual SRS airbags that is included.
With prices starting at RM159,164.06 (OTR w/o insurance) for the 2.5 4WD variant, the Nissan X-Trail certainly has lots to offer. The SUV does look rather handsome, packs a punch under the hood, has lots of space, as well and sufficient safety kit, there’s not much to fault. For those wanting to upgrade from the older Nissan X-Trail, or looking for a bigger family car, the Nissan X-Trail definitely ticks the correct boxes.
Chris Wee says…
As I’d already driven the new X-Trail here during the official media drive earlier this year, I decided to let our resident AF speed-freak petrolhead Eric have the car for the weekend, if only to see if something in this category could appeal to him, and I guess he wasn’t disappointed, seeing as how I notice he clocked 200km/h in it! Not that I would propagate speeds like that in an SUV, but hey, it’s a service we provide here at AF you see; we do it so you don’t have to…ahem.
There’s not much left to be said about the new Nissan X-Trail that hasn’t already been said before. Its popularity continues to grow with each passing day, and triple digit numbers in order books nationwide can’t all be wrong. In my opinion, the X-Trail has always been a good all-round SUV. Its only failing in the past was perhaps in the design/styling department, it looked a bit staid, even when new. However, that’s been more than adequately taken care of with this new one. The murmurings of ‘baby-Murano’ continue, and that’s a good thing; hey, if the new Camry is getting closer to being a ‘baby-Lexus’, there’s no harm in this X-Trail being associated with something a lot more expensive and upmarket is there? Nice one Nissan! – CW.
Specifications: Nissan X-Trail 2.5 4WD
Price: RM159,164.06 (OTR w/o insurance)
Engine: 2.5-litre inline-4 QR25DE-K2
Horsepower: 168 hp (171 PS) @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 233 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: XTRONIC CVT
Enjoy our photo gallery below! (Panning shots courtesy of Ken Ng)
Nissan X-Trail photo gallery